Beware! Your Social Media Accounts Could Be Increasing Your Insurance Costs
When submitting an insurance claim, home insurance and social media are two things you wouldn’t expect to be factored together.
But in reality, social media might influence whether or not your claim is approved. We’ll detail how specific social media capabilities — such as photographs, geotagging, and text messaging — might be used as evidence when a claim is investigated.
How to Regulate Your Social Account
Make sure you’re vigilant about what you share on social media. For the first time, insurance companies and law enforcement agencies are using social media to look for signs of insurance scams.
File a police report quickly after a car collision. The police will usually advise you to file an insurance claim when they have completed their investigation and filed a report.
When it comes to your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media profiles, make sure they aren’t leaking any inaccurate information about the accident that your insurance company and the police can use against you.
For instance, if an insurance claims adjuster wants evidence that your claim is legitimate, they may request photos of your automobile before the collision. The insurance company might use your images and status updates if you were hurt in the accident. Additionally, they might look for witnesses on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Is it lawful for insurance companies to look through my social media?
The capacity of an insurance adjuster’s ability to explore social media sites for material that may help their inquiry is unrestricted. Everything you post to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr is generally free for public criticism and viewership.
Social media accounts are generally set up so only a person’s closest friends may see their posts. Some claim adjusters have taken the initiative of becoming friends with the insured to access data crucial to their investment.
While some claim adjusters can become friends with the people they are investigating to gather information, others may be prohibited from doing so.
Check your social media activity if you’re applying for any kind of insurance coverage and erase anything that might be a red flag. The following below are other things insurance investigators may be looking into on your social media.
You Relationship Status
For the most part, insurance companies want to know whether you’re married or single when applying for coverage. Single individuals have to pay a little more than married people when it comes to insurance. Underwriters may review your social media pages to confirm that you’re speaking the truth about your relationship status.
Your Medical History
Bad habits, medical history, and what the future may hold in terms of medical care
Underwriters will want to know more about your medical history when applying for life or health insurance.
Underwriters may search your social media sites for evidence of high-risk activity like smoking or drinking in public. Smokers’ life insurance rates can be higher than non-smokers, but If you answer “no” to the question, “Do you smoke?” on the insurance application, and an underwriter discovers a photo of you with a cigarette, you might be in jeopardy of denial.
If you lie about your medical history, your insurance company may refuse all of your benefits, deny your claims, or even terminate your policy mid-term.
Details of Your Family’s History
Your social media accounts might also be used to verify information about your family. Because of your family’s history of breast cancer, an insurance company may infer that you are at a greater risk of developing the illness if you post about it on Facebook.
Pets That Live in a Home
Insurance firms for homeowners are interested in social media for several different reasons. They often check your social media accounts to see whether you have any pets. Underwriters want to know what kind of pet you own.
Dogs known for their aggression and unusual pets like snakes and spiders are included on most insurance companies’ “hazardous animal” list. An insurer may deny your claim if you own a banned animal.
If you’re submitting an insurance claim after a vehicle accident the smartest thing to do if you’re submitting an insurance claim is not to post about it on social media.
Whenever you do post on social media, consider using a VPN of some sort so you aren’t sharing your location. And remember that accepting friend requests from strangers is not always the best decision.
About the Author
Imani Francies writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, USInsuranceAgents.com. Imani frequently explores and stays up-to-date on social media trends to help people make wise decisions when finding the best auto coverage.