Insurance agencies could soon use social media posts to determine premium costs

SALISBURY, Md. – Everywhere you look it’s another post. Another status. Another picture. For years, social media has taken the world by storm. Putting the life of its users on display.

“It’s public, so it’s public information,” said Lynn Lynch.

But before you go and post that next picture of you doing something like skydiving or riding your motorcycle, you may want to think twice. Because insurance agencies could soon use those photos to size up an applicant’s risk.

“Knowing what the risk is, is pretty important. When it comes to new businesses, or they’re reviewing the renewals, they’re absolutely looking at those pages,” said Gary Marshall Insurance owner David Galeone.

While local insurance agents say they’re not currently using social media to determine premium costs for clients. They do say your posts can have an impact on your claims.

“It absolutely has an impact when it comes to claims. If you are injured and your claiming that you can’t work and you’re hurt and your disabled because of an accident or injury at work and you’re posting a picture of yourself finishing a marathon. You best believe the insurance company is going to have those photos too,” said Galeone.

Residents we spoke to in the area say they weren’t too surprised to learn about the new tactics insurance agencies could soon use.

“I think they’ll take every avenue possible to try and understand the risks that they’re taking and underrating risks and whoever they’re insuring. I certainly think it gives you another reason to be careful with what you post,” said Robert Jeter.

And while your posts may not have an impact on your life insurance premiums just yet, agents want you to remember this:

“It is really not a good idea to post pictures of you doing something that you really wouldn’t want somebody to see,” said Galeone.

In January, New York became the first state to allow life insurance companies to use data from customers’ social media posts to determine their premiums.



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