Social media is engrained in our world. You can’t escape it. Your tow truck business might have different social media accounts as part of your marketing plan – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. And you probably have a website to generate business. So, you appreciate the usefulness and importance of social media.
But the thing is, so do insurance companies. Insurers look at social media accounts when they’re evaluating your business, and what they find could impact how they classify your business, your rates, or even whether or not they want to insure you.
Who’s looking at your tow truck business’s social media?
But whose job is it to cruise around online and scroll through your towing business’s Facebook page, website, and Twitter account when you’re getting tow truck insurance? And why do they care? Why do they take the time? (Believe it or not, they’re not just looking at social media for fun.)
First of all, it’s the insurance company’s underwriting department that’s interested in your social media. The underwriter is the person who evaluates a risk (i.e. your tow truck business) and decides whether or not the insurance company wants to accept or reject them. They also classify those risks. Basically, their job is to determine how risky a business is so that the insurance company knows how much to charge them for their coverage. They verify an accurate rate for insurance coverage.
So, the underwriter looks at your application. They need to gather as much information as they can about your business. The application explains what your business does and gives the insurance company an idea of how risky your tow truck business would be to insure.
But, just for a moment, put yourself in the shoes of that underwriter. As we’ve explained, their job is to assess risks accurately so they can set a tow truck insurance rate that’s appropriate for that business. They want to make sure that everything on the application matches the reality of your business. And that means they’re going to take a look at social media to try to get a fuller picture of your business.
What are they looking for?
The underwriter is looking to see if anything on your social media doesn’t match what they see on the application. They’re looking for anything different about your business so that they can accurately classify your towing business and give you accurate premiums per the risks you present.
For example, they might look to see if anything hasn’t been disclosed on the application. Like a building that’s rubble in the background of a picture. Or an above-ground tank. Or vehicles that haven’t been mentioned on the application. Or let’s say that you said that you’re only towing in-state, but you have a Facebook post about going into a different state. Or maybe you said that you tow only cars, but you have a picture on your Facebook of the one time that you were towing a boat or piece of equipment.
Bottom line: the underwriter is going to have some questions if they see pictures that don’t match up with your application.
They’re not trying to catch you in a lie or anything. They just need to know the full picture of your business so that they can give you the right rates. If you have more risk, you’ll have higher rates.
They could also be looking for anything that indicates a lack of safety at your business (remember, insurance companies are big fans of safety.) Like maybe you have a picture on your website or social media that clearly shows a cell phone in the cab of your tow truck. Or maybe there’s something that looks like it points to drinking and driving. It could even be something like a picture of one of your drivers working on the side of the road without wearing a safety vest. The thing is that if your social media or website shows that you’re too risky, it could lead to an insurance company deciding not to insure you.
Anyways, it’s important to just be honest on your social media accounts and websites and to be careful about what you post. Commit to safety at your business so that underwriters won’t be alarmed by the prospect of insuring your towing business.
How can this be a good thing?
So, at this point, you might be thinking that this is a pretty crummy situation, underwriters looking at your social media accounts and scouring your website. But it can actually work to your advantage.
Why? Because more diligent underwriting can lead to more accurate rates.
The clearer a picture that the underwriter gets of your business and the more detailed they are in their evaluation of your business, the more precise your premium will be. It will reflect your tow truck business and your risk. And that can serve you well because that means you could get a better rate then if they weren’t so diligent in evaluating your business because it’s more accurate.
However, the catch is that this takes time. The more thorough underwriting is, the longer it’s going to take – it makes sense, right? So, that means that in order to give yourself the opportunity to get accurate, great tow truck insurance rates, you need to give yourself plenty of time. Don’t wait until the last minute to get quotes for tow truck insurance. Some insurance companies won’t even look at applications if the renewal date is less than a month away.
Be mindful of what you post on social media. Commit to safety at your business and make sure that your website and your social media reflect that. An insurance company can check your profiles, pages, or website and use that as an indicator of what kind of business you have, how to classify your business, and what your rates should be. It’s not because they want to be annoying. It’s because their job is to give the most accurate rates to each risk that applies for insurance.
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