Insurers want to use your Facebook personality to price your car insurance
Admiral have announced plans to start offering quotes to first-time car owners based on how ‘safe’ they seem on Facebook – and here’s how to get a discount!
Credit: Andrew Steinmetz – Flickr.com
One of the UK’s biggest insurance companies has just announced they plan to start using your Facebook data to assess whether your online personality suggests you’ll be a safe driver.
Admiral claim their research has shown that a link can be found between how drivers present themselves on Facebook and how responsible they are on the road – such as using short, firm sentences and proposing exact dates to meet with friends instead of “tonight” or “next week.”
However, they promise to steer clear of your photos (pun intended) due to privacy regulations, so you don't have to worry about taking down all those photos of nights out that would obviously suggest that you hopped in your car and drove home legless minutes later.
Admiral are the first insurers to propose using Facebook data to calculate quotes, but could this be the future of insurance across the board? Will contents insurers start monitoring how much you show off your riches on Facebook, and increase your quote as punishment for making yourself a target for theft?
Will it save or lose you money?
The initiative, which Admiral have dubbed ‘firstcarquote’, is aimed specifically at young first-time drivers, who currently fork out an average of £1,300 a year on car insurance.
They claim that those who volunteer to have their Facebook profile assessed could see a discount of up to £350 a year on their car insurance.
Admiral say that the initiative is there to help young drivers prove themselves as safe bets to insurers, instead of having to wait until they manage to build their own safe driving record and no claims bonus, which can take years.
Apparently, the initiative would only be used to offer discounts, and the information collected won’t be used to penalise ‘bad’ drivers on Facebook by increasing premiums (however, they’ve admitted they’re not ruling this out for the future).
Admiral have released the following statement on their website:
New drivers are often quoted much higher insurance premiums as they have little driving history, zero No Claims Bonus and are viewed as ‘high risk'.
But we want to help make sure safe drivers aren't penalised and get the best price possible.
To do this, we'll look at your Facebook profile to help us get a better understanding of the type of driver you are.
However, what Admiral have failed to mention in their announcement is that what they're proposing is against Facebook policy, which states:
Don't use data obtained from Facebook to make decisions about eligibility, including whether to approve or reject an application or how much interest to charge on a loan.
So whether the initiative will even go ahead or will be blocked by Facebook is yet to be confirmed.
UPDATE: Facebook have just announced they're blocking Admiral's plan to use Facebook data for discounts! However, Admiral say they're still going ahead with releasing the Firstcarquote app, but with ‘reduced functionality'.
How to be a ‘good driver' on Facebook
According to the research that Admiral have carried out, here are a few tricks you can start working on to make yourself a good driver on Facebook (and set yourself up for a neat discount).
A good driver on Facebook will…
- Avoid exclamation marks (suggests you're too confident)
- Use specific dates and days of the week instead of “tomorrow”, “next week”, etc.
- Write in short, sharp sentences (cause, you know, anyone who writes longer sentences is too ditzy behind the wheel)
- Avoid using words like “never” or “always” (again, you don't want to sound too sure of yourself!)
- Use lists in posts (suggests you’re organised).
Admiral claim they will focus on data collected from the previous six months on your Facebook, so if you’re planning on using your account to get a discount, get working on those short, affirmative sentences and get back to them in six months.
Managed to get a good deal on your student car insurance with some pro haggling tricks? We want to hear about it!