But consider the other types of information that may prove useful to insurance companies. For example, suppose a policyholder is a member of the Facebook groups "Driving Fast" or "Driving While High." Both may indicate behavior behind the wheel that suggests a higher risk of insurance loss.

 Companies that discover their policyholders are members of such groups may raise their rates, or decline to extend coverage once their contracts expire.

But how far is too far? What types of personal information should be off-limits to insurers? To answer this question, it's worth reviewing how car insurance companies are regulated in their use of information.

All provinces and territories impose regulations upon insurance companies that limit the types of information they can use when calculating rates. For example, Ontario precludes the use of a person's employment status, credit history, car ownership versus lease agreement, and possession of a credit card. Other provinces have similar regulations in place. This is important to remember as more insurers look online for information about their policyholders.


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