What is the Best Business Insurance?

It depends! Finding the best business insurance for many small businesses can be a challenge. Most small business owners in Kentucky will see that they have multiple options. Generally, competition leads to lower prices for canny consumers. With that said, commercial insurance is not a commodity and finding the best value may take a little effor.

Prices paid for Kentucky business owners’ insurance may range widely. Commercial insurance rates in Georgia and South Carolina are no different. Chances are, the more unique your business is, the tougher it will be to find a great deal on commercial insurance. Ferreting through the long list of products makes it difficult. 

Insurance Options

To find the best commercial insurance for you, start by reviewing your options. Insurance companies do not write insurance in all states. It’s not uncommon to see a company provide great rates to business in one state, but for some small businesses, you will find that they don’t have a lot of options.  Auto dealerships, certain trucking classes, and roofers are good examples. Regardless, it is important to continue your search.  

Price

Commercial insurance premiums can be a cause of friction.   Would you buy a commercial auto policy if it only provided coverage on Saturday and Sunday?

If you could buy it at 10% of the competitor’s price would you do it?

Of course, you wouldn’t! This ridicules and silly example is used to get a point across. Price is significant! But only after you have determined that the policy is suitable for your business. 

Insurance is not a commodity.  TruePoint agents are using transparency and communications to help KY, IN, SC, and GA business owners.
Insurance coverages change from one policy to the next

Coverage

There are many insurance agents, broke, s and carriers that sell on price alone.  Each of them would love for you to believe that insurance is a commodity. Business owners beware. As the business owner or manager, it is your responsibility to make sure any business insurance policy being considered has the coverages that you need.  When comparing multiple policies, make sure that they are on par with each other.  It is the agent’s job to provide a quote that is comparable to your current coverages.  However, it is your business that will bear the brunt.

Great insurance agents don’t sell, they inform and advise. First, they take the steps to understand the prospective business.  And hopefully, an understanding of the risk aversion of the prospect. After generating quotes and putting together a proposal.  The question of price can now be considered.  By interacting with the insured, risk management decisions can be made incorporating both coverage and price information.

Great insurance quotes don’t use deceptive practices to alter the relative value. The following are just a few ways that we’ve seen this attempted in the past:

Commercial insurance for roof blown off, business insurance deductibles in % beware
BEWARE: If your deductible has a % sign and not a $ sign.

• Deductible Changing a deductible from $500 to $1,000 without consulting the client isn’t a smart thing to do. Watching your deductible and other factors, that make up your commercial insurance policy is wise.

By committing to review your insurance policy when quoting and at renewal time you will also avoid some more adverse outcomes. While the dollar-based deductible change is concerning, beware of any deductible expressed as a percentage. Anymore it’s not uncommon to see 1% or 2% deductibles, especially for the wind/hail deductibles. If the deductible were 1% of the loss, there would be no issue. But it’s not; a 1% deductible is based on the policy limit. So if you have an office with a $600,000 value or limit, the deductible is $6,000 at 1%/ $12,000 at 2%.

Assume you have a 2% wind/hail deductible. A windstorm hits that result in $8,000 in damages. At first blush, a 2% deductible on an $8,000 claim is $160??

WRONG!

Your deductible $12, 0000. You pay for all the repairs.

• Read your application.  There are a lot of questions, people make mistakes, and even worse sometimes they assume. By signing the application, you are attesting to the accuracy of the information that is being provided.  Down the road, supplying the insurance company with bad information may muddy things up.

• What does your General Liability say about you? Your Commercial General Liability premium is a result of what and how much you do. You should review both for accuracy. Consider the following. 

You have the opportunity to be an insurance company. Today you can write a General Liability insurance to one business only.  Regardless of your choice, you will receive a premium of $500.  

Need Tree Removal insurance in Kentucky.  TruePoint can help! We're also helping tree trees find insurance in Georgia, South Carolina and, Indiana.
Insurance starts with understanding risk

The first company you can insure is in the Tree Removal Business.  They also do lawn-care, snowplowing, and building demolition.  Their current policy indicates that they are in the lawn-care business.  The owner argues that this is correct as 50% of their revenues come from mowing lawns.

