Stephen Baker

The Numerati
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Higher insurance rates for Twitterati?

March 2, 2010Hop Skip Go

Just came across this report that UK insurers might jack up insurance rate for people on social nets. The idea is simple: If you tweet that you're heading up into the Poconos for the weekend, burglers who follow you can raid your empty house. No advanced analytics required.

But how about if you tweet that you just bought four angry dobermans and a sawed-off shot-gun? Should insurers lower the burglary risk (while raising the mauling and accident premiums)?

These are the early days. Eventually, insurers are going to get their mitts on all sorts of behavioral data from us, and will tailor the policies accordingly. It will into advanced statistical models. And those of us who choose to withhold our data, I'm guessing, will be stuck paying premium rates. Privacy, in this world, has its costs.

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