According to price comparison service Confused.com, people
who use social media websites such as Twitter
might have to pay a higher home insurance premium someday. Social networking services could alert
criminals when users are not at home. Some social networking services even show
the specific location of an individual.
Darren Black, the head of home insurance at Confused.com,
said: "I wouldn't be surprised if, as social media grow in popularity and
more location-based applications come to fore, insurance providers consider
these in their pricing of an individual's risk. We could see rises of up to
10pc for people who use these sites.
Black continued, explaining "Criminals are becoming
increasingly sophisticated in their information gathering, even using Google
Earth and Streetview to plan their burglaries with military precision.
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."
For users of social networking websites, Confused.com offers
the following advice:
- Never post your home
address or other personal information such as your home phone number on social
- Don't follow people
you don't know on social networks and use block others from seeing your profile
if you don't know them
- Turn off
location-based services on Twitter and Facebook unless you absolutely need to