Thursday, September 12, 2019

Check In on FB, Check Out with Insurance

Too many people go on a dream vacation only to come home to the nightmare of discovering their house was robbed.  Unfortunately, many such burglaries occur because the selfie generation is careless on social media.  It's all about "look at me", consequences be damned.  However, insurers are beginning to take notice.  Some insurers in England are rejecting burglary claims if the homeowner posted he was away on a trip on social media.  The Telegraph (U.K.) reported nearly a year ago:


Holidaymakers are being reminded that they could invalidate their home insurance if they post photos on social media while abroad.

Insurers are increasingly rejecting claims made by customers whose houses have been burgled while on holiday if they have shared the fact that they are away from home on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram....

Insurers invoke a clause that exists in a majority of policies that requires customers to take “reasonable care” in keeping their property safe.

Some insurers can adjudge customers to have failed to have taken such precautions by posting holiday photos and are therefore in breach of their policy....

Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySupermarket, said the social media posts could impact your policy in the same way leaving your windows open might.

“Thanks to people advertising their absence with holiday snaps posted on social media, this clause is now being invoked to challenge burglary claims,” he said. “So the message is simple – lock down your online security profile or simply hold off with your posts while you’re away. Don’t make life easy for criminals looking for soft targets.”

Famous instances where celebrities have alerted burglars to an empty property thanks to their social media posts include John Terry falling victim to a £400,00 burglary last year after posting about being away on a skiing holiday with his family....

Apparently so. According to research by Admiral insurers one in 20 of the burglaries reported to their claims team happened while the homeowner was holiday, while another survey by interiors firm Hillarys found this year that one in 12 Britons had been burgled after posting their location abroad on social media.... Rest of article.
 Don't think this won't migrate across the pond.




21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Insurance companies are your best friend when you are buying. They don’t know who you are and nothing is covered when you have a claim. Just another way for them to avoid paying their obligation

Anonymous said...

this will not migrate across the pond. US lawyers would tear this apart. There is no way this language will be able to be inserted into home policies here. Rates will just go up to cover these losses.

Anonymous said...

If you believe that insurance companies should assume the risk of your total lack of discretion so you can boost your own ego or status, then you must believe in gladly paying the appropriate higher rates.

Anonymous said...

Insurance Companies already assume the risk for policy holders stupidity and apathy. I shall list a few.

1. You or a neighbor allow a leaning tree to threaten your house for years, when if falls on your house
the insurance company pays 30K to put you back right.

2. You allow a fire hazard to occur because you are zonked on some medication or alcohol to numb
your shitty life and your house catches on fire. 120K from the insurance company.

3. You allow your roof to become so worn out it is no good and a stiff breeze blows it off,
insurance company pays 12K to put a new one on and you bitch they didn't pay for the rotten wood
to be replaced and the trees trimmed.

Every shitty mortgage payer who lets their house go does these thing. The non maintainers always talk bad about the insurance company who they are using for a maintenance policy. So brag about vacation and one of your lowlife friends steal your shit don't be shocked. I make a living getting paid by the insurance companies and I just shake my head at the situations I see. I know when you pay them 1K a year you feel like they owe you that 25,000 dollar job cause you have not filed a claim in 10 years--I hear this on a regular basis. A good percentage of people are shitty and will take and take from anybody they can. It is usually the dimwitted selfish people who do this.

Anonymous said...

I have never understood the logic of posting the fact that you are away from home for an extended period on social media. To do so is a foolish act which informs the criminals that your house is vulnerable and in effect invites them to come and burglarize it. Take pictures of your vacation and post them when you get back home.

Anonymous said...

It's cooler to either say, "I have a date this coming Friday" or "I'm on a date tonite" than it is to say "I had a date last week".

Anonymous said...

same way i don’t know how a smoker can get health insurance...

Anonymous said...

6:05am wrote,

"Insurance Companies already assume the risk for policy holders stupidity and apathy. I shall list a few.

1. You or a neighbor allow a leaning tree to threaten your house for years, when if falls on your house the insurance company pays 30K to put you back right."

You might want to check your assertions. If it is a neighbor's leaning tree, several major companies (and perhaps most providers - I do not know) will investigate, pay the claim (but you still pay the deductible) and go after the negligent neighbor. It is my understanding that if they collect, you get reimbursed your deductible. If it is your tree, and the company believes it can reasonably prove that you knew of the danger yet negligently ignored it, your claim may be denied.

I wouldn't count on the social media denial-of-claim staying in the UK. Moreover, I tend to agree with insurance companies on this one, assuming the social media poster has done nothing to prevent the world at large from seeing these real-time "brag" postings. Reasonable people would not put up a sign in the front yard saying, "Wheee! We left for a week down on 30A this Friday and you didn't...hahaha!" nor could reasonable people expect an insurance company to pay a theft claim if the homeowner did such things.

As an aside, if you simply must make your circle of friends instantly aware of every umbrella-and-garnish-strewn tourist cocktail you consume while rednecking it down Destin way, just email them. It is just one little way friends can help each other...it is easy for the recipient to just hit "delete" without even looking at the pictures.

Anonymous said...

