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Home Insurance Rates Could Rise Because of Twitter and Foursquare

Could Twitter and Foursquare Bump the Price of Home Insurance?

I suppose this makes sense: a UK-based price comparison website predicted that homeowners insurance rates could rise up to ten percent thanks to the popularity and use of location-based services like Twitter and Facebook. I've already suspected that Foursquare could equal overshare thanks to the "check-ins" that let everyone know where you are (or where you're not: home), and insurance companies could be bracing for an increase in break-ins because of it.

Aptly-named website PleaseRobMe is trying to make people aware of how easy it is to determine whether your place is empty by locating and compiling tweets and status updates of people who obviously aren't home, using it as a "slap across the face" to make you more aware of what you tweet. I'm pretty darn careful when it comes to broadcasting where I am, but that's not to say I don't like to brag a bit when I'm at a really great restaurant, or seeing a show I'm excited about. At least the knowledge that my renters insurance rates could spike will make me even more cautious about what I'm declaring to the world! Want some tips on how to keep your location private? Then just

.

  • Only use location-based services when you need them. Sites like Loopt, Where, and Foursquare may be fun, but letting everyone know your routines could spell bad news for your home security.
  • Don't post your address anywhere. This should be a given!
  • Don't tweet about vacations, unless you have a house sitter. Declaring that you'll be in Mexico during Spring Break is only asking for trouble.
  • Think before you tweet! Something as simple as tweeting about your meal while out to dinner could tip someone off that you're away from home.
  • Don't friend anyone you don't know on a location-based app or service. Yes, Twitter may be all about the numbers, but do you really want some dude knowing where you are right now cause you friended him on Loopt just to add one to your list? I don't think so.
Image Source: Getty
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SuperVixen SuperVixen 7 years
I always set my security system before I leave the house and I do not use apps that upload GPS coordinates of my location. People should be more careful about what they share on public sites but I think the insurance companies are just looking for an excuse to get their hands on more $!
skigurl skigurl 7 years
this is a really good point! i never really thought about this...i have around 600 people on facebook, and tons of them would know where i lived or could figure it out easily, and not all of them are close to me (like guys from public school - uh they could be hardened criminals 15 years later for all i know) ... and here i am posting i'll be in Cuba for a week or saying i'm going away for the weekend with my boyfriend ... such a good point ... i don't think this is a silly scare, to be honest
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