We’ve all been guilty of saying something rash or stupid from time to time. We may say something that’s inflammatory, that pushes buttons, or pushes the truth a bit. It’s possible that we might even say something that can be deemed illegal as slanderous or libelous.
What happens if you say the wrong thing in your home? What if someone sues you for libel or slander? Will your homeowner’s insurance provide financial protection in the event you are accused of slander or libel?
What are Slander and Libel?
Slander and libel are two types of defamatory statements. Slander is oral (spoken) defamation, and libel is written defamation such as blog posts, letters to the editor and internet chat comments.
Protecting Yourself Against Defamation Lawsuits
There are two ways to protect your assets in the event of a lawsuit stemming from libel or slander claims:
- Add a personal injury endorsement to your Rockville homeowners policy. This only covers libelous or slanderous acts that are unintentional. It’s not the best protection if you planned to say or write something antagonistic, and any statements made while conducting business would be excluded. Personal injury coverage extends your liability coverage, and may cover statements made away from your home.
- Take out an umbrella policy in addition to your home insurance policy. This would need to be added after the personal injury endorsement because your homeowner’s policy coverage would be applied first, and the umbrella policy would make up the excess. Umbrella coverage against liability covers more than libel and slander; it can also protect your assets by helping cover your defense costs if you are sued for invasion of privacy, wrongful imprisonment, and defamation of character which takes place in your home.
We may never be able to prevent ourselves from writing or saying hurtful things, but we can protect ourselves against financial loss if it inadvertently occurs. For more information about how umbrella insurance can protect your assets against loss from defamation claims, contact one of our independent insurance agents at Wellspring Insurance Network Inc. today. We’ll be happy to show you the benefits of purchasing umbrella insurance coverage on your Maryland home, automobile or boat.