If your self-worth is dependent upon clicks and likes, I weep for you, but why not post your pictures after you return? Does anyone really need a play-by-play of your vacation, your food, or your life for that matter? I'd like to see a social study with real scientific metrics on how these platforms have affected our work efficiency, happiness, and how many marriages have ended because of a seemingly innocent message sent to an old flame. The more we find out about these platforms, the more toxic they reveal themselves to be, the more data they collect and share with or without our authorization...I'm so glad I didn't buy into the hype.

Anonymous said...

If you're dumb enough to do this, then you're pretty much asking for a loss. A legitimate insurer would take that into account in enforceable policy terms. Kinda like leaving your doors unlocked or windows open.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely disagree. "Reasonable care" Posting photos on FB and someone using that to rob you is no different than you going to work and the yard guy down the street seeing you left. There are all kinds of opportunities for people to see you left your home. Whether you are traveling and blogging the whole trip hour by hour, as long as your house is secured as it is every other day you have taken reasonable care.

Another example: You have moved from one home to the other. For Sale sign goes up. But, you have left a few items in the house to stage or that can't be moved yet. A thief knows the house is empty due to For Sale sign. Breaks in.

The Brits are idiots and US lawyers will eat this up.

Anonymous said...

There are a bunch of curmudgeons posting today. If you don't like FaceBook or social media don't use it. Isn't that what you say to people who don't like a movie or TV show? Me, I love seeing my friend's trips, the food they eat and what their children are doing. I enjoy seeing that people I know and love are having a good time. The rest of y'all can keep reading by candlelight.

It used to be that when people traveled they had to buy a book from Fodor's or similar, and trust that the 5 to 10 "highlights" they list and the few restaurants are where you want to go. Now social media has opened up the world with real-time reviews and pictures of travel adventures. The fact that my friends are certifying a restaurant or hotel or tour makes it easier for me to decide where I may want to go next and what may be fun while there.

Out On A Limb said...

Moreover (that seems popular), I had a humongous pine in the yard that was dying. If it were to fall in the next ten years or so, it would wipe out two rooms and a garage. My (well known) insurance company sent an arborist to 'place a value' on it. He valued it at $1400, cut it down and hauled it off for $1000 and I got a check for $400.

Summa you people know everything, or think you do.

PittPanther said...

I'm not famous like soccer player John Terry, so none of my Facebook friends even know my address, except those that are very close to me and my family. If you have Facebook friends that know your address and are the type that are known for robbing people, you deserve what you get.

Another Anonymous Narcissist said...

There are a bunch of curmudgeons posting today. ... The rest of y'all can keep reading by candlelight.

Your need to express your superiority says it all.

Anonymous said...

6:05

You're 100% correct.

A large majority of homeowners completely fail to maintain their homes. They would rather buy the flat screen, the new SUV, or take a vacation than paint their biggest investment.

People, as a whole, just don't give a shit about anything other than having a good time.

That's why foreclosure rates are so high. They buy a nice house, tear it up and haul ass, only to leave the lender to clean up their mess and take the loss.

Anonymous said...

Note that the UK companies apparently deny claims only when the poster's security settings allow anyone to see the "we're on vacation!" posts. That said, I'm curious: are those of you folks posting (or supporting doing so) in real time when they are not home for an extended period (over 24-48 hours) willing to post your name, address and schedule here on JJ? If you are hesitant to do so, it may calm your fears to mention that always lock your doors and windows, and if you have them, mention your "security" cameras. No? Why not? How would you feel if someone else posted that information here or anywhere else?

As to lawyers "eating those denials up," you must not know many (successful) lawyers. I could see certain plaintiffs' and insurance defense lawyers getting giddy over a security breach that allowed criminals to see posts that whatever platform led its users to reasonably rely and believe were secure, which resulting in burglaries, followed by denials of claims (or more likely, the direct and subrogation claims against the breached platform). By posting something to a social media platform, at a minimum, you are very likely entering into a contractual waiver of the complete expectation of privacy even if you are led to reasonably believe that only the people you proactively choose can see what you post. From a practical standpoint and as many have learned in the aftermath of posting something, er, unfortunate, never post or put anything "on the internet" or "in the cloud" that you do not want to be made public information. Keep the wisdom of the late, great Lewis Grizzard in mind: "Damn, brother, I don't believe I'da told THAT..."

Unknown said...

the same thing applies to those who post they are away all day at work or whatever. It never ceases to AMAZE me what people will post!

Anonymous said...

Some of you probably think it was appropriate that tobacco companies paid up for you making the choice to light up and choose the risk of cancer. Might as well sue Social Media for allowing folks to know you aren’t home.

Anonymous said...

Would everyone who steals, please stop stealing. Oh, and turn in the guns you’re going to use to follow through with any other crime you are thinking of committing.

In Justice,
Law Abiding Citizens

Anonymous said...

If I tell the post office to hold my mail for a week and a devious neighbor notices the little white mail truck passes my box every day, and he enters my house and steals my shit, can I successfully sue the post office?

Isn't the post office obligated to stop at my box and pretend to drop mail? If not, otherwise, they're flagging my absence as surely as a bullhorn announcement.

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