Is it true: are life insurance companies creeping on your Instagram feed?
Does the average insurer even understand this bit of millennialist jargon? Do significant numbers of people over the age of 21 even have Instagram accounts? Whatever the case, the author of our linked article wants us to know all about it. So let’s read on.
It starts like this: recently, New York’s Department of Financial Services issued a letter saying that life insurance companies can spy on your social media accounts and examine so-called “lifestyle indicators” as part of the premium-setting process. If it’s OK in New York, it must make sense, right?
The regulator said the information gleaned could not be used in a discriminatory way. We frankly can’t see how it could be used otherwise, but more pressing, says our author, is the idea that a company is creeping – in old-fashioned lingo, peeping – into your seemingly private affairs to see if you’re living a tad too dangerously for the actuarial tables.
Post photographs of yourself on a bungy-jumping holiday, standing a bit too close to the dragons on Komodo, or skydiving to celebrate your 50th birthday (or any other “it seemed cool in the moment” activity) and you could find yourself facing elevated premiums – or perhaps even denial of coverage.
We suppose that in theory, it makes a degree of sense. Insurers are spies. If you submit a claim for a debilitating back injury, and your insurance agent catches you swinging a softball bat in the senior league, they’d have a fair case against you. Social media are essential public forums, so you can’t blame them for ferreting the true dope on your lifestyle and its risks. Legitimate professional behavior, it seems – if only it wasn’t so darned creepy.
For more information, please read:
Why the Life-Insurance Industry Wants to Creep on Your Instagram | New Yorker