Social Networking Sites Could Affect Insurance Premiums

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News Posted: Mon, Feb 22 2010 8:06 PM
According to price comparison service Confused.com, people who use social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook might have to pay a higher home insurance premium someday. Social networking services could alert criminals when users are not at home. Some social networking services even show the specific location of an individual.

Darren Black, the head of home insurance at Confused.com, said: "I wouldn't be surprised if, as social media grow in popularity and more location-based applications come to fore, insurance providers consider these in their pricing of an individual's risk. We could see rises of up to 10pc for people who use these sites.

Black continued, explaining "Criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their information gathering, even using Google Earth and Streetview to plan their burglaries with military precision. Insurance providers are starting to take this into account when they are assessing claims and we may in future see insurers declining claims if they believe the customer was negligent."



For users of social networking websites, Confused.com offers the following advice:
  1. Never post your home address or other personal information such as your home phone number on social networking sites
  2. Don't follow people you don't know on social networks and use block others from seeing your profile if you don't know them
  3. Turn off location-based services on Twitter and Facebook unless you absolutely need to use them
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Inspector replied on Mon, Feb 22 2010 9:25 PM

WOW, but i don't have anything that tracks me so will it effect me? :D

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gibbersome replied on Mon, Feb 22 2010 10:43 PM

Hmmm....this is pretty idiotic. Having insurance companies use credit score data to calculate premiums is invasive enough, but this is a new low.

From now I'm, my facebook status will indicate that I'm at home...with two 300 lb bouncers who have a collection of sawed off shotguns...and pitbulls. Smile

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rapid1 replied on Mon, Feb 22 2010 10:53 PM

Lol good one gibbersome. I was actually talking to my insurance agent about prices today. I do my insurance through a co-op called Farm Bureau. I can guarantee you I pay at least $150 probably more, less than anyone on here. Geico and Progressive and others send me offers all the time they are almost always 3 times what I pay, which is 208 dollars every 6 months for 2 cars. The Pontiac is 106 the Honda is 102, where other companies send me offers of 300 a car as if it is a bargain. Either way insurance as well as banking and brokerages seem to be a huge rip off as well as one of the reasons our country is where it is financially today. I also use a local credit union who has had online banking for quite some time (at least 5 years), and I remember last year when banks started sending me these advertisements in the mail that they had online banking. I had already had it for quite some time for free.

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3vi1 replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 8:19 AM

/agrees with Gibbersome. This is just stupid and a great way for my insurance company to make me reconsider insurance companies.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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rapid1 replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 2:47 PM

In a large over view this seems to just be companies trying to find another way to jack the consumer basically.

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rapid1 replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 2:53 PM

Sooner or later uncontrolled they will just nickle and dime us all to death. As it goes the only reason I support government health insurance initiatives is so these companies are controlled in a large way. Going back to the internet makes you smarter subject, why do people not use the tools at their hands (internet) more proactively. It all basically seems to be idiotic to me.I know users on here would, but the general public only uses the net for email, IM/Twitter, and now social sites. They ignore most of the other functions of it completely.

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shanewu replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 3:52 PM

Insurance is about risk and the less private you are about your affairs, the bigger risk you are. Why shouldn't a riskier person pay more than me, a private person with less liability?

Ever heard of PleaseRobMe.com? http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10454981-36.html

This is just one more thing that makes me happy that I haven't jumped onto the social-networking-you-need-to-care-about-everytime-I-blink bandwagon. There will come a time when people realize there is too much transparency and too little privacy and the pendulum will swing back the other way.

"Everyone always wants new things. Everybody likes new inventions, new technology. People will never be replaced by machines. In the end, life and business are about human connections. And computers are about trying to murder you in a lake. And to me, the choice is easy." - Michael Scott (The Office)

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