How Social Media Endangers Your Insurance Claim
Social media can keep us connected, but what we post can also haunt us in unanticipated ways. This is especially true if you’ve filed an insurance claim, such as a disability insurance claim, a workers compensation claim, a personal injury claim or auto insurance claim.
Here’s how social media can be used against you in these insurance claims and what you can do about it.
Social Media Use Is On The Rise
- 74% of online adults use social networking sites
- 52% of adults who use the Internet now use two or more social media sites
Social media isn’t just for kids and young adults anymore. Here’s a breakdown of who uses social media, by age group:
- 89% of adults ages 18-29
- 82% of adults ages 30-49
- 65% of adults ages 50-64
- 49% of adults ages 65+
How Insurance Companies Use Your Info Against You
Insurance companies use social media to uncover information that may conflict with or contradict information presented in your insurance claim. In some cases this is a good thing, because it can uncover many cases of insurance fraud. The FBI estimates the total cost of insurance fraud (non-health insurance) to be more than $40 billion per year. This costs the average U.S. family between $400 and $700 per year in the form of increased premiums.
However, social media investigations can also be used against those who have legitimate claims. Claims investigators will:
Use your content to build a “history of behavior” that supports their assertions and invalidates your claim.
- Social media findings are usually combined with traditional surveillance tactics. Don’t give your insurer more ammunition by posting on social media once you’ve filed a claim.
Stick directly to the language you use in a claim and compare that to your social media activity.
- If you report you’re unable to lift more than 20 pounds, you shouldn’t be doing it and you certainly shouldn’t have anything on social media that says or shows you are doing it.
- Social media may only show a small portion of your life, but what you willingly put out there can be taken at face value by insurers and used against you.
What you can do about it?
- This is the smartest move to make when you’re planning to file or have just filed a claim.
- Insurers may still find ammunition in your older posts, but you can make sure not to give them an more by going inactive on social media.
Be smarter about how you use social media.
- A photo, Tweet or Facebook update that seems innocent to you could be used against you in your insurance claim.
- Don’t post anything on social media that may be minsunderstood.
- Jokes and sarcasm don’t work well on social media, so avoid them if you can.
- NEVER post anything about your claim on social media!
- Remove any photos or posts you’ve been tagged in that might be incriminating – and do it quickly. Your social media accounts will be among the first destinations for claims investigators.
Talk to your friends and family.
Unfortunately, what other people post about you or tag you in can negatively impact your claim. Once you file a claim, have a discussion with your friends and family about social media etiquette.
- Let them know you do not wish to be tagged, mentioned or included in any social media posts or photos.
- Ask them to be careful who they friend. Don’t accept friend requests from people they don’t know, as claims adjusters may be investigating under a pseduonym.
Update your privacy settings.
- Information placed on social networking accounts that are not blocked or private is considered to be within the public domain. This means it can be used against you in your claim.
- Understand that while updating your privacy settings is important, it won’t solve all your problems if you’ve already posted things you shouldn’t have on social media.
- Here are some guides on how to update privacy settings on different social networks: