Dec 21, 2009

Facebook and Insurance

Aside from the stupidity of publicizing your travel plans and future personal life on public forums and social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, among others, it now might have legal ramifications.

The paper today reported that a couple flew to Turkey (I think) and had posted on their profile in Facebook that they were to be flying to a certain wedding. They came back and found their house had been ransacked in their absence.

Aside from being stupid, as they told the world that they were going to be away from their home traveling abroad, the insurance company, when they filed the claim, refused to pay. The insurance said that it is like leaving a wide open hole inviting the thieves. Publicizing your travel plans on Facebook disqualifies you from making a claim because it is like inviting the thief into your house.

I don't know if the decision will be appealed and overturned, but in the meantime, if you will be traveling, don't post your travel plans on Facebook.


  1. I always feel the same way when someone advertises on an email list looking for a babysitter for a certain evening. It's like saying, "I'll be leaving my house and children in the care of a teenager for a few hours. Theives welcome."

  2. This is one of the reasons I don't understand the push for the global positioning on Twitter.

    There is a case in Canada right now where a woman had her disability benefits cancelled (suffering from depression) because there were pictures posted on Facebook where she was at a party with friends and enjoying a vacation. The courts will now have to deal with the case.

  3. I think this person's insurance company is misinformed or over-reacting.

    With FB only your friends see this announcement, so if your house gets broken into, it means one of your friends ratted your out. Of course this is a possibility, but is the insurance company denying a claim because they told a friend they were going out of town? What if I told a friend on the phone?

    I don't know if this the same with Twitter. Can you control who follows your status on Twitter or can anyone? If anyone can, then I would see the insurance company's point.

    BTW, don't post to a Yahoo Group that you're looking for a ride to the airport. And if you do leave your kids at home, train them that if a phone call comes in for you, they should not say their parents aren't home, they should say they can't come to the phone right now.

  4. woops - too late - but I didn't put any details - and YOU arent going anywhere!!!
    I was actually curious if anyone whould want to get together....I mean what is the point of finding old friends on facebook if you cant see them in real life when you visit your hometown?

  5. About 25 years ago cousins of mine who were living in Rishon Le-Zion found a note on their car from someone apologizing for hitting their car. I don't think that my cousins could really see anything, but in return the note included tickets to the theater as an apology. They went to the theater and when they got back they saw that they were set up and were robbed.

  6. ehwhy - someone who has depression cant have a good day? they are not entitled to go to a party once in a while and have a good time? depression means they have to be depressed 100% of the time? doesnt make sense to me.

    Saab - not true. it is a setting and plenty of people have their info and pictures open to anybody, though it can be made private. It is very common for companies to check facebook and other profiles of customers and clients to garner information (usually for marketing purposes) about them and theiur tastes and preferences.

    Shifra - but you didnt write that. I dont know the answer... just leave things more vague in the public postings. dont write dates and time periods.

    Menachem - there are con artists all over the place. that is a pretty amazing one.

  7. You are 100% right but it still happened.

    People are not very careful with their Facebook privacy. There is a group that does a test of how willing people are willing to accept strangers as friends and give them access to private information. The percentage is really high.


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