How Tesco and Sainsbury's are spying in your shopping bill to set your car insurance premium


SUPERMARKETS are spying on your shopping habits to set prices for car insurance.

Tesco and Sainsbury's both admit they will use data from loyalty schemes to decide how much to charge for financial services.

Tech geeks are trawling through weekly grocery shops to determine if you're likely to claim or default on a payment.

But critics have said the snooping is intrusive and shopping habits aren't relevant to driving risks.

However, Tesco and Sainsbury's – which both offer a range of insurance products – said the data could actually net customers a saving.

Sainsbury's said hello uses how big shopping baskets and how regular visits will be to offer "preferential discounts" on auto insurance.

Tesco downloads details from its Clubcard scheme inside a bid to evaluate customer risk and provide "even better value" to customers.

Supermarkets are the latest industry to go to "big data" with insurers already using on-board telematics devices and social media to trace drivers and set tailored policies.

Admiral came under fire last year for a planned trial to make use of Facebook status updates to judge how safe young drivers were.

James Daley, founding father of Fairer Finance, the customer lobby group, told The Telegraph: "Why should a car insurer have to know where and when you shop to be able to provide you with a quote? It's got nothing to do with how well or safely you drive.

"This can end up getting people being pigeon-holed and the advantages of pooling risks will be lost."

Other groups have warned against insurers setting higher prices based on analysis.

The Financial Conduct Authority said hello was concerned insurers might be able to choose drivers who didn't look around and over-charge them at renewal.