Would You Hire a Billboard to Tell Burglars Your Home Is Empty?

No, of course you wouldn’t. But who needs a billboard these days, when social media does the job so much more efficiently?

If you’re going on holiday this summer, whether it’s a world cruise or a week in Bognor, it’s hard to resist telling the entire world about it by posting all over your social media. We like to chronicle our entire holiday these days, from the check-in queue at the airport to the stunning view from the hotel — and we can share the photos or videos straight away on Facebook, Instagram or other social media.

That’s all very well, if you’re only sharing them with your family and friends, but quite a high proportion of social media users have their settings on public — and an alarming number don’t even know what the settings are. This means that, among the people admiring your holiday snaps, are tech-savvy local burglars, who’ll know that you’ve gone away and left your home unoccupied, and then use their skills to find out where you live.

It would be bad enough to come home and find you’ve been burgled, but even worse if your insurance claim is then turned down. That can happen, because your policy will almost certainly have a Reasonable Care clause, which allows the loss adjuster to refuse a claim when your negligence has contributed to the situation. And that would certainly apply if you’ve announced publicly that your home’s open to burglars.

Tips for Ruining a Burglar’s Summer

If you want to ruin a burglar’s summer, not to mention giving the loss adjuster no reason to turn you down if you are burgled, there are a few simple steps you can take:

  • Make sure your social media channels are set to private, so that only your followers can see your posts.
  • Tech-savvy burglars can check Google Street View and find out if your home will be easy to break into. Do the same yourself to see if there are any obvious openings.
  • Turn off all location-sharing features, so that if you do post you won’t be automatically advertising that you’re away from home.
  • If you’re going to ask your neighbours to keep an eye on your home while you’re away, make sure you do so privately — not on social media, where the burglars can see, too.
  • If you really can’t wait till you’re home to share your holiday snaps or video clips, put them into a private, closed group that’s only visible to close friends and family — not to inquisitive burglars.

Following these tips won’t guarantee you’re not going to get burgled, but it will considerably reduce the risk. And, if you’ve taken all reasonable precautions, Allied Claims will be able to fight for every penny you’re entitled to of your insurance claim.


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