Social Media and Geolocation Users May Face Higher Insurance Premiums
Even if robbers don't hit your house as a result of your desire to repeatedly announce your location to the world using Foursquare or Brightkite, insurance companies may soon hit your wallet. A post on Slaw.ca yesterday notes that, according to an article in the Telegraph, homeowners who use such gelolocation services may see their insurance premiums rise by up to 10 percent to reflect the supposed "inherent risk" in such conduct.
Darren Black, the head of home insurance at a price comparison service called Confused.com told the Telegraph that he wouldn’t be surprised if the growth of social media and geolocation services led to premium increases of up to 10 percent for people who use these sites. "Criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their information gathering, even using Google Earth and Streetview to plan their burglaries with military precision. Insurance providers are starting to take this into account when they are assessing claims and we may in future see insurers declining claims if they believe the customer was negligent,” he stated.
Confused.com suggests that users of social networking Web sites should "turn off location-based services on Twitter and Facebook unless you absolutely need to use them." I don't know that this is necessary, but I do have a question for users of services like Foursquare: Why? What value/joy/benefit do you get out of announcing your location? Could a Foursquare fan please explain to the uninitiated what you like about it?
Posted by Bruce Carton on February 22, 2010 at 02:47 PM | Permalink
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