Social media has had a noticeable impact upon society. Many rely on social networks to stay in touch with friends and family, but businesses also make use of the social sphere. While companies are quick to establish their own presence on social sites, employers have taken to reviewing the sites of their potential workers to determine whether or not the information they provided during the application process is true. This trend is growing in popularity, and even insurance companies have taken up the practice.
There are a number of factors influencing insurance rates. For several years, social networks were never considered to be among those influences. Now, however, more insurers around the country are considering attributing clients with a “social networking score,” which would be used in much the same way as a credit score.
“This practice can help insurers gauge risk,” says Craig Beattie, insurance analyst for Celent, a research and consulting firm based in London. While the trend is still in the novelty phases, more insurers are becoming interested in it. Beattie has gone so far as to advise his clients to discontinue their use of social media, or make sure they have the highest possible privacy settings.
Insurance companies have used social networks in the past when investigating claims, particularly those that seem fraudulent. In using social sites in this way, companies have been able to curb the tide of fraud to some degree.