How does social media impact insurance? Read on to find out!
Social media has long been a tool used to investigate claims. Workers compensation claims tend to be called into question when there’s a picture of the person dancing it up in a club for all the world to see after the “injury,” of course. It’s even used by private insurance investigation firms to get a basic idea of what the claimant is up to and whether they’re engaging in PIP fraud or other types of insurance fraud. So if it’s used as a claims tool, how can your drunken selfies increase your insurance premiums?
How Can Your Drunken Selfies Increase Life Insurance Premiums?
You’ll be asked a number of questions about the activities you engage in when you apply for life insurance. You’ll also be asked medical questions. If you say that you’re not a private pilot, but your Facebook page is filled with pictures of you in the cockpit, you’re going to get a surprise in your premium. If you say that you don’t drink any alcohol, and your Instagram is full of pictures of you at the bar, you’ll find those drunken selfies will increase the cost of your insurance, as well.
It’s not just pictures, however. If you claim you’re not on any medication, but there are weekly status updates complaining about how the pharmacy gives you a hard time about your controlled meds every time you fill them, you might find there’s a problem. Much of this information is also verified through independent sources, as well, but social media can be used as an underwriting tool.
How Can Your Drunken Selfies Increase Homeowners Or Renters Insurance Premiums?
Here, as well, you’ll answer questions on the application. Most of them are pretty innocuous, but there are a few that many carriers take very seriously. If you say that you don’t have any significant liability exposures like a pool or a trampoline, they’ll probably take that at face value. It would be a bad idea to post a picture of your kids on a trampoline if you said you didn’t have one. It would be a worse idea to post a picture of you and all your friends with beers in the pool you said you didn’t have.
Another way that you can find your Renters Insurance premiums increasing from selfies or social media is pets. Did you say you didn’t have a pet when you applied for the policy? Do you have a dog that’s on the list of prohibited breeds for that carrier? Post a selfie of you and the dog together, and you can find yourself cancelled for a material change in risk, even if you acquired the dog after you bought the policy!
Social media can also be a useful claims tool. Many people have tons of pictures of their home on their pages, and this is a great way to see if a claim could possibly have occurred as the claimant stated. Nothing substitutes for feet on the ground at the location of the loss, of course, but there’s a great deal of information that can be gleaned from what people voluntarily post online.
People tend to post and forget on social media, which results in a great deal of information out there on the internet. This means that you need to be brutally honest on insurance applications and at claim time, because it’s not just social media that will call you out. We live in an era of big data, where companies like Lexis-Nexis know just about everything about you.
The usual data banks like Milliman, who can tell you every prescription you’ve ever filled, where, and who wrote the prescription (Order your report here), combined with options like social media, offer some interesting possibilities for both underwriting and claims scenarios. Different companies handle this data in different ways. Some don’t use social media at all, some will use it just to confirm what the proposed insured has said on the application, and some will comb through every scrap of it if there’s a claim.
Can drunken selfies increase your insurance premiums? On Renters Insurance, it’s unlikely, but they can certainly come back to haunt you when there’s a claim. Make sure that you’re honest on applications and when you make the claim, and you won’t have any trouble.
Insurance Companies Hate This One Weird Trick!
If you just don’t use social media, you deny that data source to anyone looking to compile information about you, not just insurance companies. Some people see that as a positive, especially because it’s a way for them to take control in an era when insurance credit scoring is ubiquitous and you don’t have much choice as to any of the other data sources, either.
Most people aren’t interested in that particular trick, however.
To find out how you can still buy renters insurance even if there is a ton of less than positive information out there on social media, or how you can avoid underwriting based on your social media profiles, just call (800)892-4308 or click to get covered - whether you need renters insurance quotes online or coverage anywhere else!
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