More than 80% of lightning fatalities are men who did not seek shelter from an approaching storm, but instead kept on fishing, boating, golfing, biking, or working outdoors. Be prepared by recognizing danger and knowing what to do and what not to do. If you can hear thunder, even a distant rumble, lightning is close enough to strike you. Immediately seek shelter in a substantial building or a metal-topped vehicle.
See part 1 which discusses the meaning of social media liability.
Social media liability claims can be complicated and expensive since they may involve historical postings. In these instances, defense costs may include electronic discovery or subpoenaing information from the social networking site itself. Expenses could expand if a party filing a lawsuit demands information beyond a post to one particular site to include posts made on all the social networking sites where a defendant holds an account.
Depending on the nature of the claim, the insured may be faced with multiple lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions including outside the United States. Defense costs may reflect extensive jurisdictional and venue disputes that have to be handled (and paid for) even before determining if that claim is eligible for coverage.
Another issue is the problem of handling intentional (deliberate) acts. They are routinely excluded by most insurance polices. An insurance company may choose to deny either legally defending and/or responding to a lawsuit because, in its opinion, the policyholder had full knowledge that published information was false or that an act was an invasion of privacy.
Social media liability is not a common term so insurance policies generally refer to the traditional terms of "personal and advertising injury" and extending this traditional coverage to social media and the Internet. Social media makes it easier to libel, slander or invade a person's privacy.
Off-the-cuff comments that used to be made at the water cooler or in the privacy of one's home are now published nationwide or internationally. The result? Damages sought by a claim can be more substantial because there are more people aware of the comments as compared to traditional situation.
You must be aware of the legal potential in using social media and the claims that can result if defamatory comments are made about family members, friends, exes, etc. There is no immunity from lawsuits simply because they make such comments on Facebook or Tweet such comments.
Considering what is at stake, especially for businesses, umbrella coverage is definitely recommended as an additional source of protection. Umbrella coverage is also recommended for prolific social media users and bloggers. Although avoiding high-risk behavior is a simpler and more effective way to eliminate problems, it is unlikely that individuals will avoid social media or blogging altogether. A more realistic expectation may be that a person may inadvertently engage in behavior that creates a claim. Individuals should evaluate the risk potential and realize that coverage for social media liability may become a necessary part of everyday life, similar to auto insurance or home insurance.
Your chances of suffering a loss is increasingly affected by the Internet and, particularly, social media. Increasing your awareness of social media liability loss exposures may help you to minimize or avoid them. Social Media Liability refers to claims for libel, slander, harassment, invasions of privacy, violations of intellectual property rights, and even improper employment practices resulting from the use of social media sites, including Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, etc. Some coverage exists for business as well as for personal exposures to such losses.
Most business insurance policies include personal and advertising injury coverage that provides some protection for libel, slander, and derogatory remarks as well as invasion of privacy. Some homeowners and renters policies also provide personal and advertising injury. Standard business forms may contain language that provides limited coverage because they refer to material published on the Internet or to electronic communications. Coverage may also exist because protection for suits involving libel and slander may make reference to defending against and, if needed, covering claims due to incidents of publishing or broadcasting information in any manner.
Individuals who blog or who maintain watchdog Web sites (consumer sites that monitor specific companies or products), may be susceptible to claims of defamation or invasion of privacy. Casual users of social network sites may inadvertently post comments about a current or former lover that are defamatory, especially after a divorce or messy breakup.
Businesses’ networking-related exposures are typically related to business activities. Businesses may, for example, misattribute the ownership of a Web site to a lower level employee in order to shield the business. That employee may sue for false invasion of privacy, especially if the Web site contains sordid or proprietary material. Business managers may also announce firings or disclose personal information about their employees that may create lawsuits. Personal networking-related exposures run the gamut of claims, including accusing individuals of crimes, infidelity, failure to pay child support, disclosure of personal or financial information, posting of pictures or videos in compromising positions, etc.
See Social Media - Part 2 for more information on claims and protection.
Most insurance policies contain specific references to the duty to protect property from further harm. It may be called a Neglect provision or Preservation of Property; regardless, insurance companies rely on their policyholders to make a reasonable effort to reduce the level of loss under their policies.
Here’s an example. After closing time, a small fire breaks out in Jenny’s restaurant. The fire started in the kitchen’s storage area. First Jenny orders her entire staff out of the building. Then, she arranges a roll call to be certain that everyone is safely accounted for. Finally, she makes a call to the Fire Department. All the while, she stops anyone from reentering the restaurant to attempt to extinguish the fire. As it turns out, the fire spreads from the storage area and into the kitchen, severely damaging the heart of her restaurant. After investigating the loss, Jenny’s insurer reduces her claim payment by $10,000. The lower payment is justified by their finding that the loss would not have been nearly as severe if Jenny had allowed her staff to use the available fire extinguishers and had made the emergency call more quickly.
