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Home Insurance & Social Media

Nov 20, 2020

Along with the benefits which come with the use of social media sites there are also potential risks linked to sharing details about yourself, your life and day to day activities on social media. Did you know for example, you could be putting your home and possessions at risk just through a simple holiday photo posted whilst you are away?

Here we look at home insurance and social media and the risks that social media posts can pose.

What are the risks of social media posts updating on your whereabouts?

Most people have some form of social media account today. And high-profile individuals and celebrities are no different, often using accounts to update what can be large numbers of fans or followers.

But does updating your social media with information about your whereabouts or possessions put you at risk?

Tweeting for example that you are away on holiday indicates to people that your home is potentially empty for a number of weeks. Or posting that you are out for the day or at an event can have the same consequences.

News from the USA in 2018 linked a spate of celebrity burglaries to social media tracking by the burglars. Denise Van Outen also highlighted how she believes a picture posted to Instagram led to her house being burgled. And footballers are often targeted when potential thieves know they will be away from the home playing football matches.

Posting pictures of valuable or high value possessions on social media accounts can also put you at risk. You are effectively advertising these items to thieves who may ultimately use this information to target you and/or your home.

Should you post updates on your whereabouts on social media?

Given the risks, it seems best to minimise sharing details about your whereabouts and possessions on social media.

There are some areas to consider if you do want to post on social media:

  • Turn location tagging and location features off within social networks – having location tagging turned on when you post photos, or details of the town you live in can all aid burglaries in tracking you and making you a target
  • Keep the amount of personal information that you share to an absolute minimum
  • Use the highest privacy settings available on social networks
  • Avoid posting information about when you are going on holiday. Post holiday photos after you have returned home
  • Limit your friends on sites such as Facebook to people that know and feel that you can trust
  • Avoid posting photos of your home or anything which could give away any information about its location

Can social media updates impact your home insurance?

In general insurers don’t typically have clauses relating to social media posts in their home insurance or high net worth insurance policy wording but as always, we advise that you check your individual policy for the exact details that apply to your cover. It is therefore unlikely that posting on social media sites alone will invalidate your insurance.

But all insurance policies expect you to take reasonable steps to protect your property and possessions. And consideration may be given to this when it comes to your social media usage.

Given the nature of being in the public eye or a high-profile individual, some high-net-worth insurance policies may account for the additional risk that this line of work creates.

Other insurance considerations for high-net-worth individuals

As well as paying close attention to your social media activity there are other areas high net worth individuals should consider when it comes to insurance cover

  • Having sufficient cover to protect individual high value items
  • That collections (such as watch collections or stamp collections for example) are covered – individual items as well as the collection as a whole
  • Whether personal cyber protection is included given the fact cyber criminals are increasingly targeting wealthy individuals
  • That cover is extended to possessions when travelling or if you will be away from your main home for an extended period

Independent consultant to Anthony Jones, Steve Green, recently wrote an expert opinion piece for our blog giving his thoughts on high net worth insurance and key considerations which is certainly worth a read. You can also get in touch with our high net worth insurance team on 0208 8290 9086 or email us at hnw@anthonyjones.com

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