The popularity of social media is undeniable. While it certainly has its drawbacks, the majority of the American population finds themselves scrolling through their feeds multiple times every single day. It has transformed the way in which we communicate with each other. That means that it has also transformed the ways in which companies communicate with us.
In the past, for a company to have personalized data about your interests and shopping habits you would have to have shopped there in the past, or voluntarily filled out a survey. Now, if a company wants to learn more about you, all they have to do is take a look at your social media presence—and they are doing exactly that.
Most people have noticed this happening. It’s why all the digital ads you see lately seem to be personalized to your interests. Advertising is the most obvious application of social media data, but other industries are using it too. The insurance industry has recently started to use social media insights as a factor when determining insurance premiums. That’s right, that tweet you send last month could be used to determine your monthly insurance rates.
Insurance has always been an industry predicated on data. It makes sense: the best way to determine risk is to have more information about the risk you are trying to mitigate. Even knowing that, many people don’t realize that what they post on social media is being looked at by more than just their followers.
These are a few factors insurance companies look for when they are pursuing your social media feeds.
Are you an adrenaline junkie? Are you posting pictures of you skydiving, skiing, surfing etc.? Evidence of risky behaviour is a big red flag for insurance companies. After all, someone who skis and skydives is far more likely to get injured, which would result in an insurance claim. If you are a risk taker in your daily life, you may want to consider making that Instagram account private before posting visual evidence of your adventures.
A lot of people post a lot of selfies to their social media feeds. Seems harmless right? Well many insurance companies are starting to employ AI solutions to analyze your face and predict your life expectancy. These results could directly affect something like the cost of a life insurance premium.
A popular social trend these days is to post a screengrab of a text conversation. Some insurance companies are using the information gleaned from those screenshots to determine that a person is a texting and driving. If an insurer determines that you regularly text and drive you can bet that your car insurance costs are going to skyrocket.
Social media is an ever-evolving landscape. Like an tool, it can be helpful or harmful depending on how it is used. People need to understand that posting on social media carries with it a very small expectation of privacy. If it’s on the internet, people are reading it, and so are companies. Don’t pay more for your insurance policies because of bad social media habits. It’s not worth it.
If you are interested in a new insurance policy, or want to learn more about your current one, reach out to TGS Insurance at www.tgsinsurance.com.