How ‘Insta-bragging’ could soon invalidate your insurance

Posting updates about your holiday on social media could leave you vulnerable to being burgled – and even worse, your insurer may not pay out if your things are stolen.

Experts have warned that “Insta-bragging” – posting boastful images of your holiday on photograph app Instagram – could invalidate a contents insurance policy.

This is because most insurers include a “reasonable care” clause which, although generally related to making sure windows and doors are locked, could in future extend to being responsible with what you share on social media.

Dan Plant, of MoneySuperMarket, said that with the average insurance claim for burglary just over £4,000, it means homeowners could potentially lose out on thousands of pounds of cover.

Mr Plant said that examples of cases where insurance could be invalidated include someone who has posted on a public Instagram page while abroad, checked into locations such as the airport on their way to their holiday destination or once there, and posted the dates/picture of their holiday flight when they’ve booked the trip.

The warning follows news that John Terry fell victim to a £400,000 burglary earlier this year after posting pictures of himself on a skiing holiday: unwittingly alerting burglars to his empty home.

The former England captain’s £5m mansion was broken into as he posed for pictures on the slopes with his wife Toni, and their children. He told his 3.4 million Instagram followers that he was having a “great few days away skiing with the family”.

Top tips | How to stay safe on social media
  1. Don’t tweet photos from inside or outside your home
  2. Don’t mention your address on any social network site
  3. Don’t announce any smashed windows or broken alarms in your home
  4. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know on Facebook or Instagram
  5. Keep your social media pages private where possible
  6. Don’t announce when you’re going on holiday
  7. Don’t ‘check-in’ at airports or holiday destinations on social channels.

A gang of burglars took advantage of the opportunity, breaking into the property in Oxshott, Surrey, armed with axes and helping themselves to designer handbags worth £126,000 and rare signed first edition Harry Potter books valued at £18,000,  according to reports.

Both the financial ombudsman and local police forces have recently highlighted a clear link between holiday social media posts and a spate of burglaries.

Data from ADT, the alarm and security systems provider, revealed that 78pc of burglars use Facebook and Twitter to target potential properties.


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