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Your FACEBOOK posts can negatively affect your car insurance premiums

Eleanor Newis
Oct 17, 2018


Car insurance remains a hefty expense for many people. But are insurance providers looking at potential customers’ Facebook posts to judge how much they should pay?

There are a variety of car insurance deals on the market and prices differ massively between companies. Factors that insurers use to adjust the amount you pay include your address, job title, age and your record of claiming (or not) in the past.

But the Express is now asking if social media accounts could also be used to judge someone’s insurance application.

In 2016, a premium was launched by Admiral called Firstcarquote. This scheme looked at trends in Facebook posts as a way of understanding its users. However the initiative was closed after it encountered a backlash from the public.

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But an incident occurred in 2016 which brought this issue into the media in a different light. The company Axa discovered one of its vehicle owners was making a fraudulent claim.

The customer in question, a boxer, was in a collision and claimed he suffered neck and back injuries, despite the accident being at a low speed.

Investigators and Axa themselves later found that the claimant had not in fact seen a GP, and there were social media posts showing him doing exercise whilst he maintained he was injured.

The claim resulted in the customer paying £13,046 and being added to the Insurance Fraud Register.

A spokesperson for Axa said that they would not use social media accounts to adjust the prices their customers should pay going forward. However, they said they did have a policy to decide how they used social media to tackle fraudulent claims when they were investigated.

These one-off occasions show the changes that might occur in the insurance market, particularly that of car insurance, in the future. As more companies refine their policies on social media, consumers might find this becoming a factor in their applications and claims.