Why posting a holiday selfie could crash your home insurance

When you’re tagging yourself in on Facebook at the airport or posting an Instagram shot of your beach resort, it’s unlikely you’ll give a thought to your home insurance.

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But think about it for a second. If you tell the world you’re having a cheeky pre-flight reviver in the Gatwick Wetherspoon’s or lazing around in Lanzarote, then the world’s burglars know you’re not at home.

And if they can track down where you live, they can pop round and check out your household security.

Social failures

But the Financial Ombudsman Service is warning social media users of the potential risks associated with sharing our details online. In recent years, regional police forces have raised concerns about the use of social media following a spat of linked burglaries in local areas.

The Ombudsman says you wouldn’t put a poster up on your front lawn saying you’re going on holiday, so why would you post the same thing online to a bunch of strangers?

Home insurers expect you to take ‘reasonable care’ when it comes to security. Examples of not doing this would be leaving a window open or a door unlocked at night. Another could be advertising your absence. In every case, you could find your insurer quibbling any claim you made, either reducing the pay-out or even not paying out at all.


Period of absence

Equally, if your contents insurance limits the number of consecutive days your home can be unoccupied without invalidating your cover, then you reveal in Facebook post that you’re chilling on the Lido deck on your two-month long cruise, any claim could be invalidated simply by clicking on the ‘post this status’ button.

Check out the following tips for keeping your details safe when you’re away:

-Update your security settings: Sites such as Twitter and Facebook often change their privacy settings, so regularly check to make sure your security settings and friend lists are up-to-date.

-‘Cull’ your friend list: Not spoken to that old school friend in over 10 years? Or have a collection of friends you’ve only met once? It’s worth considering how your personal details are exposed to your ‘friends’ who you’d most likely not chat to if seen IRL (in real life). Limit your friend count… who knows, it could be cathartic! 

-Location, location, location: Avoid having locational data attached to your social media posts. Tagging yourself in at home reveals where your home is located, which can be an open invitation for tech-savvy burglars.

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.


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