How Twitter Could Increase Your Home Insurance Premium
, Home Insurance Claims
July 27th, 2010
The president of home insurance at Confused.com, Darren Black, was recently quoted as saying, “I wouldn’t be surprised if, as social media grow[s] in popularity and more location-based applications come to fore, [home] insurance providers consider these in their pricing of an individual’s risk.” In other words, his prediction is in time, we could see home insurance coverage increase as more people take to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
At first glance, it seems there is no connection between home owners insurance and social media. However, from the looks of things, the two may be crossing paths through the medium of social media, which has lately been garnering as many negative effects as positive.
Burglary Rates Could Increase Due to Reckless Behavior on Twitter and Facebook
Facebook and Twitter, along with other popular social networking sites, create an environment that encourages sharing personal information. In fact, sharing is downright expected and really the point of participating in social media networks.
However, when it comes to safety, these environments aren’t the greatest. Predators can be lurking for information and waiting for the opportunity to attack.
As noted by Black, criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their information gathering and can easily determine where you live by the few details you provide on your profiles, along with their savvy knowledge of Google Earth and Streetview.
It’s for this reason that it’s more important than ever to be discreet about the information you share online. Otherwise, you could put yourself at risk of burglary and increase the likelihood of a higher home insurance cost in the future.
Homeowners Insurance Companies Are Evaluating Risks of Social Media
Since home insurance companies are catching on to careless social networking behaviors, some argue you could eventually see an increased home insurance estimate as a result. Black predicted, in fact, that we may see a rise of up to 10 percent for people who use these sites as companies begin to consider social networking in their pricing for an individual’s risk.
Further, being burglarized or seeing a higher home owners insurance quote is not the only negative consequence of information sharing over social networks. If insurance companies see you as too high of a risk, they could actually reject you as a customer.
If you think insurance companies don’t look at social networking sites to gather information about current and potential customers, think again. It happens all the time and could easily happen to you as the practice becomes commonplace.
Protecting Yourself Against Burglary and Higher Insurance Rates
So what should you do to ensure you don’t run the risk of increasing your next home insurance quote? You could try to decreasing your coverage to home appliance coverage in order to pay less while remaining covered if you’re burglarized.
Of course, the idea is to not be burglarized in the first place, especially if it’s totally avoidable. So here are some tips for changing your behavior online and protecting your home and insurance rates:
- Censor what you post: Don’t post your personal information (school, work, e-mail, phone, kids’ or spouse’s names, home address) on social media sites ever.
- Don’t “friend” or “follow” people you don’t know: If you don’t know a person on a social networking site, don’t accept friend requests or follow them because it will likely open up your profile to strangers and offer information you don’t want known. Also, keep your profile private to block anyone from seeing your limited information except for your friends.
- Shut off location-based features: Any features that expose your network or location should be shut off unless they are absolutely critical.
If you’re concerned about higher rates for coverage in general, you could always shop around for online home insurance. Also, if you’re concerned that you’re making too many coverage commitments, you could look at a home insurance calculator to help you figure out how much to cover in your home.
Above all, change your habits when necessary to keep your family and home safe, and start with your social networking behavior.