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November 2, 2016

Admiral Insurance to base premiums on Facebook profiles

Insurance company is aiming to help young people get car insurance.

By James Nunns

Admiral Insurance is to use social media data to influence the price of its premiums.

The insurance company will start analysing the Facebook accounts of first-time car owners in order to look for personality traits that it believes are linked to safe driving.

The traits can include things like; being conscientious and well-organised. Both of which will see the potential customer scoring well. However, traits such as being overconfident, which is apparently displayed by the use of exclamation marks and the frequent use of “always” and “never” rather than “maybe”, will all count against the person.

Currently the scheme, called firstcarquote, is voluntary and will be applied to first-time drivers or owners and it will only be used to offer discounts, potentially worth up to £350 a year.

Although it is currently only offering discounts, Admiral hasn’t ruled out expanding the scheme.

Admiral calls it a, “new way of getting fair insurance for young drivers,” saying that young and new drivers are often penalised with high insurance premiums due to having little or no driving history.

Admiral won't be analysing customer photos.

Admiral won’t be analysing customer photos.

“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,” said the company.

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The company cites a 2002 research report for the Health and Safety Executive and Scottish Executive titled, ‘The contribution of individual factors to driving behaviour: Implications for managing work-related road safety’ as scientific proof that some personalities are more likely to have an accident than others.

Recently the insurance industry escaped an enquiry by the Financial Conduct Authority into its use of big data in the retail general insurance sector, despite the regulator finding that some consumers could end up missing out on insurance.

Advances made by the likes of Admiral will likely be put under heavy scrutiny as to the accuracy of its system and how fairly it treats customers.

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