It is difficult to deny that social media has become a big part of our lives, and some of us share more than others. If you ever feel like you might be oversharing, you might want to rethink the situation. The fact is that your insurance company might be paying attention and could use the information they gather to limit a personal injury claim or even to deny a claim from the outset.
Social Media Mining
Social media mining refers to perusing someone else’s social media posts to gather information about that person, and insurance companies are major proponents of this practice. If the insurance company can cobble together a narrative that paints you in a less than pristine light, they will likely take the opportunity to do so.
For example, if a car accident leaves you with a neck injury that requires time off from work and surgery, you are naturally going through a very difficult experience. If you also happen to attend your niece’s graduation, have your picture taken enjoying a glass of punch and a cookie, and innocently post that picture, the insurance company involved in your case may use the post to discredit your claim that you have endured a serious injury – and to limit your settlement offer. While you can obviously be injured and still attend your niece’s graduation, the burden of rebutting the insurance company’s appraisal of the situation will likely be on you.
It is becoming easier and easier for anyone – including insurance companies – to find out more and more about us online. By simply typing your name into Google, the insurance company can probably come up with more information about you than you probably realize, including information from sources such as:
- Your posts on social media platforms
- Any online content that features you or your work
- Your work website with your personal bio
- Any blogs that you author or contribute to – either personal or business-related
- Any comments you leave on business websites or on other people’s social media posts
All told, the information culled online can amount to a dynamic representation of your life that the insurance company may be very interested in. Often, information about your employment, your personal relationships, your home, your hobbies and pastimes, and your overall lifestyle is out there for the insurance company to use in powering its own narrative about you – a narrative that is more or less true in the sense that there is corroborative evidence.