Your social media profiles can say a lot about who you are. But did you know that they can also impact your life insurance premiums? Your tweets, Instagram stories, and Facebook updates may affect how much you pay for life insurance coverage. Let’s take a closer look at this phenomenon and what you can do about it.
The impact of social media and the underwriting process
It may seem outlandish to believe, but it’s legal for your insurer to view your social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram, to get a better idea of who you are and any potential risks associated with insuring you. This is similar to how a potential employer would view your socials to ensure that you wouldn’t be a risk to the company for any reason.
While it is unlikely that an insurer will scroll through every single one of your posts, they may use algorithms to search for specific keywords or phrases that could indicate potential risks. For example, if you frequently post about drinking alcohol, smoking, or going on extreme sports adventures like scuba diving, hang gliding, or parachuting, those activities could increase your perceived risk level and lead to higher life insurance premiums.
It’s important to remember that insurers are not just looking at what you post—they’re also looking at how often (or how little) you post. An inactive account may signal that something has changed in your life, such as a job change or relocation, which could alter your risk profile and, thus, the cost of life insurance coverage.
How you can protect yourself
There are some simple steps you can take to ensure that your social media presence does not negatively affect your life insurance premiums:
Clean up Your Profile
Delete any posts, photos, or videos that may be considered risky or inappropriate from online view. This includes anything related to drugs or alcohol consumption or dangerous activities like skydiving or rock climbing.
Use a Pseudonym
Using a pseudonym or false name can make it more difficult for insurance companies to find and access your account. However, it is important to remember that even if you use a pseudonym, you should still be careful about what you post, as insurance companies may still be able to find and access your account if they are determined enough.
Make Your Accounts Private
Unless you’re an influencer with a large following, it’s not really necessary to have a public social media account for all to see. In addition to deleting anything potentially damaging from public view, make sure all of your accounts are set to “private” so that only followers with approved access to your account can see what you post online.
Avoid social media altogether
If you are really concerned about protecting your social media accounts from life insurance companies, you may want to avoid social media altogether. This can be difficult in today’s world, but there are other ways to stay in touch with friends and family, such as through email or phone calls.
The bottom line
Social media accounts can tell insurers a lot about who you are—and it is important to be aware of how this information might influence their decision when calculating life insurance premiums for individuals like yourself.
Taking proactive steps like cleaning up your profile and making it private can go a long way in helping maintain a positive online presence while managing any perceived risks associated with insuring you.