Do you need insurance for lawn care business in Kentucky.  TruePoint is also working to insure lawn cares businesses in Georgia, South Carolina and Indiana.
We have great lawncare insurance options in KY, GA, SC, and IN

The second company is a Lawn Care Business? They mow lawns.  Period!

Pick one.  Remember, the premium will be the same regardless of your choice.

The point is you need to know what type of business your insurance policy says you are.  What if you’re the first business? 

Do you think he will be covered if a tree falls on a house?

How much?  How much business you do is also important.   Premiums for Commercial General Liability are primarily a function of what you do.  What you do has multiple meanings. For example, the type of work you do, how often you do it, how many people help you, how long you’ve done it and how many losses you’ve had.

What will happen If your application states that you have a payroll of $34,000 when the truth is you have a payroll of $95,000?

Houston we have a problem!

Rocket launch pad, experiencing problems similar things can happen to your commercial insurance

After your policy has been in force for a full year, your insurance company will perform an audit. At this point, they will discover that your payroll is almost three times higher.  What happens? They will send you a bill to offset the difference. Hold on. Things are about to get worse. After plugging your true payroll into their system, you will start receiving significantly higher bills.  One last carpet bomb; you know have a policy that is costing $2,000 more per year than advertised. In hindsight, you now have to question your decision. What appeared to be a $400 savings appears to have cost much more than the policy with all the bells and whistles. Wow!

But this is not the end of the process; it is ongoing.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to buy Georgia commercial insurance or South Carolina. Great insurance is a two way street between the agent and the business owner. Constant communication aimed at awareness and identification of ever-changing exposures. Feedback to this should come in the manner of risk transfer options.  This should include their cost and some form of analysis.  The end result gives the business owner the ability to make an educated decision.

We are Kentucky Business Insurance Specialist.  TruePoint will soon be on of the best business insurance solutions in Georgia and South Carolina.
Business Insurance that’s on target. TruePoint Insurance!

There is an answer to what is the best business insurance. Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as the insurance company or that insurance agent. It is a function of where you live, what you do, and what you need in regards to insurance. The formula should be extended to what insurance companies you can access.  The final factor may be the easiest place to get off track.  It is critical that you find an agent or broker that is knowledge and transparency.

In short, you are the key to determining what the best business insurance for your business is.

TruePoint Insurance Group, LLC

Our Kentucky and Indiana team can be reached at (502) 410-5089

Contact our Georgia and South Carolina commercial insurance team at (912) 330-1265

Business Insurance Costs

Managing your cost of insurance

Businesses price their products to cover the costs of production as well as their labor, sales marketing, and other major expenses. Prices also reflect some post-sales costs such as handling repairs or replacements under warranty. At one time many industries used a pricing strategy for their products that failed to reflect their true costs. A once-popular assumption was that lower prices would promote increased sales and the higher sales volume would make up the cost difference. The strategy wasn’t successful. It hasn’t worked for the auto industry, the computer industry or the insurance industry.

The problems of the insurance industry became apparent within the turn of the century and were drastically exasperated by several natural and financial catastrophes. Events such as terrorist attacks, hurricanes, housing market and banking meltdowns all substantially affected the insurance industry. The insurance industry’s attempts to gradually correct their pricing had to be sped up; substantially!

21st Century insurance markets have been riddled with catastrophic events.  Weather, terrorism and fraudulent practices have all impacted insurance premiums.
Why are insurance premiums so high?

For much of the 21st Century, insurance companies have had to handle many more claims being presented many years after their policies have expired. In the case of pollution, asbestos and employment practices; the industry is being asked to handle losses that policies weren’t designed to even cover.

Well, what can a business owner do to minimize their high insurance cost? Before considering sacrificing the amount of protection a business carries just to save money, consider alternatives. Some other solutions would be:

1. Review your coverage:

a. Take a close look at your insurance. Could you increase the deductibles to lower your premium?

b. Are you carrying physical damage coverage on commercial vehicles that aren’t worth it?

c. Are you insuring items you could replace out of pocket? Are there pieces of equipment that are insured when they could be replaced from operating funds without submitting a claim?

