Posting holiday photo’s on social media, especially when they include the location and time of the snap, could void a house insurance claim if you get burgled when your home has been left unoccupied.
This is not just being highlighted by Gullion Ltd – the Financial Ombudsman (FOS), the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the police have all issued warnings about posting on social media whilst on holiday.
Niall Quinn, Director, Gullion Ltd said, “Insurers are increasingly rejecting claims made by homeowners who have advertised that their property is empty by uploading their holiday adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Many insurers have added a specific ‘Social Media Exclusion’ and those that don’t will likely follow suit, sooner rather than later, as the social buzz continues.
“While it’s not entirely black and white, insurance is essentially about risk. To protect themselves, insurers apply general conditions on all policies typically referred to as ‘duty of care’ or ‘reasonable care’. This means that the onus is entirely on the homeowner to take ALL reasonable precautions to prevent a claim when it comes to security and ongoing maintenance. How an insurance company deals with whether reasonable security precautions have been contravened, will vary between providers so why take the risk?
“The best option is to not risk it. Don’t have a virtual ‘check in’ at the airport or hotel on social. Even if you are not posting to social, your friends who are on holiday with you might be so adjust your settings to ensure that you are not automatically tagged in photos and you can also set yourself up to review tags. We would also recommend that you turn off location services because if this is linked to your social accounts then it will post your real location. Additionally, if you have ever tagged yourself at home, any potential burglar can see where your empty property is – it’s an open invitation.
“For those spending longer abroad, a standard insurance policy will not cover your home is it is left unoccupied for more than 30 or 60 days in a row. The risk of damage to theft, leaks etc is greater when a property is empty and if there is damage which remains unnoticed it can cost more to fix, thus increasing the ‘risk’ to the insurer. We advise that you talk to your insurer. You may need to take out a shorter additional cover for 3 months, to offer protection while you are away but peace of mind is priceless.”
In the event that you are claiming for damage to your home – get in touch with us. Regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority we will negotiate the best settlement on your behalf to ensure you achieve your full entitlement, under the terms and conditions of your policy. To reduce stress and streamline your claim, restoration works is an optional extra service which we also provide.
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