Generation Y wants social media insurance | Canadian Insurance

Generation Y wants social media insurance

Younger internet users more aware of social media risks than older generations

Generation Y offers a potential emerging market for online insurance cover, according to research done by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) in the UK. The research shows that Generation Y is more aware of risks associated with using social media than its Baby Boomer and Generation X counterparts in the UK. This younger generation is therefore also more interested in insurance cover to minimize financial loss or reputation damage.

CII found that younger Internet users in the UK are most concerned with being able to control the commercial use of their name, image or other aspects of their identity. In fact, 56% of those polled, expressed an interest in protecting personal image rights through insurance cover.

For those aged 55 and above, however, purchasing social media insurance to control publicity rights was an issue for only 23%. And exactly one third of those in the 45-to-55 age range, felt social media insurance was necessary.

Damage limitation in the event of a social networking account being hacked or parodied by a third party scored similarly highly among 18- to 24-year-olds, with 26% stating they would consider social media insurance to safeguard their reputation. Among those in the eldest age bracket, just 5% of respondents claimed they would be interested in insuring their reputation online.

A generation gap also exists in relation to buying insurance to cover legal fees arising from online incidents. 19% of 18-to 24-year-olds were interested in this type of cover for divorce hearings following revelations from social media, while 18% would consider insuring against job loss versus just 2% and 3% respectively of respondents aged 55-plus.

While age differences are significant in requirements for potential online insurance products, the CII’s research also identified a dearth of knowledge across the board about whether location-based updates on social media sites, which could potentially alert burglars to unoccupied houses, would invalidate contents insurance. Between 80 and 82% of respondents of all ages were unaware if posting such information made their insurance void.

“There’s a growing awareness of the dangers of posting the wrong kinds of information on social networking sites, which relate not only to potential financial exposure but also to reputational harm, and with it we’re seeing an appetite for social media insurance from savvy young consumers,” said David Williams, chair of the CII’s Underwriting Faculty, in a release on the Institute’s website.

“Although this constitutes only a potential new market at present, it’s not unlikely that this type of cover would form an important part of businesses and individuals’ insurance portfolios in the future.”