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Guest Post by Adam Hirsch, licensed P&C Insurance Producer and expert on insurance for bloggers
Question: Why do bloggers need insurance?
Answer: I’ll answer this question, using one, simple phrase, “cost to defend.” It’s insurance terminology, the meaning of which I’ll explain very simply:
Insurance, whether you consider homeowner’s insurance, personal auto insurance, or business insurance is about risk. You, the homeowner or the business owner, pass on a certain amount of risk through a contract, called an insurance policy. Regarding the liability portion of your policies, the insurance company agrees to pay certain amounts you are legally liable for, in exchange for a certain premium. You pay the insurance company the premium, and they pay claims on your behalf.
Now, tying this in to someone who blogs…the phrase, “cost to defend” has importance, because, in reality, most bloggers will never get sued. Think about it, you’re out there, giving your opinions, sharing photos of your trips, maybe reviewing products for companies. Maybe, you’ll provide helpful links to other sites, for the benefit of your readers. Perhaps, you’re a part-time photographer who’s doing a review for a camera lens? Maybe, you’ll be giving others advice on how to save your family money through the use of coupons? Most likely, at some point, you’ve laid in bed, and thought to yourself, “What if what I wrote is considered libel? What if I post a picture I found on the internet, and don’t ask for the photographer’s permission? Can I be sued for copyright infringement? What if I write about a celebrity in a seemingly harmless way? I mean…everyone does it. Defamation???? Most likely, if you’re like most bloggers, you close your eyes, at this point, assume it won’t happen to you, and go to sleep…….and, you’re right, it probably won’t happen to you; however, what you probably haven’t thought through is what will happen to you if it does? What will you do if someone DOES sue you, over something you wrote in your blog? Or, even over a picture you posted? Here’s where the phrase I mentioned, “cost to defend” comes in. In reality, if you are sued, it won’t be about “freedom of speech,” or knowing you’re in the right. It will be about the “cost to defend” a lawsuit. Because, at the end of the day, most lawsuits either get dismissed or are settled. The issue will be whether you can afford your own attorney to defend you in a lawsuit. Can you? THAT is what you should be thinking about, right before you fall asleep. Most people…most bloggers don’t think about whether they have the money to hire an attorney to defend themselves in a lawsuit, brought on by their blogging. Have you?
In my opinion the most important reason bloggers should consider purchasing a liability policy for their blogging is that such policies WILL cover the cost to defend you. Part of the premium you pay the insurance company goes towards the cost of hiring an attorney to defend YOU, the policyholder. With a liability policy in place, you can sleep at night, knowing that on the RARE chance you are sued, you won’t need to pay for an attorney to defend you. The insurance company provides one-at no extra cost to you. And, as you are most likely aware, the legal costs could kill your business or hobby!
So, bloggers should weigh the costs and benefits of having liability policy vs. not having one.
I would love to speak to you if you have any questions or concerns regarding this. Please contact Adam Hirsch at firstname.lastname@example.org