Insurers have announced that they are taking more precautions when giving quotes on potential new customers. Instead of the routine questions of do you smoke, drink etc, questions such as ‘how much do you spend on petrol a week’ will also be included. Larger insurers such as Aviva are employing companies to monitor social networking sites so they can check what people are putting in their status update and check their photos etc.
Insurers are claiming that photos of you partying, staying out all night or going on holiday a lot will make a difference to how premiums are calculated. In total honesty how many people do actually tell the truth when answering the questions before you are given a quote? If you are a smoker looking for home insurance you won’t tell them that you are as you know the premium will go up. If you are a contractor and only work a minimum of 6 months a year then travel you won’t declare that either as they know the house is unoccupied for most of the year.
The solution is easy if you have a Facebook account then check the privacy settings so that status updates and photos are only available to view by friends only and not the whole public. It would seem like the most sensible option but most people forget that you can change the settings so the whole world can’t access your personal information.
If insurers will start snooping will it make a difference? I wouldn’t think so, most people will get up to speed of these things and they won’t be able to access everything on Facebook, but then again you shouldn’t be telling everyone that you are going on holiday or staying out all night etc. You can’t really blame insurers for taking on these extra measures as there are many articles that are giving tips on how to lower insurance premiums by lying. For example those that have more than one car but a driveway that allows parking for only one will lie and say that both are parked on a private driveway, just to bring the cost down.
Facebook is a great easy to keep in touch with family and friends that live too far to see on a regular basis, by having an account is allows people from all over the world to stay in contact. As many people have to save money on going out as people are being made redundant and jobs are harder to get and pay well Facebook is a way of keeping up to date with friends and their family as you may not be able to seem as often as you would like. If you have a Facebook account and are worried about snooping then check your privacy settings today to avoid having all your information made public.