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Beware what you post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram because it may be used in evidence against you.

Maria Philippides, director at Norton Rose Fulbright, chats to Bongani Bingwa about how insurers may use photographs you post to counter claims you submit.

People post on social media things that they want to brag about. We're quite a narcissistic society when it comes to being online.

Maria Philippides, director at Norton Rose Fulbright

But, very often, that is the kind of information that a prospective employer or an insurance company would want to look at because it affects their business in some way, she says.

Legally they are entitled to do so, she says.

A lot of what we post online is in the public domain. The privacy settings on facebook defaults is 'open to all.'

Maria Philippides, director at Norton Rose Fulbright

It is then considered a publication.

When there are privacy settings in place, she says there are even cases overseas where courts have compelled people to make their social media passwords available so that profiles may be scrutinised because it has relevance to a particular case.

One might lie about the way an accident happened and try and claim for a motor vehicle accident that might otherwise not be covered. Or one might try to claim for a diamond ring that was stolen when it was not. That would constitute a fraudulent claim.

Maria Philippides, director at Norton Rose Fulbright

There was such a case where the claimant was found to be wearing the alleged stolen ring in a Facebook post.

Another example would be if a driver was accused of being on their cellphone at the time of an accident, then the insurer can ask for copies of cellphone accounts.

Insurance companies can subpoena any information that may be relevant to a case.

Take a listen.

This article first appeared on 702 : Insurance companies use your social media posts to assess claims

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