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Higher Insurance Premiums for Social Media Users?

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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File this under bizarre:  If you or your children use a social media network such as Facebook or Twitter, your homeowners insurance premium could rise, according to the The Digital Criminal report.

The survey, conducted by UK insurance firm Legal & General, found that social media users share all types of personal information with basic strangers that could help would-be criminals.

A third of these users have divulged vacation plans, telling anyone who follows them that they’re away, while 70 percent felt social media sites were a great place to tell people about their new purchases.

Couple this with tools like Google Maps Street View and you’ve got a potential problem on your hands, especially when the burglar knows your name and other vital details about you.

For example, a burglar could tell neighbors that he/she is house sitting while casually removing valuable items from your home.

On the other side of the coin, the whole thing could be looked at as just another bogus reason for insurance companies to unfairly raise premiums.

After all, there are a ton of dangers facing homeowners and their possessions, but it’s not quite that simple to pinpoint what might be behind the theft or break-in.

Only time will tell if this actually catches on, but I’m sure we could all agree to be more careful sharing personal information online.

Social Media for Insurance Claims

Insurance companies may also begin using social media to investigate insurance claims.  So the more you “put out there,” the more insurers will know about you and any fibs you may tell.

If things don’t add up between what you reported at the time of the accident or break-in and what you said on Twitter, you may be denied your claim.

Now it would seem obvious that people wouldn’t share such intimate details of their lives, but you’d be surprised.

So as social media becomes more popular, expect to see insurance companies (and all other companies) delving into your not-so-personal details more and more.  That said, you may want to limit what you share online.

Heck, insurers may even be able to determine risk by looking at your social media profiles.  If you’re always “partying” and getting drunk, your auto insurance premium could rise.

In short, less is more when it comes to social media.  Unless you want to pay more for your insurance.

Read more: 10 ways to lower your car insurance premium.

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