AAP FactCheck examined a Facebook post from September 12, 2019 by an Australian user to the group Cairns Crime Alerts & Discussions.
The post read: “BE AWARE FOLKS… A colleague went away and house was ransacked and to cut a long story short the insurance would not pay out as she had blatantly posted pictures on Facebook which sometimes shows your destination. Apparently there is something in her small print on her insurance documents about social media whilst you are away. Hubby checked ours and yes it basically says that your insurance is void if you advertise the fact you are absent from home so please be careful…. Copy and pasted All holiday makers please read”.
Cairns Crime Alerts & Discussions is a public Facebook group with more than 4400 members and was created in July 2019.
The post has been shared more than 3,700 times and attracted more than 60 reactions.
Risks associated with sharing holiday pics on social media have been flagged by insurers in the past. In 2016, insurer GIO commissioned a survey of 3,283 Australians and found 50 per cent posted updates to their social media accounts while away on holiday.
GIO warned that Australians should tighten their online security or risk “leaving themselves exposed to opportunistic thieves scouring social media networks for vulnerable targets”.
However, GIO spokesperson James Spence rejected the social media post’s claim that uploading travel pictures could void home insurance claims in Australia.
“While we strongly recommend you are mindful of how you promote your travel plans on social media as this can be a signal for would-be thieves, your posts won’t void your home insurance,” he told AAP FactCheck.
AAP FactCheck also sought comment from the peak body for the Australian insurance industry, the Insurance Council Australia (ICA), regarding the post.
An ICA spokesman told AAP FactCheck the post’s assertion that social media updates could void insurance claims was “rubbish”.
“The Insurance Council of Australia’s Understand Insurance financial literacy initiative advises travellers to avoid putting their travel plans and destinations on social media to reduce the risk of being robbed while their home is unoccupied. But it will not affect a claim,” the spokesman said.
Based on the evidence, AAP FactCheck found the Facebook post to be false. The post’s assertion that an insurance claim will be declared void if clients “advertise the fact (they) are absent from home” was not true, according to the Insurance Council Australia.
- False – The primary claim of the content is factually inaccurate.
First published October 3, 2019, 13:55 AEST