2. Review your exposures:

a. Could you reduce the premium by installing an alarm system or fire protection system? Would these premium savings offset the cost of the system?

b. Could you implement safety programs that would reduce the cost or make the insurance company more interested in providing coverage? For example: driver safety programs, back to work programs, safety training in proper use of equipment and job functions.

3. Identify your insurance goals:

a. Do you need an insurance company that can provide loss control services?

b. Do you need an insurance company that can provide claim-handling services for your Workers Compensation insurance?

c. Do you need an insurance company that will allow you to make payments by phone or on-line 24/7?

d. Do you need an insurance company that has a local agent/representative that can assist you in your insurance solutions?

Shopping and price are not the only issues in insurance. What you don’t know can cost you more in the long run than you could ever save in premiums. Discuss your situation with an insurance professional and make the choice that works for you.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2016

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

The Businessowners Policy


Do you shop with uninsured Merchants?

If you own and/or run a smaller business, your insurance needs may be properly handled by a business owners policy (BOP). A BOP is a single form that offers both property and liability protection. Retailers, wholesalers, small contractors, artisan contractors, dry cleaners, restaurants, offices and convenience stores (including those with gas pumps) are eligible for BOP coverage. All such operations may be insured by a BOP as long as they do not exceed the square foot or annual sales limits established for the program. Cooking operations, due to the higher fire and other accident exposures, have significantly more restrictive guidelines.

Property Coverage – BOPs protect buildings as well as the following:

The policy’s protection for business personal property (such as office equipment, copiers, desks, etc.) applies whether the property is located inside or immediately outside the covered buildings. The category also includes property you own, lease or control (i.e., borrow or control) as long as the property is used by the business.

One item of importance, the BOP does NOT provide coverage for loss of use of damaged or destroyed property, nor for loss created by an actual or perceived loss in value of goods after a loss takes place.

Liability Coverage – A BOP’s liability coverage provides comprehensive protection for claims or suits made by other parties. Specifically, it covers losses involving injury to other persons or damage to property that belongs to others. It also provides limited protection against personal injury (slander or libel), advertising injury and losses involving an operation’s products or services.

Naturally, there are certain situations that are not covered by a BOP. For instance, there is no coverage for losses involving most vehicles, money, and securities; illegal property (contraband), land, water, growing crops or lawns; or watercraft.

building additions (completed or being built) indoor and outdoor fixtures Clothes Dryers machinery and equipment landlord furnishings,
mowers, ladder, snowblowers, and similar maintenance property outdoor furniture floor coverings Refrigerating appliances ventilating appliances
Cooking appliances Dishwashing/Drying appliances Clothes washers materials, equipment, and supplies temporary structures located near the insured premises

Enhancing Coverage – A BOP may be supplemented to provide additional protection. Property coverage options include adding insurance for accounts receivable, valuable papers and records, earthquake, spoilage, etc. Liability coverage can be expanded to handle additional business interests, limited vehicle liability, losses related to personnel situations, liquor liability and injuries to leased employees.

A BOP may be the answer to your company’s coverage needs and it may be worthwhile to get more information on the BOP from the nearest insurance professional.

The BOP provides other coverage than the protection mentioned in part 1. The following protection can be selected under the BOP.

Optional Coverages

Outdoor Signs–Payment is available for direct physical loss or damage to outdoor signs at the described premises. Eligible signs may be owned by the named insured or owned by others but be in the named insured’s care, custody, or control.

Money and Securities–Coverage applies to loss of only the named insured’s money and securities used in its business while that property is at banks or savings institutions, inside the named insured’s living quarters, inside the living quarters of a partner or employee, at the described premises or while in transit between the places referenced.

Employee Dishonesty–The policy pays for direct loss of business personal property and money and securities due to dishonest acts its employees commit, whether they act alone or collude with others to do so.

