Brokers urged to speak to HNW clients about the risks they face

02 May 2023

New research finds two in five fear they overshare information on social media.

New research1 commissioned by specialist insurer Ecclesiastical has revealed two in five (42%) high net worth clients are worried they overshare information on social media about their home or lifestyle, presenting an opportunity for brokers to speak to their clients about the risks they face.

Wealthy individuals often have busy lives and visible routines. Social media activity can provide criminal gangs with clear patterns and routines, making it easier for them to target high net worth families and their homes.

The survey of high net worth individuals in the UK discovered almost half (46%) are worried their friends and family overshare information about them and their lifestyles on social media.

In response to experiencing crime2, wealthy individuals are making lifestyle changes. More than a third (35%) reported changing routines and three in 10 (30%) came off social media as a result of experiencing crime.

Ex-Love Islander Molly Mae’s home3 in Manchester was burgled in 2021 and items worth £800,000 including designer handbags, shoes and jewellery were stolen. In response to the burglary, Molly Mae reduced her social media usage and vowed to be more careful about what she posts about her home and luxurious lifestyle.

Ecclesiastical recently published a new guide4 which provides scenarios and risk guidance to help high net worth clients minimise the risk of being targeted by criminals.

Ecclesiastical is encouraging brokers to refer to the new guidance at and speak to their high net worth clients about how best to protect themselves and their households.

Sarah Willoughby, Art & Private Client Business Director at Ecclesiastical, said: “Amidst the cost of living crisis, those who have more to lose are becoming a greater target for criminals. Criminal gangs will often look to social media to understand their target’s lifestyle are routines, making it easier for them to target them, their families, and their homes. Our latest research shows high net worth individuals are concerned they, their friends, and their families are oversharing information on social media about their homes or lifestyles. Brokers play an important role in helping high net worth clients understand the risks they are facing and in ensuring they have the right cover in place. We hope our new guidance will help brokers speak to their clients about how they can best protect themselves.”

Protecting your family and your home

  • Vary timetables and avoid routine patterns if possible.
  • Review your social media privacy settings and restrict who can view your activity.
  • Have a safe bolted to a solid/base floor, in a hidden location if possible, and store portable valuables inside. Consider a duress (second or third) safe to spread valuables.
  • Don’t leave jewellery in sight. Use your safe to lock your valuables away.
  • Install enhanced physical protection including:
    • Install panic buttons at the front door, in the bedrooms and near to safe
    • Enhance doors to impede progress of the property
    • Install remotely monitored CCTV.
Last year, Ecclesiastical launched an enhanced high net worth home insurance product which includes cyber damage, cyber-crime and online liability cover as standard, and optional additional covers including business cover and travel insurance. 

1 The research was commissioned by Ecclesiastical Insurance and conducted by BVA BDRC. Online interviews were carried out 5 - 12 December 2022 with 257 UK high net worth individuals with an income of at least £200,000 per annum or liquid assets of at least £1 million.

2 52% (n=133) were victims of crime in the last 12 months.

3 Love Island's Molly-Mae Hague 'to be more careful on social media' after burglary - Mirror Online