No matter the size of your business, there’s always the potential for a defamation lawsuit. Defamation occurs when a false statement causes suffering to another person; if it’s written, it’s libel, and if it’s spoken, it’s slander. Coverage for such charges is typically rolled into a business liability policy, and smaller businesses can get the coverage they need from a company specializing in Business Insurance Latrobe PA. Below is a brief description of the risks your company faces, as well as some guidelines to protect your interests.
Understanding Libel and Slander
For businesses, slander includes falsehoods heard by others that damage the company’s reputation. For example, accusing a company of committing a crime when one hasn’t occurred could lead to a slander suit; the accusations damage the company, and could lead to revenue loss. Libel covers everything from newspaper articles to statements posted online. To lodge a defamation claim, certain criteria must be met:
- A spoken or written statement
- The statement must be false
- It must have caused harm or injury
- The defendant is responsible for the statement
If your business is accused of defamation, you can defend against the allegations by proving that the statement was a fact-based opinion, or you can prove that the statement was true. The former can apply in cases such as op-ed newspaper pieces. In defamation cases, liability coverage pays your legal expenses and any settlement up to the coverage limit.
Getting the Right Coverage
There are four basic guidelines for purchasing business liability coverage:
- Know how much you need. Look at your financials to decide what needs protection.
- Assess your risk. The amount of coverage you’ll need depends on your business type.
- Know the policy’s limitations and exclusions. Most liability policies come with two limits: one applied per lawsuit and one overall limit.
- It may cost less to buy more. As far as liability coverage is concerned, you might find that buying extra is cheaper than what you paid for the initial limit.
Most business owners believe that a defamation suit can’t happen to them, but it’s actually a common occurrence. By knowing more about slander and libel, and by buying the appropriate Business Insurance Latrobe PA, you can protect your business from lawsuits.