Equipment Breakdown Protection Coverage–Coverage is available for loss or damage directly caused by or that results from electrical failure or mechanical breakdown to covered property. Covered property is electrical, mechanical, or pressure machinery and equipment

Liability Coverage – A BOP’s liability coverage provides comprehensive protection for claims or suits made by other parties. Specifically, it covers losses involving injury to other persons or damage to property that belongs to others. It also provides limited protection against personal injury (slander or libel), advertising injury and losses involving an operation’s products or services.

Naturally, there are certain situations that are not covered by a BOP. For instance, there is no coverage for losses involving most vehicles, money, and securities; illegal property (contraband), land, water, growing crops or lawns; or watercraft.

Enhancing Coverage – A BOP may be supplemented to provide additional protection. Property coverage options include adding insurance for accounts receivable, valuable papers and records, earthquake, spoilage, etc. Liability coverage can be expanded to handle additional business interests, limited vehicle liability, losses related to personnel situations, liquor liability and injuries to leased employees.

A BOP may be the answer to your company’s coverage needs and it may be worthwhile to get more information on the BOP from the nearest insurance professional.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2017

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without the written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

5 Expectations of Commercial Insurance Policies

All insurance policies have unique ways of protecting you against financial loss. TruePoint Insurance can answer specific questions about coverage for your business. For now, this list of expectations of commercial insurance gives you an idea of the peace of mind your policy can provide.

1. Protection against the cost of property damage

This could include a combination of coverages depending on the policy type. In some cases, the commercial premises and expenses related to customer damages might be covered.

2. Absolution of production error financial loss

Sometimes mistakes happen that cost a company time and money because of product recalls. Other times, work may have to be redone if a failure takes place during service. Whatever the case, a business always benefits from having insurance that pays toward expensive mistakes.

3. The payout for equipment repair

Sometimes, a machine might stop while running a production line. Other times, point-of-sale systems or computers might stop working. These examples illustrate the kinds of repairs needed that some commercial insurance policies might cover.

4. Funding during a business interruption

Anything could happen in Fisherville, KY. In the unfortunate incident that a place of operation experiences a forced closure because of construction, a robbery, natural disaster, or other cause, some types of commercial insurance policies, in conjunction with other types of insurance, could pay for these types of expenses.

5. Money for unexpected legal fees

Workers’ compensation laws include requirements for Fisherville, KY employers. Usually, this includes provisions for any financial hardships that could occur if a worker has an injury on the job. However, a business often will obtain insurance that can cover the costs of legal fees in the event of a lawsuit. Certain law insurance inclusions would also pay for customer or competitor lawsuits.

Do you have questions about what kind of specific commercial insurance would benefit you while operating in Fisherville, KY? If so, contact a TruePoint agent today and find the peace of mind you need from day to day.

What Should I Do If I’m Involved in an Auto Accident?

If you’re involved in an auto accident, there are several things you need to do before you leave the scene. Aside from calling the police and your insurance agent, the following steps are significant and will help you when you file your insurance claim. The agents from TruePoint Insurance can help residents of Lawrence and Fisherville, KY get the process started.

Pull Over to the Side of the Road

If you are involved in an accident on a busy street, the first thing you should do is move your vehicle (if possible) to the side of the road and out of the way of traffic. Move the cars a safe distance off of the road to prevent further injury or damage to your vehicles.

Exchange Information

The next step is to exchange your insurance information with the other driver. You will also have to share the information with the police officer for the accident report. Always make sure to get the other driver’s contact information, as well.

Take as many Photographs as You Can

If you want to document the accident properly, take pictures of both the scene of the accident as well as the vehicles involved. Photos that accurately show all of the damage to your car are beneficial, especially if you have to go to court.

In Fisherville, KY, the agents of TruePoint Insurance can walk you through the steps you need to follow if you are ever involved in an auto accident. Talk to the agents today so that you are fully prepared if and when an accident does occur.

 

How Having an Electric Vehicle Affects Insurance Rates

Did you know that your auto insurance rates can be different if you own an electric vehicle? In fact, in most instances, your insurance will be higher for an electric vehicle. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why this is the case from TruePoint Insurance in Fisherville, KY.

