Are Insurance Companies Using Your Social Media Activity Against You?
Insurance companies already consider what kind of car you drive, your driving history, your credit score, and your “insurance risk score” when determining how much your car insurance premiums will cost. According to Daily Finance, some companies are considering using your activity on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as well. Data mining vendors are creating software to automate the process, but they already look at these sites for your likes, tweets, searches and other information.
For example, an insurance company may take note of a potential customer who likes the Facebook pages of local bars and lists interests like “partying.” The underwriters might decide this person is more likely to drive drunk and therefore might either raise the premium or deny coverage altogether. Social media sites are also used to verify information you submit to your insurance company.
Your social media activities might affect your claims process as well. If you report a claim for a back injury after being rear-ended but then post pictures of you dancing at your cousin’s wedding, you may have more difficulty getting payment for your medical treatment. Even if your profile is set to private, your friends’ profiles may not be, allowing data miners to find information they have posted about you. Furthermore, the insurance company may take information you post out of context to support their claims that your injuries are not as severe.
Before you post anything to any social media site, make sure you consider the potential consequences. Do not make claims that are untrue and do not pretend you are more injured than you are. Look at everything you are going to post before you do it with a critical eye. If you did not know you and saw that picture, what would you think was going on?