There are many instances where we may find ourselves blamed for injuring someone other than in the physical sense. You may ask yourself: Does my home insurance cover me if someone claims that I damaged their reputation?
In insurance terms this is called “Personal Injury”. Personal injury can occur when we are accused of bullying or harming someone’s feelings. Personal injury can also happen if we are accused of damaging someone’s reputation by the things we say online. As a landlord, our tenants can accuse us of wrongful eviction – this also can fall under Personal Injury.
According to IRMI, (International Risk Management Institute, Inc.) Examples of personal injury claims include wrongful eviction, wrongful entry, and oral or written publication that injures a party's reputation. This latter event is becoming particularly problematic with the rapid growth in social media.
Here are some tips to help you carefully manage your exposure to Personal Injury:
- Exercise caution when posting on social media sites. Anything negative you share on the Internet is permanent. Avoid highly controversial subjects, sensitive political issues, or inflammatory remarks. Taking the high road is the best approach.
- If you are blogging or communicating on social media, be careful that you have your facts straight. If it is a close call or a gray area, why say it at all?
- Reviewing a business online? Exercise caution in the case of product disparagement. There are lawyers and business owners who are willing to threaten lawsuits when it comes to negative comments about their products.
- Provide strict ground rules for your children on social media and closely monitor their activities. Keep the computer in a public part of the home in order to closely watch their activities. Screen who your children "friend" on Facebook. Place strict limits on the amount of time your children spend online. Provide age-appropriate and concrete explanations of libel, slander, sexting, and their ramifications.
- If you are on a not-for-profit board, such as a home owners' association, exercise due care in dealing with others on sensitive matters. Be especially careful regarding newsletters that go out to the community.
So, does your home insurance protect you if a Personal Injury claim is made against you?
It depends. Not all Home Insurance policies include this kind of coverage, but it can be added, and the cost is surprisingly low. Mention this article and contact us today at 617-846-5000 if you would like us to check your policy to make sure you are protected, or, to advise what the cost would be to add this important protection for you. After hours? Click on the button below to contact us 24/7 with questions.
International Risk Management Institute, Inc.
Are you a business owner wondering if your Massachusetts business insurance has any protection from what your employees say online? Check out our recent blog on this topic.
With offices in Danvers & Winthrop Massachusetts, Elliot Whittier Insurance has been awarded The Five Star Award of Distinction from the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents. Elliot Whittier Insurance is also a Trusted Choice® agency and represents multiple insurance companies, so it offers you a variety of personal and business coverage choices and can customize an insurance plan to meet your specialized needs. You can visit Elliot Whittier online at www.ElliotWhittier.com, email email@example.com, or call 800-696-3947