Facebook threat to policy cover

Posted: 19th May 2015

Facebook users who post holiday photos while they’re away or broadcast their travel dates could be putting their insurance at risk.

Jenny Osborne, of Henshalls Insurance Brokers, in Newport and Shrewsbury, said the increasingly popular trend of keeping friends and family up-to-date with every holiday highlight was a worrying development.

“The Facebook phenomenon now plays a huge role in our everyday lives, and although it’s great to keep people in the loop, there’s a real risk involved.

“If your house is burgled while you’re away, more and more insurers are now checking social media sites before they will consider a claim. And if you are guilty of posting photos that make it obvious you’re away, they may refuse to pay out as they believe you were asking for trouble by promoting the fact that your house was empty.

“Anyone who allows their phone or table to update their Facebook page to reveal their exact location at any moment may also be refused a payout, so it’s important to disable that function if you’re planning a trip.”

Jenny said many policyholders may not realise that insurers had the capability to check their social media accounts.

“But now the social media revolution has really kicked in, it’s an obvious place to start when it comes to assessing a claim, so anyone who fails to keep their details private is putting their policy at risk.

“By making your travel plans public, the insurers may well decide that you didn’t do enough to guard against becoming the victim of a burglary or other theft, so holidaymakers should certainly think twice before they post anything online.

“For insurers in the USA, using computer programmes to check policyholders’ social media profiles is a common practice, and although no UK insurer has yet rejected a home cover claim because of a social media post, it’s clearly only a matter of time.

“So don’t become a victim of your desire to over-share your photos and updates, and save your images until you get home.”

For more information contact Rachel Jones, PR Liaison, 01785 823382, email racheljonespr@aol.com, Twitter @racheljonespr, www.racheljonespr.com