Facebook and Twitter could push up home insurance premiums Go compare with our comparison table

Facebook and Twitter could push up home insurance premiums

20 February 2010 / by Rachael Stiles

Householders that use social network sites such as facebook and Twitter could see their home insurance premiums rise in the future, Confused.com predicts, because of the security risk they pose.

The comparison website is warning social networkers that they could be making themselves vulnerable to potential criminals but posting about going on holiday in their facebook status, or tweeting about their whereabouts on Twitter.

This added risk could see the cost of home insurance rise, Confuised.com suggests, because criminals are alerted when people are not home, and could find out where they live if they have included their address in their online profile.

Confused.com is joining website PleaseRobMe.com in trying to raise awareness about how information on social network sites might be used in ways that people do not expect.

Darren Black, head of home insurance at Confused.com commented: "I wouldn't be surprised that as social media grows in popularity and more location-based applications come to fore, insurance providers consider these in their pricing of an individual's risk."

Mr Black believes that this could add up to 10 per cent to the cost of a home insurance policy for a social networker.

"Criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their information gathering even using Google earth and street view to plan their burglaries with military precision," he continued. "Insurance providers are starting to take this into account when they are assessing claims and we may in future see insurers declining claims if they believe the customer was negligent."

Confused.com suggests that social network users should never post their home address or other personal information such as phone numbers on the site, and should not follow or allow themselves to be followed by people they do not know, and to turn off location-based services on Twitter and Facebook unless they absolutely need them.

Mr Black urges households to take every possible care in adequately securing their home against burglary, but that they should also be aware that "home security doesn't just mean physical locks."

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