Could Facebook increase home insurance premiums?
Homeowners could see a hike in the cost of their contents insurance as a result of criminals trawling social networking sites to find out when holidaymakers are away.
The worry is that crooks are increasingly logging on to Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites to find people who are posting about going on holiday and leaving their homes empty.
Nearly 40% of social network users have posted details of holiday plans and nearly a quarter of those were publically available pages, according to research last year by insurer Legal & General.
Darren Black, head of home insurance at confused.com, the price comparison site, believes that premiums could increase by 10% to take account of losses due to the use of social networking sites.
However, insurers and Facebook itself have dismissed the idea.
Jonathan Cracknell of Aviva said:
“We would not turn down a burglary claim if anyone posted details on myspace or Facebook of their holiday times or indeed posted tweets or internet updates from their actual holiday destination. Nor do we intend to start declining theft claims because of the use of social media.
“But we would, of course, urge caution and common sense when it comes to advertising an empty house.”