February 27th, 2015
From posting mundane pictures of dinner to uploading scores of snapshots from seats at a sporting event, people are recording their entire life on social media sites. With so much visual data chronicling people's daily activities, insurance companies have begun taking advantage of this evidential watershed when they investigate claims.
CBSNews reported insurance fraud investigators routinely sift through hundreds of social media sites utilizing high-powered data mining software. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and even dating sites. These social media sites offer the investigators a real-time account of people's activities, which, in many instances, includes geotagging their location as well.
It is also important to remember that even if the person filing the claim did not upload anything to a social media, bystanders routinely take pictures and videos of their surroundings and these usually find their way online too.
Even if no wrongdoing took place, it is still wise for those involved in an accident to refrain from posting any information to a social media site. According to Edmunds.com, insurance companies will routinely request that anyone submitting a claim also submit a log of their activities post-claim. If any discrepancies arise between the log and the social media trail, this will raise a red flag for the investigators, even if no foul play was committed.
While this may seem like dire straights for consumers who fear their social media accounts will somehow be used against them, it's worth noting that insurance fraud claims cost policyholders an estimated $80 billion dollars a year, according CBSNews. Now that investigators have more tools at their disposal, this should ultimately translate into more savings for the honest consumers.
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