Admiral was forced to admit yesterday that using people’s Facebook posts to set car insurance prices is a really, really bad idea.
Apart from the total and utter randomness of associating someone’s driving ability with whether or not they like to share pictures of cute kittens, or short recipe videos on how to make a Mississippi Mud Cake, there are also concerns everyone might start being really boring online to try and get cheaper premiums.
Admiral’s head of online underwriting, Miss Polly C. Holder said, “Okay, we get it. We know we fucked up and we’re sorry. It seemed like a good idea the other night in the pub when someone suggested it but we now realise that if everyone gets cheap car insurance based on their Facebook status it could signal the end of the internet as we know it. The people that would usually write, ‘Ha! Ha! Wenger. Time to retire you useless twat!’ would now probably write something like, ‘Commiserations to Arsenal F.C. May we however extend a hand of gratitude for their stoical endeavour on the field of play.’ It’ll be a disaster!”
Admiral had planned to use Facebook status updates to build a “risk assessment” of first-time motorists, offering insurance discounts to those likely to be safer drivers. When Facebook stepped in and highlighted the fact that the quality of memes would be set back a generation if such a plan were to be actioned, the insurance giant was forced to backtrack.
“Just imagine it, everybody’s status updates would be like the ones people post when their grandparents are tagged in a photo. There’d be no more Bill Cosby memes or pictures of Patrick Stewart aboard the Enterprise giving a brutal assessment of the big issue of the day,” Miss Holder added.
Online privacy campaigners have claimed that as well as Admiral using Facebook data to offer discounts, the information could also be used to identify people that shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a vehicle at any point – thus enabling them to charge higher premiums.
A spokesperson for one civil liberty group said, “you’d get charged a standard rate for using ‘LOL,’ but if you use, ‘LOOL,’ or, ‘LOOOL,’ you could expect to pay anything between 20-30% more. People that use, ‘LOOOOL,’ or, ‘PMSL,’ probably wouldn’t even qualify for a policy.”