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Bloggers May Be Wise to Purchase Insurance

A lawsuit was filed this year against Courtney Love by a designer who claimed to have been libeled by the rock singer on MySpace and...
July 15, 2009

A lawsuit was filed this year against Courtney Love by a designer who claimed to have been libeled by the rock singer on MySpace and Twitter.  A number of similar lawsuits involving social networking sites have been filed, and those who share their disputes in cyberspace expose themselves to lawsuits and could face large legal bills.  Bloggers may find it worth the expense to buy insurance to protect themselves against lawsuits involving claims of libel or defamation. The Media Law Resource Center reports that a court awarded an Ohio woman $129,794 in damages because a blogger said that her property was haunted, and another blogger was ordered to pay $1.8 million in damages for referring to the plaintiff as a failed lawyer.

Peter Spicer, communications manager for Chubb Personal Insurance, said that people will file lawsuits if they feel that they have been libeled or defamed.  Spicer notes that blogging has allowed everybody to act as an editor-in-chief so there is no longer a filter on commentary released to the public.  Chubb and other insurers that serve affluent households include personal injury coverage in homeowners insurance policies that protects policyholders against claims of libel, slander and defamation.  Similar coverage may be offered by umbrella policies. Bloggers who are not covered under current policies may be able to add riders or endorsements to homeowners, renters or umbrella policies to get the extra coverage, which is generally not expensive.

The Media Bloggers Association teamed up last year with an insurer to provide liability coverage, called BlogInsure, to its members. To get a quote, you must pass an online test covering defamation, privacy rights and copyright infringement, said Robert Cox, the group's president.

Bloggers May Be Wise to Purchase Insurance (Chicago Tribune 7/5/09)

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