If you rent a house or apartment, your landlord’s insurance will only cover the costs of repairing the building if there is a fire or other disaster. You need your own coverage, known as renters or tenants insurance in order to financially protect yourself and your belongings.
Renters insurance includes three important types of financial protection:
From the smallest towns to the largest cities; there’s the repeated scene of a bar or club filled with people. They gather to eat, drink and to be entertained. Three sources of entertainment are still quite popular; live bands, DJs and karaoke. While many performers who provide these services do so as a full business enterprise, the vast majority don’t. In fact, many such performers treat their activities as hobbies and that can create problems.
Performing for the public as a karaoke emcee, deejay or band member requires a lot of interaction with the general public (venue customers) and a significant investment in equipment and instruments. Obviously such performers face the possibility of a loss involving legal liability to other persons and loss to their own property.
This is part two of a two-part discussion on different causes of loss.
Vehicles - Damage caused by direct physical damage with "vehicles" is covered by the vehicles peril. Damage caused by objects thrown by vehicles (such as stones, etc.) is covered as well. The vehicles peril does not include loss to a fence, driveway or walk caused by a vehicle owned or operated by the insured or a resident of the described location.
If you have ever read the insurance policy for your home or rental property, you probably ran head-first into the terms "hazard," "peril," or "cause of loss." These are events that are covered by your insurance. This article (and part two) briefly explains these terms.
A high school prom is considered quite important; often it represents a first chance to participate in a formal event. It is also considered a chance to act as a full-fledged adult. The event involves arranging a complete evening of dining, dancing and socialization. However, not as much time is usually devoted to making the event as safe as possible.
It is almost inevitable that a prom will involve serious exposure to alcohol or other intoxicants. The evening also involves many young, inexperienced drivers who are excited about making their way to different destinations such as pre and post prom activities. Sadly, these factors have combined to make prom season a dangerous one. Serious traffic accidents often become the main feature of what should be a night of joy.
Potential prom-goers and their parents need to create a strategy to help make prom night both memorable and safe. Here are some tips:
Part 2 is a brief explanation of what can be done to prevent ID Theft. Please see Part 1 for an explanation of what is meant by ID Theft.
Unfortunately, even as instances of ID theft grow, insurance is not a particularly important anti-ID theft tool. The type of loss is not something that an auto, home or similar insurance policy may be adequately adapted to handle. While homeowner policies do typically protect against credit card loss, coverage is usually just for the amount that falls below the minimum liability imposed by federal law (currently $50 per card). The serious harm suffered by ID theft victims are the costs associated with clearing up the aftermath, such as correcting one’s credit history and straightening out various accounts and records. This effort routinely takes months and hundreds to thousands of dollars in legal fees.
More insurers offer coverage for ID theft. Typically, the coverage reimburses legal fees or paying costs related to dealing with third parties to correct records. The most effective protection is for individuals to prevent becoming ID theft victims. Following are some suggestions:
· Keep your account information and Social Security Number (SSN) safe. One idea: keep home records in a locked file.
· Keep details about your various account numbers in a safe place so you can rapidly take care of stolen or lost cards.
· Be very careful with on-line transactions. Is the Website you use secure?
· Find out the privacy guidelines and safeguards of the businesses and parties you deal with.
· Make sure that you verify that websites for online transactions are legitimate
· Use password protection on smart phones and never leave such devices unattended
· Challenge those who request an SSN. Why is that information needed? Can some other information be used as an alternative?
· Think about buying and using a paper shredder. Many information thieves steal mail by going through garbage.
· Write companies who send unsolicited charge cards and request removal from their mail list.
· Check bank and business records thoroughly for irregularities. Track down the reason for any unusual transactions or entries.
· Ask stores that use credit cards if they transmit the information with a wireless network. If yes, ask what safeguards they use to prevent airwave theft.
· If you ever have a charge card transaction involving an imprinter that uses a carbon set for copies, ask for the carbon or watch the clerk destroy the carbon before it’s thrown away.
· Collect mail from mailboxes quickly and don’t put outgoing mail in your own mailbox. These practices give thieves fewer opportunities to fish for checks and private information.
Remember that these are just a few suggestions. Taking steps to minimize the chance of ID theft is a lot of work. That is a major reason that ID theft will continue to be a problem to individuals and businesses.
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