Certain insurance companies are announcing that if your home is robbed while you are on vacation and have shared selfies to social media broadcasting the fact that you’re away from home, then the insurance company is off the hook for whatever damages and losses occur. The dangerous logic from the insurance companies goes a little like this: if you were heading out of town for the weekend you wouldn’t put up a sign in your front yard stating ‘nobody’s home, this house is completely unguarded’. If you haven’t spotted about 10,000 holes in this stance from the insurance companies yet, don’t worry, we can discuss a few of the glaring issues.
First off, they need to define what specifically entails a ‘selfie’. What if you’re a family of 5, but you share only a photo of yourself by the pool in Monaco. Does that mean the insurance company can hold you at fault for broadcasting the fact that you weren’t home and claim that you made yourself vulnerable to burglary? Or does everyone who lives in the home need to be in the photo in order for the insurance company to claim that you “have not taken enough “reasonable care” to guard against theft by making such information public.” Secondly, who gives a crap if I put up a sign in my front yard saying “nobody’s home, all my stuff is unguarded”. I’ve paid for break-in insurance and it better goddamn cover the cost of my belongings if my house is broken into and robbed. But let’s back pedal a bit and discuss where and what exactly is happening with these insurance companies claiming social media can absolve them of responsibility.
Great Britian’s Daily Express was first to report on this alarming trend from insurance companies:
Britons have been warned posting boastful photos of their trip or mentioning the dates on social media runs the risk of helping would-be thieves identify and target their homes.
And break-in insurance claims could be thrown out if people look as though they are helping criminals – such as posting photos of themselves on sun loungers or bragging it is day one of a two–week holiday.
The Financial Ombudsman watchdog warned insurers check Facebook and Twitter accounts before paying out.
This is because an insurer might think people have not taken enough “reasonable care” to guard against theft by making such information public.
A spokesman said: “It’s possible that your insurance cover could be affected if you explicitly announce your plans on social media.
“You wouldn’t put a poster up on your front lawn saying you’re going on holiday.”
The Association of British Insurers added: “Think carefully about what you put on social media.
UPDATE: One reader reached out to me on Twitter to inform me that this is already happening in the U.S., and people should be VERY AWARE that insurance companies are watching what you do on social media
As ‘insurance’ is one of the most crooked industries in the world, we can all safely assume that this same garbage will soon be on our doorsteps in the good ol’ U.S. of A.
My question is who’s watching the watchmen? If they’re scouring our social media feeds to see if we were sharing selfies, can we not fairly assume that is the insurance companies who are also robbing us blind (both figuratively and literally)? Where are the checks and balances for these scumbags who can decide the fate of all your belongings based on the sharing of some ‘hotdog legs‘ by the pool?
It’s a messed up world we’re living in when we’re no longer free to share our obnoxious vacation selfies on Instagram, and one that’s ripe for revolution…