How Can Your Social Media Usage Affect Insurance?
Social media and insurance sound like two wholly conflicting subjects – could they even vaguely relate to each other in any way?
Typically, you seek insurance policies in order to protect the assets most valuable to you, such as your car, house and enviable holidays, which tend to be the same kind of goods you choose to show off or discuss on social media.
It’s entirely customary to share pictures of your brand-new and most pride-worthy possessions, such as your new television or flashy jewellery, and almost standard-procedure to broadcast stages of your holiday, but sharing this kind of content and in this particular order could have disastrous consequences.
Holiday Posts – an Invitation to Burglars?
A report by Together Mutual Insurance group confirmed that over a single 30 day period, more than 750,000 Brits shared social media posts boasting of their holiday plans.
Doing this consequently suggests that their property will be left vacant, and this is visible to millions of social media users.
The report mentioned above also includes statistics which reveal that over 760,000 Facebook users ‘checked-in’ at UK airports between the months of June-July, and the typical content being shared on other platforms include arrangements of passports and boarding passes or cloudy views from the plane window – further assuring thieves of your empty home.
Will your Insurance Be Left Invalid?
Should the worst happen, and you find you have been a victim of burglary due to your oversharing on social media – you may then discover the even more crushing news that your home & contents insurance policy will not cover you.
Whilst it may be hard to decide whether or not your boastful social media post is directly what caused your vulnerable home to be targeted, the message here really is to simply use your common sense and to protect what is most valuable to you.
MoneySuperMarket explains what is typically expected of you when ensuring your home insurance policy is adequate and protected, and this includes demonstrating “reasonable care” in terms of your property’s security.
Actions such as leaving windows open and failing to heat the house in winter conditions (resulting in burst pipes) could be deemed unreasonable care and in the event that you require an insurance payout, it would be reduced or refused.
Advertising your holiday across all social media channels and revealing your location to anyone who wants it would also be another reason your insurers may decide not to reimburse you.
The Financial Ombudsman Service has warned social media fans to be more discrete when it comes to social media, saying “You wouldn’t put up a poster on your front lawn saying you’re going on holiday, so why would you post the same thing online to a bunch of strangers?”
John Terry’s Recent Social Media Blunder
The very recent robbery of former England player John Terry’s £5m mansion has been highly publicised in the press, and hopefully, has made many people rethink the kind of content they proceed to share on social media.
The football legend posted an Instagram snap of him and his wife enjoying their skiing holiday, only to subsequently learn that more than £400,000 worth of belongings had been stolen from his grand Surrey home, as well as inflicting £19,000 worth of damage to the carpets and furniture.
Luckily, the five thieves have been identified, however, none of the property has been recovered.
This includes £219,000 worth of Cartier jewellery and first edition Harry Potter books valuing £18,000 and an extensive collection of designer handbags.
Judge Susan Tapping, who was handling the case for the Terry family, noted that “It might have been a mistake to post a family photograph on social media to show he was away on holiday”.
Even earlier this year, Kim Kardashian was victim to a tragic robbery which took place in her Paris hotel room. A group of thieves managed to steal £8.5m worth of the reality star’s jewellery, including her £4m engagement ring.
A lot of what was stolen; Kim had recently shown off to her 102 million Instagram followers, and this was during the same time period it was highly publicised that she was in Paris – and unfortunately opportunistic and calculating thieves caught wind of this.
Does the Time Period Matter?
Generally speaking, the standard home and contents policy issued by most insurers will only cover a vacant home for up to 30 days. If you are planning on going away for longer than this, we advise you go over your policy with your insurers.
Here at Insure 24-7, we are dedicated to creating unique policies which will benefit our client’s exact requirements and provide them with the specific level of coverage that they desire.
If you take an extended trip which results in your property being empty for longer than 30 consecutive days and you did not take out unoccupied property insurance, it is highly likely your insurers will reject any claims you attempt to make.
This is because your home is at a much higher risk of robbery and damage when empty, and the standard home and contents insurance policy is different and becomes invalid the second your home is empty for more than thirty days.
How Can You Make Your Social Media More Private?
It’s an unnerving fact that pretty much anyone can create a social media account and consequently gain access to the millions of profiles of other users. There are a few steps you can take, which may seem simple, but they will greatly assist you in keeping your private life private – therefore, less at risk.
Facebook was voted to be one of the worst sites for protecting privacy, revealing details such as location and when you last accessed the app, whereas Twitter was voted to be the best.
We recommend the following:
- Thinking through every post/comment before allowing the world to see it, such as accidentally revealing addresses or bank details. What you post online is also critical to your reputation, both online and in person (e.g. potential employers will be deterred by posts of an illegal or offensive nature).
- Make your Twitter profile private by going into your privacy settings and selecting ‘Protect my Tweets’ and confirm this by adding a password.
- You can also make your Facebook private by accessing the settings and opting to allow only your friends to see your posts.
- Go through your friends/followers and mindfully delete the people you don’t know/ any dodgy fake- looking accounts to make sure you are only sharing information with people you truly know.
Home Insurance Policies with Insure24-7
Our home and contents policies can reimburse you in the event of a fire, flood, theft and any other unexpected disasters which would wreak havoc on your property. We wish for all of our clients to have peace of mind when it comes to what matters the most to them.
Please do not hesitate to contact our friendly and helpful property insurance brokers today, for a free no-obligation quote.