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Twitter can cost you insurance money!

Last updated on: October 7, 2010 08:42 IST

Twitter can cost you insurance money!

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Harsh Roongta

Way to live man. Just stepped out of Z**** after a few drinks and going with H** and S**** to their house for a party.

Baba Ramdev is God! My sugar levels which were more than 200 in 2008 are now fully in control. Try it out.

You haven't lived till you have climbed the vertical cliff face at Tiger's leap.

You may wonder what are these innocuous tweets doing in this column?

Let me explain.


Apnapaisa is a price comparison engine that allows consumers in India the ability to compare the EMI, , interest rates and other fees for home loans , car loans , personal loans , business loans , credit cards , compare online quotes and features of life insurance , health insurance , car insurance , travel insurance and other general insurance policies in India



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Twitter can cost you insurance money!

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Millions of Indians use social web sites like Facebook, Twitter and Orkut.

Employers have already woken up to the negative impact of confidential information leaking out (mostly unintentionally) to the world through the actions of an irresponsible employee.

So there are strict company policies on how employees can use the social network in relation to the company.

Of course as companies the whole business of managing your online reputation as well as a two-way communication with your prospective audience is fast becoming a mega bucks business in India as well.

In the personal arena we have all read stories of people have been caught cheating because of their status updates and friends list with some cases even leading to divorces due to this. To this list of areas in which the social media is having an impact please add your financial lives as well.



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Twitter can cost you insurance money!

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Here is a story narrated by a friend of mine.

He is an insurance broker and one of his clients had a minor car accident with another car while driving at night. The cars of both parties were damaged and they went to the police station and filed the necessary reports to enable them to make an insurance claim.

My friend was assisting his client in the claim process and hence was shocked when the insurance company rejected the claim.

The reason was that the driver was under the influence of alcohol when the accident happened (claims arising while the driver in under the influence of alcohol is excluded in car insurance policies).

My friend went through all the police reports and could not find a single reference to such a thing in them. He checked with the client who denied that he was drunk when the accident happened.

When he demanded the source of the insurance company's information they pointed out the first tweet (given in the introduction of this article) in the clients' twitter account with a date and time stamp that corroborated perfectly with the accident date and time.

My friend's client had no option but to forget about his claim.



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Twitter can cost you insurance money!

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Just imagine the guy who wrote the second tweet forgetting to mention his existing diabetes to a health insurance company or the person who wrote the third tweet forgetting to mention his hazardous rock-climbing hobby while filling out a life insurance form.

Think of the issues they will have when it comes to making a claim on the policy. It anyway never makes sense to hide anything from your insurance company while buying a policy.

After all with a question mark hanging over the claim it will not give you the peace of mind that you are paying the premium for.

But now with the new Orwellian Big Brother (yourself baring all on social media web sites) makes it doubly hazardous.

I mean you will occasionally talk about your habits or illnesses and if you had not already disclosed these to your insurance company you can bid your claim money goodbye.

All this openness is great news for genuine customers since it will reduce the number of fraudulent claims thereby making it cheaper for them in the long run.

Hopefully the insurance companies will be as smart while accepting insurance proposals as they are while scrutinising insurance claims.



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