Posting During Vacation Could Increase Risk of Home Burglary

Hawaii. A cruise to Alaska. A trip to the Grand Canyon. Off to see the family for the holidays. Feels so good to get away with the family, and so why not post a few photos of the fun on your Instagram or Facebook account?

There’s a good reason not to: It’s not just your friends checking out your vacation photos on social media. Burglars are too.

According to CNBC, close to 400 out of 1,000 renters polled by Assurant insuance company posted about their trips online while out of town. “Two-thirds of burglaries happen while you’re not at home,” explained senior vice president of multifamily housing at Assurant, Steve Hein. It may be hard to do, but wait until you get home to post your photos—why not think of it as taking a vacation from social media as well as work!?

If you’re a renter, don’t assume that your landlord or property management company will be responsible for damage and liability protection. You need renters insurance to cover your belongings, just as homeowners need insurance to protect their property and its content. It’s not just renters who are affected by this fairly recent social media-related burglary; it’s homeowners too. Just over the past summer, at least three families in our Tustin/Orange area had burglaries happen while on vacation.

Renters: It’s not that expensive to cover your belongings. “A policy that will provide $100,000 in liability coverage and $10,000 in replacement cost coverage for your belongings with a $250 deductible will cost about $160 a year,” said Hein.

Homeowners: Make sure to tell your agent about items with a high value, like bicycles, jewelry, watches, sporting equipment, and computers.

Everyone needs to understand the claims process. Call BMR Insurance to find out about the difference between a policy that pays actual cash value and one that pays replacement cost. (Spoiler alert: The latter is the best one to have.)

But insurance aside, unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve seen Facebook, Twitter, and Google in the news often lately, and some of it is about privacy for their users. We recommend you read this help article from Facebook about your privacy settings, and think about making your Twitter and Instagram account private. And if you really want to send photos during your vacation, ask your teen or Millennial how to use Snapchat, where you can send photos to people directly and they usually disappear within 24 hours, unless you save them. By doing this, you’re also reducing your risk of identity theft, another big problem with social media.

One last thing about social media and the younger generation: When you apply for a job, there’s a good chance that they will look at your social media accounts to get a sense of who you are outside of the office. If you’re looking for that next big job, think before you post.

Do you need a policy update for your homeowners, renters, auto or business insurance? Call us on 714-838-1911 or click here to email us a message. Also, keep up to date on our tips, advice, and industry knowledge by following our LinkedIn page.

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