Any individual who produces content online is exposed to the dangers unique to the online space. Influencers, for instance, may create a video or social media post that harms an individual or company in a way they did not intend.
Alternatively, an influencer could be threatened by malicious actors seeking to sabotage their image or spread a negative perception, potentially impacting the influencer’s livelihood.
In both cases, insurance is a powerful approach to mitigate the damage that cyberbullying can cause by ensuring compensation for the financial effects of these actions.
Here is how liability insurance can protect against cyberbullying claims, regardless of which side of the accusations you and your business are on.
What Constitutes Cyberbullying?
Before understanding how liability insurance can help you against cyberbullying claims, you’ll need to know what constitutes cyberbullying—and what does not. Cyberbullying goes beyond negative talk online and approaches more serious issues, such as harassment and threats of violence.
If an individual has a valid complaint about your brand or persona, they can leave those comments to alert your business. However, their actions would escalate to cyberbullying if they made threats or spread harmful information about your brand.
Cyberbullying can go both ways. It often happens when a social media influencer is attacked by a fan online through hacking, doxing, or smear campaigns to tarnish their name and harm their future opportunities.
They may attempt to spread malicious rumors of racism or other inappropriate behavior that causes the influencer to lose subscribers and brand deals, resulting in a tangible loss of monetary value.
Alternatively, businesses and influencers themselves can be cyberbullies, whether intentionally or not. If a famous figure or brand shares slanderous or libelous information, they may face the financial repercussions of this action. Because such entities have a wider reach and audience than the average person, they are more susceptible to claims of cyberbullying.
How Liability Insurance Can Help
Anyone in the online sector should understand that insurance is one of the smartest investments you can make in your business. Liability insurance tailored for online figures and businesses may include cyber protection against bullying and harassment from both sides.
For example, if your business is found guilty of cyberbullying and forced to pay for the damage caused to another entity, your insurance may cover the cost. Similarly, if you need to be represented in court because someone has bullied you, those legal fees may be included within the scope of your liability insurance policy.
The most common inclusions in cyber-oriented insurance are medical costs, expert costs, and relocation fees. Medical costs address the ongoing need for medical treatment as a result of your bullying, such as if a fan sent hazardous material to your home or caused sufficient mental and emotional distress to warrant psychological treatment.
Expert costs include the fees for hiring professionals to defend your reputation and fix the damage that was done due to cyberbullying so that you can retain your income.
In severe cases of cyberbullying, the individual may need to relocate or change their address to escape a dangerous bully who knows their whereabouts. Insurance can help cover moving costs, changing your address through legal channels, and more.
Methods of Addressing Cyber Bullying for Your Business
Cyberbullying is a difficult situation, but it does not always result in long-term impacts. The best first step is to see if the bully disappears without engaging.
Ban them if necessary (e.g., for hateful speech), and isolate their presence through restrictions that stop them from engaging with your brand. In the majority of cases, the behavior will stop.
However, it is wise to collaborate with experts to craft a response in the case of high-profile or organized threats. Navigating this step properly could mean the difference between mending relationships between two people or businesses or souring any chance at an amicable resolution.
Get Cyber Insurance and Liability Protection from MFE Insurance
If you regularly operate within the online business niche, liability insurance is one of the first types of protection you should secure. However, investigate whether it includes protections against cyberbullying and other online-specific risks.
The experts at MFE Insurance can guide you as you explore your options for liability and cyber insurance for your enterprise, whether you work from an office building in a busy metro area or the comfort of your home. Contact MFE Insurance to schedule an appointment.