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Can we finally use social media to assess customers?

Can we finally use social media to assess customers?

Can we finally use social media to assess customers? Social media and insurance haven’t necessarily gone hand-in-hand thus far. In November, Admiral’s plans for a Facebook app that would analyse drivers’ profiles were blocked, causing the company to publicly reverse on the initiative.

And while social media accounts are ubiquitous in an age in which we are constantly connected via our smartphones, the insurance industry as a whole isn’t yet leveraging the wealth of data that’s out there.

But one company is successfully using social media analytics to improve insurance – and has insurer Hiscox is on board. Last month, Digital Fineprint announced that it had teamed up with the specialist insurer to develop a tool that will help small businesses get better cover. So how does it actually work?

The technology start-up pulls data from social media profiles and integrates it with broader demographic data using its own algorithms, the company told Insurance Business.

“The resulting insights allow insurance customers to properly understand their needs and also allows insurers to better understand and target their customers in a meaningful way,” Daisy Gleeson, Digital Fineprint, explained.

“By using data from their social profile, such as company size and the industry they operate in from LinkedIn, we are able to provide more tailored insurance plans for small businesses,” Gleeson commented.

In the area of SME insurance, where many clients are micro-businesses or one-man-bands, they are likely to be short on time and expertise when it comes to assessing their need for insurance. The new tie-up aims to address the issue of underinsurance in the sector and make sure that clients receive the right insurance product for their specific needs.

“Today, a person’s data has been uploaded to several social media accounts. But this data is not accessible to insurance companies, despite the value inherent in the data itself,” Gleeson commented. “As a result, insurers have trouble selling online and cannot preselect the customers it wants to target… Digital Fineprint provides online insurers with social autofill and social media data analytics to improve customer targeting, retention, and sales.”

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