Higher Costs of the Vehicle

On average, electric vehicles cost a great deal more than the more conventional automobiles. They can cost around 70 percent more on average, according to studies conducted by Nerd Wallet. The higher price tag means that the insurance company has to pay more if the vehicle is stolen or damaged.

High Repair Costs

It tends to cost more to conduct repairs on an electric automobile. This is because they have expensive battery systems and you have to bring the vehicle to a specially trained mechanic. Though these vehicles usually don’t need repairs as often, this definitely has an effect on how much its insurance is going to cost. 

Size of the Car

Electric vehicles typically are smaller than other automobiles. Since smaller cars often don’t offer as much protection in the event of a collision, they are sometimes deemed as higher risk vehicles. This can increase the amount you’ll be asked to pay for your car’s insurance coverage.

Even with the fact that you’ll almost certainly have to pay more for insurance, there are many benefits that come along with owning an electric vehicle. Your car may qualify for a federal tax credit of around $7,500, a big plus as it will offset what you pay for insurance. 

Be sure to ask plenty of questions to understand insurance for your electric vehicle. The team at TruePoint Insurance, serving the greater Lawrence and Fisherville, KY area, can answer your questions to make signing up for auto insurance less of a stressful experience.

 

Signal Your Intent


Accidents associated with failure to use a turn signal are over twice
Each year 2 million accidents are due to the failure to use turn signals

Auto risk mitigation organization “SafetyFirst,” noticed some important statistics from its database of calls into its hotline. They discovered that a significant percentage of its calls involved drivers who did not use their turn signals. That issue was significant, especially since nearly half of their complaints involved:

  • Improper Lane Change;
  • Failure to Use Signals
  • Failing to Yield Right of Way
  • Weaving in Traffic
  • Failure to Stay in Lane;
  • and Improper Passing

A common trait in all of these behaviors is that they significantly increase the likelihood of an accident.

There are several trends that are occurring simultaneously on U.S. Roads. One, we’re driving faster, two there are more vehicles, we’re driving more frequently and a significant portion of drivers (Baby Boomers) are becoming senior operators with age-related, diminished driving skills.

In light of these trends, does it make sense that many drivers either forget to or refuse to use turn signals?

Drivers do themselves and others a tremendous favor by signaling their intent. Much of our driving activity depends on being able to rely upon and anticipate what is being done by other drivers. Signaling consistently and appropriately allows others to adjust their actions in order to reduce the chance of accidents and to maintain traffic flow.

Help yourself, help others. Whenever you are about to do something that can be indicated by a turn signal……signal your intent!


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2015

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without the written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

Attractive Nuisances


Trampolines can clutter your yard, and that's the nicest thing we have to say.
Trampolines; Kids love them, insurers don’t!

What Is An Attractive Nuisance?

This is a term originated by a judge to describe a property that attracts youngsters and, because of its dangerous nature, creates a special obligation to property owners. Examples are:

  • swimming pools
  • trampolines
  • empty buildings
  • appliances kept outside
  • excavations
  • construction materials
  • zip lines

All of these can lure children onto property and they all have the potential to cause serious injury.

Why Do Attractive Nuisances Create A Special Obligation?

A special obligation exists because of such property’s child endangering nature. Children do not have the reasoning ability of adults. When an opportunity to have fun pops up, it’s a rare child who thinks about the chance of being injured. A property owner with an attractive nuisance on his property cannot escape liability because of a trespassing child. When an attractive nuisance is involved, adults have to make a special effort to protect children from their blind sense of adventure or face the consequences.

How Do You Handle Attractive Nuisances?

Pools increase liability exposures for homeowners.  Controling access to the will likely have a positive impact on your homeowners insurance premiums.
Pool Safety starts with controlling access.

