Your shopping habits in Britain’s big supermarkets could have an affect on your car insurance premium, it has been revealed.
Tesco and Sainsbury’s have said that they use customers’ grocery data and shopping habits when they outline car insurance quotes.
Brand loyalty and patterns in your shopping habits will pay dividends for drivers with a lower premium.
Shoppers who make regular trips, predictable and repeat visits to the shop – such as a weekly shop – will be more likely to be rewarded.
Sainsbury’s Bank Chief Executive Peter Griffiths told Reuters that its 1.8 million bank cusomters, can get cheaper offers on car insurance and other home products based on what they buy and how they buy it.
“Our strategy is to be the bank for the Sainsbury’s shopper, and we’re uniquely placed to use the power of data to offer better prices and products,” Griffiths said.
Sainsbury’s said in an example that it collects data from its Nectar cars loyalty scheme to track shoppers habits and try and determine any patterns.
The link the supermarkets are making between the routine visits to supermarkets for weekly shops is that these drivers plan ahead, which is an associated characteristic with a cautious driver.
Similar to Sainsbury’s Tesoc uses its Clubcard scheme, a aparrellle to the Nectar card, to glean similar information from its 8 million customer accounts.
“We use a range of data and criteria when assessing a customer’s eligibility for our products, however, as an extra help for customers, for some of our products we also use Clubcard data to offer them even better value,” Chris Sibbald, a spokesman for the company, said.
The spokesperson, however, stated that the information is only used for discounts, deals and offers and not to increase the price of the premium.
“We’re trying to understand people’s shopping habits, and then see how can you use that to tailor the products and offer some of them a better price. The key thing is we don’t use it to up-price people,” Sibbald said.
Some people have, however, criticised this the of data analysis as intrusive.
“People like me have been warning about this sort of thing for a very long time; we’d been talking about it as a theoretical for a while and waiting for real examples,” said Paul Bernal, an expert in internet privacy and companies’ use of personal data at the University of East Anglia.
James Daley, founder of Fairer Finance, the consumer lobby group, said that supermarkets should not have access to this extra data.
He said: “Why should a car insurer need to know when and where you shop in order to give you a quote? It’s got nothing to do with how well or safely you drive.”
“This will end up with people being pigeon-holed and the benefits of pooling risks will be lost.”