In a Softening Market, P&C insurers look to Social Media Data

According to Deloitte’s 2020 insurance outlook, 2021 was predicted to see premium rates flatten for the property & casualty market, causing carriers to look more closely at expense management, particularly in auto liability and workers comp. Technology solutions, specifically around social media data are a new focus.

Today, there are a variety of approaches to communicating the findings from social media to carriers.

  • Scoring – This approach runs a quick scan of public data sources and potential social media profiles, compiling the results into a “flagged” or “OK to process” score. These results are particularly useful for underwriting, and can provide insight and savings into claims resolution, especially when the “flagged” results lead into a workflow that provides the necessary research to the underwriter or adjuster.
  • Summary with full findings – This technology runs a deep dive on persons of interest from either an underwriting or claims perspective. Results typically include social media posts that are captured and stored, along with a summary of the kind of data that was retrieved.
  • Ongoing searching – Scanning software exists where claimants’ profiles can be scanned again, either on demand or on a schedule. This technology is typically used by adjusters to provide information on claims that have not resolved quickly. These ongoing results provide insight into recovery and quality of life, often dispelling a “good day” argument.

As with all data solutions, the quality of the data is the basis for risk. For instance, social media data gathered on the wrong person is not useful and it can create risk for carriers acting on this data. A second risk is cost; in many instances, a social media search with full findings may generate an expense that could be reduced by using a scoring system.

Best practices for using social media data include a full workflow from underwriting to claims resolution. Underwriting and claims intake both benefit from a scoring solution. While an underwriting flag can be managed by an underwriter, claims flags are a little different.

If a claim flags, the next logical step in the workflow is to engage a more comprehensive social media solution. This solution can create savings or risk, depending on the accuracy and completeness of the data gathered. The social media solution that provides a summary with full findings and ongoing searching must be accurate, both in the identification of the claimant in social media, as well as the timeline and method of data capture.

Finally, the solution must able to authenticate data retrieved to the highest standard. While the discussion about court readiness may seem premature when a claim flags, it is important to understand best practices do not include “do overs” where an initial casual investigation is then re-created by a social media data solution that can authenticate its findings. Carriers can reduce risk by getting the social media search right the first time through to be ready for anything that happens next.