Digital workers have been invisible to car insurance operators...until now

The car insurance industry is the latest to contemporise its data to include modern careers in digital media such as YouTubers, bloggers and social media marketers, since until now thousands of digital specialists have remained invisible to insurers.

Insurers go to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to rate car insurance premiums based on career, which includes outdated occupations like cardinal, carphone fitter and water diviner, but until now has not included recently created and immensely popular careers in digital media.

Specialist broker Adrian Flux, which has a number of high-profile YouTubers on its books, has brought the rating rule-books up to date by adding a number of overlooked occupations to its official list.

Gerry Bucke, general manager of Adrian Flux, said: "The rapid recent growth of careers in digital media has clearly caught the ABI out and the list is very much in need of an update."

The ABI lists more than 2,100 occupations, and premiums are partially rated according to years of data collected about the claims rates of motorists in each job. But with newer career paths opening up in the past 20 years thanks to the advent of the internet and social media, tens of thousands of motorists could be paying inaccurate premiums as insurers are unable to rate them according to their exact profession.

"Until we start building up data about these new jobs, we won’t know exactly how to rate them," added Bucke, who is keen to build a more accurate profile of the risks involved in insuring a YouTuber compared to, say, a traditional actor or film-maker, since as it is right now insurers have to "guess a little" and rate digital workers according to the closest occupation they can find.

Other occupations added to Flux’s lists include email marketer, professional gamer, drone operator and app developer.

Social media manager Damien Cross, who used to work in the insurance industry, said he had to use the general marketing description when filling in online quote forms.

"But would a bank clerk be happy to describe him or herself as a shop assistant? It does seem strange that occupations that have all-but died out are on the list, while vast numbers of the population are not categorised accurately," he added.