How Social Media Monitoring and Analysis Tools Can Assist Insurance Agents
As social media expands its role in our business and personal lives, insurance agents are finding other uses that can influence multiple aspects of their day-to-day work.
From assessing risk and rooting out insurance fraud to protecting customers, here's how social media monitoring and analysis tools can help your team achieve better results—including increased revenues and decreased drains to your bottom line.
Each year, Americans lose $80 billion to fraudulent claims. However, social media offers an excellent tool to catch the unscrupulous in the act and identify problems before payouts are made.
Here are some of the ways social media monitoring and analysis tools can help you identify potentially fraudulent claims.
- Locate confessions. When fraudsters slip up on social media, their blunder can be your win. After a claim is made, your investigators can check a claimant's social media accounts for accidental and purposeful confessions that their claim isn't honest. This includes outright boasts that they staged a car theft for the insurance money or that their kids were playing on the roof and caused it to fall in.
- Identify claim inconsistencies. Reviewing social media photos and status updates can highlight discrepancies between information disclosed on a claim and the real state of affairs. For example, a video clip on Instagram might reveal that a claimant is playing soccer in their weekend league when they're supposed to be out on worker's compensation for a leg injury.
- Unveil hidden information. Whether it's locating a policyholder's secondary accounts or checking public posts made by friends and family, investigators can nip fraud in the bud by finding otherwise hidden information. Maybe it's a friend posing in front of a claimant's stolen car 3 days after the theft was reported on an auto insurance policy, or perhaps it's finding a well-hidden social media profile where a claimant brags about their fraudulent scheme. In these cases, information that fraudsters think is out of the public eye can shed light on a claim's truth.
It's much easier for someone seeking a policy to lie on an insurance application than it is for someone to hide how they live and behave in the world every day. Social media monitoring and analysis tools can help you reconcile information on a policy application with how a potential policyholder truly acts.
For example, it's difficult to explain how a policy applicant pictured holding a cigarette or cigar in multiple social media photos can claim to be a nonsmoker. Also, if someone's claiming on a life insurance application that they don't engage in any high-risk activities yet posts photos of themselves skydiving or ice climbing, it's easier to address the discrepancy during underwriting.
Using social media research effectively can help your company assign risk-appropriate premiums and avoid losing revenue by having an insured in an incorrect risk category.
In addition to helping you root out fraud and assess risk, social media monitoring and analysis tools are useful for insurance claim verification. You can use it not only to search for sketchy claim details but also to ensure that valid claims are approved in a timely fashion.
For example, investigators may find that a photo on a policyholder's social media account provides more detail than an adjuster's photo. Status updates can verify a doctor's appointment and even a claimant's day-to-day lifestyle post-injury, helping speed claim approval and payout for a policyholder.
Tools for success
From protecting your bottom line against fraud and ensuring the truth of policy applications to speeding valid claims toward approval, social media monitoring and analysis tools are essential in an increasingly social world. The end result of adding these tools to your claims and investigative toolbox can include improved business resiliency, increased revenues with risk-appropriate premiums, fewer losses from fraudulent claims and higher policyholder retention when claims can be verified expediently.
Financial insights for your business
This information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be relied on or interpreted as accounting, financial planning, investment, legal or tax advice. First Citizens Bank (or its affiliates) neither endorses nor guarantees this information, and encourages you to consult a professional for advice applicable to your specific situation.