Insurance hikes for social media users predicted

Nia Williams

February 19, 2010

PleaseRobMe.com has recently raised awareness on this issue in a bid to make people think about how they use services like Twitter, FaceBook, Foursquare and Buzz and the dangers of letting criminals know when they’re not home. Services like Foursquare lets others know people are in a specific spot but more importantly that the user is definitely not at home.

Confused.com is predicting the new wave in social media could eventually lead to big hikes in home insurance premiums. Darren Black, head of home insurance at Confused.com said: “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 and we could see hikes of up to 10% for people who use these sites.

“Criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their information gathering even using Google earth and street view 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.

“We would always recommend that our customers have adequate security and insurance in place to protect them should the worst happen, however they need to be aware that home security doesn’t just mean physical locks.”

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