Why social networking can be bad for your house premiums

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27 August 2009
Catherine Stagg-Macey
As reported in the press today, Legal & General here is the UK is considering adding the usage of social network sites in deciding on premiums. On the back of their own commissioned research, the company believes that burglars are increasingly using sites such as Facebook to identify targets. I can understand the logic of this approach, but it seems a little heavy handed. The idea is to penalise homeowners who has anyone in the family using a social network site. Given the prevalence of these sites, a very high number of people will be caught in this net (given the insurer plans include any family member). I know of people who are very careful about what they put up on these sites, never declaring holidays until they are complete, and "friending" their children so as to be aware of what information the offspring might put into cyberspace. Are these people to be cast into the group of "higher" risk? Being aware of the evolution of criminal behaviour is important and educating your policy holders seems a more positive way to approach this problem.

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