Following years of speculation that insurers might use information drawn from social media profiles to evaluate the potential risks presented by their customers, the insurance industry is getting its first official social media risk-scoring service courtesy of Social Intelligence. The new Social Media Risk Scoring tool is intended for use by insurers in the property and casualty category.
Before we start hyperventilating about privacy and whatnot, it should be noted that according to Social Intelligence, the customer has to opt in to social media risk scoring, with incentives including discounts or fast-track claims for qualifying customers. In short the service should actually help insurance consumers in their sometimes fraught dealings with insurance companies.
The service can also help expand insurance coverage to previously marginalized consumers. Social Intelligence CEO Max Drucker noted: “The social Web gives insurers the opportunity to gain actionable intelligence on consumers who do not have credit histories or other, more traditional forms of risk profile.”
Social Intelligence claims that this is the first real-time social media analytics tool created for the insurance industry. It previously launched a social media background check and monitoring product for employers, and its products have also been used by federal and local governments and non-profit organizations.
Although Social Intelligence is positioning its new product as beneficial to insurance customers, the fact remains that social media can reveal a whole array of risky behaviors that may make insurers think twice. On that note Allstate’s ShareAware initiative is encouraging consumers to think twice before, for example, sharing their whereabouts on social media, as this can tip off burglars and other miscreants when they’re not home. The initiative included an ad with the brand’s popular “Mayhem” character merrily looting a couple’s home.