Business Irish

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Don't publicise your Easter holiday plans on social media, homeowners warned

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Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Social media users are being warned not to share their plans for the long Easter weekend on any online platforms.

Brokers Ireland said that information from sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are being gathered by criminals.

Director of General Insurance Services Brian McNelis said that social media has "presented new opportunities for those with less than honourable intent".

"To be safe and try and ensure your home is not broken into while you are away, don’t publicise your plans on social media."

Home occupiers are also being reminded to take additional precautions to safeguard their home against thieves, and property damage.

Tips from Brokers Ireland include checking that the home alarm system - and smoke alarm - is working and properly activated.

According to Mr McNelis, theft, water and fire damage are common issues that often lead to insurance claims by consumers.

"More than six in ten people (65pc) don’t activate their alarm systems when they are away from home," he said. 

"And when it comes to water damage, it’s worth remembering that 30 drips of water per minute amounts to five gallons per day and that can create a lot of damage to a property, and neighbouring properties in the case of apartment blocks."

Consumers have been asked to consider turning off the water supply, check under sinks for leaks and unplug all electrical appliances while away from the home.

Theft per property in a claim has been established at €3,500, according to Mr McNelis, with 30pc of claims involving water damage.

Those looking to take a mini break away over the Easter season have also been advised to contact their insurance company.

"The fact that a property may become unoccupied is considered by most insurance companies to be a material fact that could impact cover," he said.

"The thinking is that should a problem arise – be it from fire, water or whatever - damage tends to be more extensive and, therefore, more costly to remedy."

Additional guidelines from Brokers Ireland include cancelling deliveries that might arrive when not at home and asking neighbours to collect post.

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