The answer is…doing whatever it takes to prevent a child’s access to the nuisance. Therefore, in order of their effectiveness:

1. Eliminate the nuisance

  • have old appliances hauled to a junkyard
  • tow old, non-running vehicles away
  • get rid of construction materials immediately after a building project is complete

2. Secure the nuisance

  • take off doors or covers from large appliances awaiting garbage pickup
  • keep sharp tools, especially power tools and equipment, locked away
  • store construction materials in a garage or shed

3. Reduce the chance for injury from a nuisance

  • install a pool cover and have a locked fence to prevent access to the pool
  • do not allow younger children to use equipment such as trampolines
  • make sure there’s adult supervision of children using play equipment

If you’re not certain about whether you have an attractive nuisance situation, discuss the situation with an insurance professional.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2016

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without the written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

Trick or Treat

Special Property, Special Coverage


Special property items such as cash, guns, jewelry and other items will only be covered up to the special limit set by the policy
Special Property Insurance Limits

A standard homeowner’s policy offers a limit equal to half of the amount reserved for the residence to protect against loss to a given residence’s personal Property (ex. Your home is covered for $150,000, so your contents and furnishings are covered for $75,000). While this is generous coverage, it doesn’t extend to all types of the property nor for all causes of loss. Certain types of property, because of its high value and liquidity, is far more vulnerable to loss…either easily destroyed, easily stolen or both. So, to compensate for this difference, insurers use coverage restrictions.

Causes of loss can also trigger lower limits.  Covered property of any type will be subject to reduced limits when theft is the cause of loss
Property claims due to theft are subject to lower limits

Theft Coverage Limitations

When property is lost due to theft, coverage under a standard homeowner policy is severely limited (generally $1,000 – $2,500) for the following types of property:

  • jewelry, watches, furs, and gemstones
  • dinnerware, serving sets, trophies and similar property made of or plated with silver, gold, platinum or pewter
  • for firearms, accessories and related property

Other Coverage Limitations

Several categories of property are subject to very modest limits ($200 – $2,500) of coverage, regardless of the cause of loss (theft, fire, accidental breakage, etc.). Specifically:

  • money, banknotes, coins, medals, gold, silver, and platinum (other than jewelry or dinnerware)
  • securities, accounts, deeds, tickets, stamps, manuscripts, passports and similar property
  • watercraft and related property including their trailers
  • trailers not used with watercraft
  • business property located in your residence
  • business property located away from your residence
  • certain types of electronic property which are lost or damaged while in a car or is located away from your home and used for business.

Handling the Limited Coverage Situation

Insurance companies are happy to provide more coverage if they are paid for their trouble. Specifically, limited coverage can be handled using the following methods:

Increased Coverage C Endorsement – this form is only appropriate for property saddled with limited coverage for theft losses. This form is attached to a basic policy and it increases the theft insurance limit (i.e. for jewelry from $1,500 to $5,000).

Scheduled Personal Property Endorsement – this form is used for increasing coverage for property that has protection reduced for all sources of loss. The property is removed from the basic policy’s limits and is covered exclusively by the endorsement. This form takes more work since each item of property has to be listed and assigned a particular insurance limit.

Inland Marine Property Floater – this method works like the personal property endorsement, except that it is a separate policy. This alternative is more appropriate for persons owning substantial amounts of high-valued property. The coverage must often be purchased from specialized insurers and comes at a high cost. In order to qualify for such coverage, you may need to meet special circumstances such as having a residential alarm system or make use of vault storage.

Another Advantage of Special Handling

In order to arrange coverage under a schedule or an inland marine policy, the property must be properly valued. This often involves appraising the property. It’s very helpful to have an expert source to establish the current value of jewelry, furs or other valuable possessions. In fact, such property should be appraised every two or three years since their values often increase over time.

Do you still have questions about property that needs special handling? Talk to an insurance professional about your needs and make sure that you have proper protection.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2017

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

Internet Liability

Libel and slander have been around for almost as long as there have been attorneys and Judges.  The internet is just another medium were they can occur.
Libel and Slander can also occur online

Each day more people decide to create their own Websites, blogs or otherwise participate in social media activities. The reasons for having a Website or blog vary or other activities range from frivolity to earnestness. Personal Websites and blogs commonly describe the host, his or her family, and interests such as a particular hobby, sports, profession, humor, etc. Whatever the reason for creating a Website or blog, they, along with social network activity can represent an additional source of loss that may require additional insurance. The loss potential is directly related to the purpose and content found on the Website.

