What Would Your Social Media Score Be?

Are you careful about what you’re putting out on social networking sites? If not, you may want to reconsider as insurance companies have begun snooping on social media sites for the inside scoop on their customers. Even more unnerving is the fact that the information they find about your personal life could be combined into a social networking score, directly effecting your insurance premiums.

Vendors are currently building tools to automate social media searches. This new technology would enable insurance giants and other companies to more easily dig up dirt on clients. Michelle Megna, managing editor of Insurance.com says, “Just as insurers use credit scores as a factor in assigning you to a risk box, this [social media] data could be used to create a social networking score.”

It’s unbelievable how golden your digital DNA is to insurers. Facebook Likes, tweets and online searches make up an online blueprint as to how great a risk an insurer is taking by covering you. Douglas Heller, executive director of Consumer Watchdog believes, “they’ll use that to decide how much to charge or whether or not to sell insurance to an individual.”

There is substantial evidence that more and more insurers will factor in social media when determining rates. This is why you need to be very aware about what you say and show on social media sites. For example, if a person seeking insurance coverage claims he is a nonsmoker but posts pictures on Facebook of him smoking; insurers are more likely to think twice before taking him on as a client.

Social media posts can make or break claims made by clients as well. If you file a claim stating you are disabled from an on the job injury but have pictures of you dancing and partying on Facebook, you’ve committed fraud. At the same time claims can also be validated through social media.

Now you may have nothing to worry about because you are always honest, however if not, I would rethink your use of social media. The upside to this new technology is insurers will be able to catch fraudsters, potentially reducing your monthly premiums.