How Social Media Activity Could Affect Insurance Rates

Social media can positively or negatively impact everything about your life. How you use it, how appropriate the content is and, ultimately, how honest you want to be will be subject to calculation, evaluation and finally results.

If you have just applied for a life insurance policy and you claimed on your application that you don’t drink or smoke, you may want to think about removing those party pictures from your Twitter profile.

Like everyone else out there – including hiring managers – insurance companies are turning to social media sites to determine if your reputation is in question. According to the Insurance Journal, many claim investigators are already scouring the Internet looking into potential fraud concerning accidents and lawsuits.

Are social media sites being used officially in the underwriting process? State regulators have not approved that as yet but it could be coming down the road as a way of approving ratings and premiums. So it is important to make sure your social networking sites are always professional and a reflection of your better qualities. Even your friends’ list and groups that you belong should not create suspicion that will cause unnecessary negative feedback.

Insurers may use network analysis programs, which analyze social network data. And this could create problems with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which raises privacy rights and concerns. But isn’t it a lot less expensive and time consuming in the long run to limit your social networking so that questions are not raised concerning your reputation.

If in the underwriting process, however, someone just happens to click on that Facebook page filled with pictures of you skydiving yet you never mentioned that kind of activity on your application, you are creating unneeded red flags. Be honest in the first place.

The Internet is a wonderful tool that offers us overwhelming communication opportunities in business and our personal lives, but it’s up to each of us to decide how we use it.

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