Could the information you post to social media come back to haunt you in the form of higher insurance rates?
Absolutely, according to a new study by Celent. In fact, the Boston-based research group predicts that within three years, social media will be integrated into underwriting practices for various types of insurance, including health insurance, auto insurance and homeowners insurance.
Two words: risk profile. Before an insurer offers to share the financial risk of misfortunes that may befall you, whether they be auto accidents, home fires, health crises or outliving your money, they want to know as much as possible about your habits, interests, friends etc.
What might be the easiest way to gather all of those colorful details? A 2010 study by the Pew Research Center found that 40 percent of all U.S. Internet users, and 77 percent of those in the 18-29 age group use social networking sites.
It’s one thing for an insurer to gather accident data from one’s driving record or health data from other insurers. But is it really valid to jack your premium because your cousin Lisa tweeted that you like to drive with a six-pack between your knees?