Admiral home insurance is warning travellers and holidaymakers to think before they post about their trip on seemingly secure social media sites in case they become a victim of burglars and may not be covered by their insurance.
Previous research by Admiral found that 36% of users have mentioned future holiday plans on social media and two in five tag their location when they go on holiday.
As well as posting on their own social media profile, users shouldn’t publicise that they’re going away on ‘closed groups’ or neighbourhood forums either.
Noel Summerfield, head of Admiral Home Insurance said: “It’s natural to be excited about your holiday and we all love to share our experiences with our friends and families while we’re away. However, by posting photos on Facebook or Instagram while you’re still on holiday, you could be unwittingly letting criminals know that you’re not at home.
“Some people might think they’re adding a layer of security by asking their neighbours to keep an eye on their home on social media, but you never know who might have access to this information – especially if you’ve mentioned your property name or number. Returning from your travels to find you’ve been burgled would be traumatic, and you could risk not being covered by your insurance if you’ve been careless with what you’ve shared online.
“At Admiral, we don’t have a specific clause in our home insurance policy that states we wouldn’t pay a claim due to a social media post. Sharing a photo on social media would probably not by itself lead to a claim being rejected in most cases.
“However, along with most insurers we have a ‘general condition’ which applies to the whole policy. This states that the policyholder should take care to prevent accidents, loss or damage.
“If no precautions were taken to limit who can see the photo on social media, and your name and address were posted alongside then the general condition could come into play.
“Burglars are tech-savvy and social media provides them with a window into your life, for example your recent purchases and when you're conveniently away on holiday. Something as innocent as taking a holiday selfie could let a burglar know your home is empty if you’re not careful with your social media.
“We advise against widely sharing photos showing you’re not at home, turn off location-sharing features and update your privacy settings at least. Try not to post from your holiday destination, but if the desire to share photos is too much, add them to an album and only share with close friends and relatives.”