Isn’t social media great? As it turns out, car insurance companies think so, too – but, not for the same reasons you do. For you, it’s a way to keep in touch with friends near and far, by sharing the latest details of your lives, recent pictures, and status changes. However, for auto insurance claim purposes, it’s a veritable gold mine of information.
The more you use social media, the more information about you is out there. And, that benefits auto insurance companies. In the short hours following a car accident, one of the first steps you should take is filing a claim with your insurer. If the second step you take is hitting the social media sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Foursquare, Google Plus and Pinterest, be aware that your insurance company may be on there, too… to check up on you.
It’s a way for the insurance industry to perform a real-time examination of your lifestyle and the practice has become a valuable tool in the claims-investigation process… especially if bodily injuries result from an accident. Whether the injuries are claimed by you, another party in your car or someone from the other car, insurers are looking for the slightest proof that the person is filing a fraudulent claim.
If you’re claiming an injured neck, back or other bodily part and you share post-accident pictures of you golfing, surfing or shooting hoops with your buddies, you’re busted. That goes for the ladies as well. Gyrating on the dance floor as part of your bridesmaid duties at your best friend’s wedding or fighting over a purse at a Black Friday shopping event won’t fly either. Not only will your claim more than likely be denied, but you could be facing much more serious charges of insurance fraud and risk the cancellation of your insurance policy.
The reason insurance companies do this is – it’s been highly successful at killing a substantial amount of questionable claims over the years. Now, almost every insurance company has a special investigation unit (SIU). Policyholders are being closely watched and should be aware that SIUs look into all questionable or potentially fraudulent claims.
While you may have nothing to hide, and for the most part insurance adjusters or agents may not necessarily eye the social media accounts of everyone who files a claim, if they suspect any wrong doing, they will definitely dig to prove their case.
Because social media has turned everyday living into a “look at me” or “look what I did” social phenomenon, it has exposed many people as being brazen or simply dumb to the fact that the world is actually watching, and that includes your insurance company. Just imagine them smiling at the pictures that you or one of your Facebook “friends” posted of you hitting a triple and sliding into third base at one of your recent softball league games… minus your neck brace. Now, that can’t be good.
That’s right – a well-meaning “friend” could innocently share a picture or post something about you that can complicate your pending insurance claim. Jokes about you being a lousy driver or general sarcasm don’t convey well on social media…and, your insurance company could use the pictures and posts against you.
So, the best advice you can heed is – if you’re involved in an accident, whether you’re injured or not – it be your fault or not – don’t use social media to blab about the accident or an insurance claim. There’s nothing to benefit from it and a great deal to lose. Just remember – you never know who’s watching.
One thing you might also want to watch out for is – make sure you’re getting the best rate on your auto insurance. Why not get a free auto insurance quote today?
Have you ever been burned by something you posted on social media? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.