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How Public Social Media Posts Affect Your Insurance Claims

A finger touching an app icon on a smartphone to depict how public social media posts affect your insurance claims

While every day may seem like Social Media Day to some people, there is an actual Social Media Day. Mashable launched this annual “holiday” in 2010, and June 30 every year is a good time for businesses and regular people to reflect on how they use social media. For example, did you know that your public social media posts could be affecting your auto insurance claims? It’s true – and here’s why.

The Hidden Risks of Sharing on Social Media During a Claim

Social media sites are a great way to stay connected with family and friends and share various aspects of our personal lives. However, online oversharing on social media can be a slippery slope, especially if you’re involved in a claim with an insurance company. It’s essential to keep in mind that insurance companies may use your public social media posts to investigate claims, and sharing too much information can have serious consequences. 

While it may seem harmless to post pictures of your recent vacation or announce your travel plans, it’s important to remember that such posts can signal to strangers that your home may be empty. Moreover, sensitive information such as mental health issues, personal details, and private information should be avoided as they may be used against you. Insurance investigators can also use public social media platforms to analyze timelines and check the accuracy of the information you provide. 

Sharing too much information can also lead to denying your claim. For example, if you exaggerate your claim, post contradictory information or admit fault on social media, this could hurt your credibility and reduce or deny your claim. It’s essential to be cautious about what you share on social media, especially during a claim.

While it’s a good idea to stay connected with friends and family through social media, it’s crucial to keep privacy and to be mindful of the information you post online. Before posting anything on social media, consider who has access to it and whether it could potentially harm your claim. Remember, the internet is not a private space, and the things you post can be used against you. 

Let’s review 4 hidden risks associated with sharing on social media accounts during a claim, which can include exaggerating claims, sharing too much information, admitting fault, and contradicting testimony.

1. Exaggerating Claims

If someone says he got injured in a car accident and needs to wear a neck brace, insurance companies look into such claims. And what happens when an insurance investigator discovers social media photos of this person a few days after the accident, with the evidence showing no neck brace and participation in an activity such as bicycling? Very possibly the claim will be denied.
Insurance investigators may also use public social media posts to analyze timelines, for example, to check that someone was where she said at a certain time. If you said you went to the hospital after an accident, but a public social media post shows that you checked into a restaurant for lunch first, that could raise some eyebrows. Insurance companies may also see you as withholding personal information on purpose. 

2. Sharing Too Much Information

Many people do not give a second thought to announcing their travel plans; after all, it’s exciting to share the great news that you are headed for the beach for a week of fun. However, such posts are a signal to potential thieves that your house could be empty for a few days. If a break-in occurs, your insurance company might not cover your claim, saying that you invited the risk by posting your travel plans publicly on social media.

Check the fine print on your insurance papers, and see if it says anything about using reasonable care to protect your possessions and your home. This principle may also apply to posts about expensive purchases you have made and location check-ins that show you are several hours from home.

3. Admitting Fault

Posting on social media after an accident or incident can potentially harm your claim by admitting fault. For example, if you post about a car accident that you were involved in, and you admit to being distracted at the time, this could be used against you when it comes to filing a claim. Insurance companies may see this as a confession of fault, and your claim may be denied or reduced.

4. Contradicting Testimony

If you make public posts on social media that contradict your testimony during a claim, it could raise suspicions and harm your credibility. For instance, if you claim to be physically injured and unable to work, but you post photos of yourself participating in physically demanding activities, such as playing sports or lifting heavy objects, this could contradict your claim and lead to a denial of benefits. Insurance companies may use your social media activity to discredit your testimony and reduce or deny your claim.

Prevention Tips

When it comes to social media, oversharing can have consequences beyond insurance claims. It can also put you at risk of identity theft or even harm your job prospects. Therefore, it’s important to take steps to protect your privacy and security online.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Avoid making public posts that reveal personal information about yourself or others.
  • Use a strong password to protect your social media accounts and consider using two-factor authentication.
  • Be mindful of the information you share, especially if you are a parent or have children who use social media.
  • Think about how your social media activity might affect your current or future employers, and adjust your behavior accordingly.
  • Be cautious when taking surveys or quizzes on social media, as they may collect personal information that could be used for identity theft.
  • Educate yourself and your family members on best practices for staying safe online, including avoiding clicking on suspicious links or sharing sensitive information.

Remember, the internet is a public space, and what you post can have lasting consequences. By taking steps to protect your privacy and security, you can enjoy the benefits of social media while minimizing the risks.

Don’t Let Social Media Sabotage Your Insurance Claims

Insurance company employees should not friend you on Facebook or other social platforms, but simply switching your post settings from public to something like friends only will not be sufficient. You still need to follow the tips above because it is possible for someone to see a post you have made and to share it with the insurance company.  

There are other ways for posts, accurate or inaccurate, misleading or not, to be misinterpreted by a wide range of people. When in doubt, always be upfront with your insurance company. It is best to not take any risks to keep your auto insurance rates and other insurance rates down.

Are you looking for the best insurance rates? Contact Freeway Insurance today at 855-710-9041 or start car insurance quotes online.

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