Consumer Alert: Could social media posts impact your insurance bill?

From vacations to holidays, much of our lives are now lived in public on social media. And our family and friends aren't the only ones paying attention.

News 12 Staff

Apr 19, 2019, 3:13 PM

Updated 1,867 days ago

Share:

Could what you post on social media impact how much you pay for insurance? It's a controversial topic -- but for now, the answer is yes.
From vacations to holidays, much of our lives are now lived in public on social media. And our family and friends aren't the only ones paying attention, according to financial planner Paul Oster.
"At some point in time, either it’s already happening or it's going to happen in the very near future -- the insurance companies are going to look at your Facebook accounts, your social media accounts," Oster says.
PODCAST: Walt Kane talks to financial planner Paul Oster about the "Big Brother" scenario in social media and how your insurance company may be observing your online behavior before underwriting your policy.
In January, New York became the first state in the country to weigh in on the issue. It said insurance companies can use information including social media to get "more accurate underwriting and pricing." Insurers just need to disclose what they are doing to consumers, and they can't discriminate based on things like race or gender.
So what might an insurance company be looking for? Anything that could indicate a customer is high-risk -- like evidence of smoking, especially if you took a no-tobacco pledge, or excessive alcohol use, or videos and messages that were posted while driving.
"It’s very popular for people to take these videos, live social media videos, while they’re driving. So this is distracted driving at its best, and we’re giving this information, probably to the wrong people," Oster says.
But limiting what information you give out on social media is only half the battle. The other half is being honest when you answer questions from your insurance company. For example, don't say that you don't smoke if your social media account indicates otherwise.


More from News 12
2:07
Monmouth County police patrols to crack down on distracted driving

Monmouth County police patrols to crack down on distracted driving

1:33
Stormy weather lingers into Thursday morning; sun returns for afternoon

Stormy weather lingers into Thursday morning; sun returns for afternoon

2:08
‘We can’t wait for a catastrophe.’ Officials call for greater consequences for rowdy teens after Jersey Shore unrest

‘We can’t wait for a catastrophe.’ Officials call for greater consequences for rowdy teens after Jersey Shore unrest

2:22
Newark high school students earn 60 college credits early as part of dual enrollment program

Newark high school students earn 60 college credits early as part of dual enrollment program

0:31
Prosecutor: Man accused of trying to rob 2 gas stations, grocery store arrested in Virginia

Prosecutor: Man accused of trying to rob 2 gas stations, grocery store arrested in Virginia

0:50
Jersey Proud: Seton Hall pep band director to retire after nearly 40 years

Jersey Proud: Seton Hall pep band director to retire after nearly 40 years

2:09
Menendez bribery trial: Jurors see texts sent between senator and wife regarding Egyptian military aid

Menendez bribery trial: Jurors see texts sent between senator and wife regarding Egyptian military aid

2:15
Officials announce multimillion-dollar project to help improve Port of New York and New Jersey

Officials announce multimillion-dollar project to help improve Port of New York and New Jersey

0:23
Route 71 Bridge connecting Belmar to Avon-by-the-Sea to reopen Friday

Route 71 Bridge connecting Belmar to Avon-by-the-Sea to reopen Friday

1:56
New Jersey marks first day of early voting for presidential primary

New Jersey marks first day of early voting for presidential primary

0:29
Charges against world’s top golfer Scottie Scheffler dropped after arrest outside PGA Championship

Charges against world’s top golfer Scottie Scheffler dropped after arrest outside PGA Championship

0:23
Police: Ex-owner of Morley’s Magic Theater in Butler accused of possessing child sex abuse materials

Police: Ex-owner of Morley’s Magic Theater in Butler accused of possessing child sex abuse materials

0:24
Police: Woman wanted for questioning in Newark shooting

Police: Woman wanted for questioning in Newark shooting

0:52
Strikes loom at 3 New Jersey hospitals as union fights for better staff-to-patient ratios

Strikes loom at 3 New Jersey hospitals as union fights for better staff-to-patient ratios

0:26
$83 million grant to renovate Brick Church Station in East Orange

$83 million grant to renovate Brick Church Station in East Orange

0:20
Police: Suspect wanted for stealing packages from Tinton Falls residence

Police: Suspect wanted for stealing packages from Tinton Falls residence

1:32
Father’s Day Gift Ideas: Exclusive Deals – Up to 50% OFF!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas: Exclusive Deals – Up to 50% OFF!

0:20
Police: Loaded gun found in man’s carry-on bag at Newark Airport

Police: Loaded gun found in man’s carry-on bag at Newark Airport

2:20
Activists hold rally in opposition to NJ Turnpike expansion project in Hudson County

Activists hold rally in opposition to NJ Turnpike expansion project in Hudson County

Is your dad awesome? New Jersey tell us why your dad rocks!

Is your dad awesome? New Jersey tell us why your dad rocks!