Liability Risks of Social Media

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1.1 billion Facebook users…….350 million tweets per day…….300 hours of new video
……………………………………………………………………….uploaded every minute!


All add-up to increased risk of “Personal Injury” liability.  What is “Personal Injury?”  As defined in the Cincinnati Ins. Homeowner, Condo and Tenants Policies:

“Personal injury” means injury arising out of one or more of the following offenses:
      a. Defamation of character, including oral or written publication, in any manner, of material that slanders
         or libels a person or organization or disparages a person’s or organization’s goods, products or services;
      b. False arrest, detention or imprisonment;
      c. The wrongful eviction from, wrongful entry into, or invasion of the right of private occupancy of a room,
         dwelling or premises that a person occupies, committed by or on behalf of its owner, landlord or
     d. Malicious prosecution; or
     e. Oral or written publication, in any manner, of material that violates a person’s right of privacy.

“So, how should I address such a risk?” you might ask.  The Internet gives people a false sense of anonymity. Topics are discussed with much greater candor than if in-person. With this in mind, Social Media users, and their children, should always remember there is a record of EVERY word, picture, video or sound transmitted from their computers, tablets or phones.  Consider this whenever making a comment about another person, organization or product.  Be sure to discuss this fact with your children who engage in Social Media. “Cyber Bullying” has become a large issue for children and teens.  You do not want to be on the receiving end of a lawsuit due to your child’s use of Social Media to attack another child.

Be sure to check your Homeowner, Condo or Tenant’s policy for such coverage. Some insurance companies include “Personal Injury,” some require that you add it to the Homeowner/Condo/Tenant by endorsement, some include it in the Umbrella policy only. The Cincinnati Ins. Co. does include “Personal Injury” in it’s primary Homeowner/Condo/Tenant policies, with the Umbrella acting as an excess layer.

Moral of the story…….use discretion when criticizing others. It may come back to you in unintended ways.

Posts on are written in plain language for informational purposes only. They are not policy forms or parts of an insurance policy. For exact language, see the insurance policy provided by your carrier.

About Author

Cameron A. Shandersky, CPCU
Cameron's Bio