The practical answer is yes. The legal answer is the circumstances determine if you have to provide your social security number to the insurance company.
First let’s talk about why the insurance adjuster is asking for your social security number. The primary legal reason that the insurance company is asking for your social security number is to verify if you are enrolled in Medicare Part A or Part B (or have ever previously received Medicare Part A or Part B). Why is it so important for the insurance company to know if you receive Medicare Part A or Part B? The answer is that if you have Medicare and if Medicare paid your medical bills then the insurance company can be held liable by the US government for repayment of any amounts Medicare paid out on your behalf. As a result, the insurance company has a right to know whether you are a medicare recipient. The easiest (and most accurate) way for the insurance company to determine if you are a medicare recipient is to get your social security number and call CMS (the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services) and run your social security number to see if you receive medicare.
In addition to that reason, the insurance adjuster also wants your social security number so that some background information can be found on you. The insurance adjuster can run your name, date of birth, and social security number through a software system called ISO Claim Search and find all of the prior insurance claims you have made. The adjuster can also run a criminal search to see any prior traffic violations, misdemeanor crimes, or felony crimes.
However, some insurance companies have a company policy that they will not issue any settlement checks without receiving a social security number. In fact, some of these insurance companies have set up their software to refuse to print a check without a social security number (or Tax ID) included for the payee (you) of the check. In that circumstance, you have to decide if you want to spend the next year of your life fighting the insurance company and trying to convince the department of Insurance and a Judge that the insurance company is wrongfully withholding your settlement proceeds.
If you have any questions about your case or what information you are required to provide to the insurance company, please feel free to reach out to our Durham personal injury lawyer through the red contact box on this page, by giving us a call at (888) 820-5885 or by sending us an email to email@example.com.