Sharing on Social Media Could Drive Up Your Insurance

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As insurers start to look to add social media to the data they review before issuing policies, you may want to think twice before posting to Facebook.

Sharing social media posts that include risky behavior such as rock climbing or drinking at happy hour could end up increasing your life insurance premiums, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Earlier this year, New York became the first state to issue a guide on how life insurers can use algorithms to comb through social media posts to size up an applicant’s risk.

While sizing up an applicant’s risk is mostly geared toward life insurance, some car insurers are exploring whether consumers will share real-time driving data.

“Consumers are going to get more and more benefits offered to them—like reduced premiums or better risk advice, if they share some of their data on social media or elsewhere,” Ari Libarikian, a senior partner at McKinsey & Co. told the WSJ.

Also on the auto insurance side, some insurers are using social media to handle claims. Insurers are checking the explanations of auto claims against Facebook posts about an accident.

Currently, the technology to study individuals’ social media accounts is not ready. Verifying identifications on social media and converting the information into usable, predictive data is not yet scalable, companies told the WSJ.

At the end of the day, if you lead an unhealthy lifestyle, experts say your insurer will figure it out. A life insurer who took blood and urine tests already knows a lot about their customer.