You Can Be Sued Over Something You Said On Social Media

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Will your business insurance cover you if you say the wrong thing?

Did you know that social media and online content litigation is the fastest growing legal specialty in the United States? Social media, while positively impacting the way businesses market and communicate with customers, is not without its risks—something many businesses are learning the hard way. Understanding what you can be liable for and protecting yourself is essential to remaining active in the online arena.

What you can be sued for:

  • Copyright infringement
  • Defamation
  • Slander
  • Neglect, both intentional and unintentional
  • Tortious interference, or telling people not to do business with a certain company

How you can protect your business

There’s no doubt that most folks would not intentionally do something to cause harm to another’s reputation or damage to their business, but these things do happen. The key is to be sure that even if everyone in the company knows the rules and what not to do, that your company is protected with the right insurance policy. While your current business insurance policy may offer coverage for the types of lawsuits brought on by social media mishaps, take a look at some of the coverage choices that are available and familiarize yourself with what protection they provide:

General Liability Insurance

A general liability policy for your business will not only protect your company in the event that someone gets injured or that you suffer damages from an unexpected event, it can also help you if you run into trouble on social media. If you’re sued for false or misleading advertising, this business policy will cover court costs, attorney fees and judgments found against you and your company.

Professional Liability Insurance

Many small businesses have come to realize the importance of having this type of insurance to protect their company and their livelihood. Whether you have a small company with just a few employees, a large one with several thousand or you’re the only employee, professional liability insurance is a smart decision.

 

Professional liability insurance provides coverage for errors and omissions (E&O), commonly referred to as malpractice insurance. So if you are accused of making errors or of being negligent (not delivering the product or service that was expected), this policy will ensure that you are covered for attorney’s fees, court costs and settlements or judgments.

Appoint a social media watchdog

Whether it’s you or a trusted member of your team, appointing a person to be in charge of your social media activity is a good idea. This person should monitor the content on your company’s page in order to make sure they are safe from potential lawsuits. Another good idea is to draft a social media practices guide that outlines what employee activities are acceptable and what are not. Often, employees will inadvertently post something that is meant in fun but gets misconstrued. Even in instances where the content has not come directly from your company, you could still be liable.

Make sure you’re protected

There’s no doubt that the power of social media is great and the advantages for marketing, advertising and communication are tremendous. If you’re engaging on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and others, it’s crucial to make sure that your company is protected against lawsuits as a result of something you or any of your employees post. Give us a call to discuss your coverage and we’ll make sure your business policy is exactly what you need.