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What you post online could impact your insurance rates, experts say


Searching social media profiles may become regular practice for insurers

Image source: WLNY-TV screenshot

Your social media posts could be impacting your insurance rates or costing you when you file a claim, WLNY-TV reported.

"Especially for claims, they look into social media, looking to see if somebody's driving a motorcycle for example without a helmet or if somebody was posting pictures drinking and smoking," Duarte Pereira, senior VP of FitechGelb told WLNY.

Searching insurance policyholders' online profiles may soon become a regular part of the underwriting process, according to some experts. And what insurers find may affect your auto, home, life, and pet insurance, along with your wallet.

What's the story?

Those who post vacation photos could be considered by insurers as putting your home at risk to burglars. Using social media while driving could get you labeled as a distracted driver and affect your policy renewal, according to the report.

Homeowners who post photos of their new dog could be dinged for not disclosing that information their insurance company.

"Variables like pets can impact your underwriting, especially certain breeds of pets," Sean Kevelighan, CEO of the Insurance Information Institute, told the news outlet. "So, one thing we encourage the customer to know and to do is to ask questions of their insurer."

In January, New York state issued guidelines aimed at protecting consumers. Insurers are required to prove justification for using social media information.

What can be done to improve your rating?

Some experts offered advice for policyholders who want to appear more favorable on their profiles.

"Posting things like running a marathon or doing some kind of exercise," Pereira told WLNY.

Of course, removing risky photos is another option.

And don't post photos of yourself skydiving if you've filed an injury claim.

Honesty with your providers is always advised, experts said.

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