Home insurance and social media

September 9, 2016 6:26 am

I’m just back from holiday and a lovely time was had by all. And it seems that lots of my friends have also been away: I know that because I’ve seen their posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with scenes of blue seas, tropical paradises, Italian trattorias, French vineyards, golf courses….

Despite the fact that I’m not really that interested, I find it extraordinary that people continue to do this, despite the warnings. We’ve written here before about the risks of posting your holiday snaps online while you’re away. Not only is it an open invitation to burglars to make a visit, but it’s also being used by insurers as a reason to turn down an insurance claim: apparently insurers are now scouring social media activity when they receive home insurance claims to see if this has been a contributory factor.

In fact, serious warnings have now been issued. The police have advised people to stop posting holiday news on social media, even if you have the most stringent security settings, as it puts your home at risk. And Confused.com has been quoted as saying that ‘sharing your pictures or your location while you are away can be seen as reckless and would invalidate cover as most insurance policies state that reasonable care must be taken to secure a home – and that includes discretion about trips’. (Insurance Business Magazine)

We’ve also noticed that social media is becoming an issue in other insurance areas we’re not involved in, where it’s being used to identify high-risk customers. For example, if an insurer sees that you like Formula One, then they may conclude you’re likely to be a fast driver and increase the cost of your car insurance; if they see posts of you skydiving or scuba diving, then your health or life insurance might be affected.

As we’ve said before: just don’t do it!