The Strange Relationship between Home Insurance and Social Media
Have you read our guide about keeping your home safe while you travel?
There we mentioned that announcing your travel plans on social media probably isn’t the best idea.
Think about it: If your Twitter account is public, a tweet about how you’re leaving now for two weeks in the sun won’t just make your friends and family envious. It will also let certain unscrupulous sorts know that your home will be unoccupied for the foreseeable.
Any criminals savvy enough to spot this opportunity won’t have too much trouble scouring your other social media accounts for clues that will enable them to identify precisely where you live. This done, they won’t have too much trouble pinpointing your home: It’ll be the one where the lights are left on all day.
They’ll be able to effect a break-in, safe in the knowledge that their crimes won’t be discovered for days, or even weeks. They’ll rob you blind, which means that you’ll return from your holiday with significantly fewer possessions.
And as if that wasn’t bad enough, once you finally gather your composure and make a claim, your insurers probably won’t take kindly to the fact that you announced to the world that your home would be unoccupied all those weeks ago.
Yes, your insurer will check your social media account. And if they find something that may have encouraged a break-in, it may invalidate your entire claim.
Your insurers may view an update as evidence that you didn’t take “reasonable care” to secure your property. So as well as inadvertently encouraging a break-in, misuse of social media may also eliminate your chances of receiving the settlement you need to recover.
What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?
Short answer – be very careful what you share on social media.
It’s not just “we’re going away” announcements either. Photographs from your holiday send a similar message to would-be criminals.
And as this Huffington Post blog argues, even something as simple as a photo of your living room might alert thieves that you’ve valuable property. And this might be enough to convince them that a break-in would be a risk worth taking.
But beyond taking care over what you share, you can also take steps to secure your social media accounts.
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