New Opportunity For Old Losses

Website liability is an extension of the age-old accountability for what you say or write. Such responsibility extends to household members; so it’s important to be aware of what a family’s little E-wizard may be doing. The types of losses that may be created by a Website, blog, or social media activity include:

  • Libel – knowingly publishing false information that harms a person’s reputation.
  • Invasion of Privacy – disclosing information that interferes with another party’s peace of mind.
  • Infringement – violating or interfering with another’s property rights or the right to pursue business

Oops, You May Not Be Covered

There are a couple of quick places to  confirm whether you have coverage for liable and slander.  Check your homeowners and even more likely, your umbrella.
Are you insured for libel and slander? Most aren’t!

Most homeowner policies protect against liability for tangible injury to another person or for actual damage to another party’s property. Liability created by publishing or broadcasting content typically involves a personal (or non-physical) injury that is not covered by a typical homeowner policy. While individuals may be able to add protection (such as add-ons to a homeowner policy or umbrella coverage), certain losses may still be uncovered because they involve intended acts or business activity.

Can You Protect Yourself?

The good news is you can take steps to eliminate or, at least, minimize the possibility of facing electronic publishing-related loss. The first step is to identify areas of concern. The key to understanding and addressing any possible Website liability is to focus upon:

  • the nature of the Website or activity
  • the Website or account’s contents
  • who may be harmed by the site or activity
  • how a party may be harmed

It is important that you think hard about these issues and approach the job objectively. Your building a site, blogging or using social media just for “fun” could end with you explaining the punch line in court. Two people can interpret information in radically different ways. Use a method of examining your Website that helps you view it through “fresh” eyes that won’t gloss over important facts. Asking the help of others could be a big plus.

Considerations For Your Web Site, Blog or Social Networking

If you or someone in your household operates or is building a Website, or is active with social media, you need to be aware that the site (or activity) could open you to legal situations. Here are some questions you should consider:

Who created the site or page?

Key consideration: depending upon the circumstances, a private party that created the site for you may share (or even own) the responsibility for damages caused by the site.

What is the purpose of your site or activity?

Key consideration: Is there ANY business activity or purpose? If so, you may have an immediate need to secure appropriate protection.

What content is found at your site or page?

Key consideration: Not only do you have to think about YOUR message, but you must think of other parties that appear at your site such as friends, companion businesses or even miscellaneous links.

Who do you intend to attract to the site and how do visitors use your page?

Key consideration: There’s a big difference in the type of people you’re targeting, such as inviting:

  • relatives to see baby pictures or family newsletters
  • customers to request product/service information or to place orders
  • hobbyists to distribute or solicit stories or advice
  • strangers to a forum for discussing sports, political or other topics

Is there anyone you would not want to see the site or page? Why?

Key consideration: Answering this question honestly is critical. It can identify prime sources for possible legal action against you. It may also suggest what precautions you may take, including the easiest action such as eliminating the reference to a person, group or organization.

Does Your Site or Activity Create An Insurance Need?

After examining the key concerns about your Website, you should be prepared to take precautions which may include:

  • adding security features to your Website
  • changing the content
  • adding waivers or disclaimers about links or certain pages that appear on your site
  • adding user agreements to your site
  • creating guidelines on maintaining current and future content at the site
  • changing your homeowner coverage
  • buying additional or special personal or business liability insurance
  • adding or eliminating a guest book (if you have a guest book, pay close attention to what visitors say)
  • eliminating the Website

Once you’ve carefully examined your situation, a discussion with an insurance professional could be an excellent step to identify coverage needs which may include having to buy commercial coverage. The instant and widespread access represented by the Internet creates new perils for individuals. Don’t hesitate to seek the help of an insurance professional or even competent legal advice.


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