Advising your social media influencer in a way that matches their risks

As the business manager for a social media influencer, your client is a trusted name. They’re out there on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (and others) creating fresh content in real time that’s got a significant following. But, did you know that this activity presents several risks to their income stream, including costly liability lawsuits or regulatory fines?   

Top 4 Biggest Exposures and Their Impacts

Several exposures plague the social media influencer’s daily activity – from content creation to product endorsements and even accepting financial backing for a new entity. Here’s a list of just a few, including their potential impact:

  1. Content Creation: Because their work is often spontaneous, social media influencers may not go through proper clearance procedures to vet their content, exposing them to claims of copyright infringement, misappropriation of content or a third-party trademark/copyright license breach. General liability (GL) policies won’t cover these exposures. Hiring a media attorney who understands content clearance procedures and a Professional Liability policy or Media Liability (ML) policy - should protect an influencer in the event he is sued.
  2. High-Hazard Activity: Some social media influencers are performing crazy stunts or filming in extreme conditions that can lead to a lawsuit if copy-catted or can make insurance underwriters weary of providing coverage. Influencers can mitigate risks by including a “don’t do this at home” disclaimer, obtaining signed waivers from participants and reviewing Professional Liability policy exclusions against certain activities.
  3. Celebrity Appearance and Product Endorsements: During a public appearance, if a social media influencer says something defamatory towards a person or company, or endorses or makes claims about a product, a lawsuit is always a potential outcome. Adding Personal Appearance Professional Liability coverage that includes product endorsement and merchandising can add an extra layer of protection.
  4. Investment Losses: If the social media influencer received financial backing to help launch an entity, and the backers file a claim against them, specifically naming them in the lawsuit, the influencer’s personal assets could be at risk. The legal costs and judgments following could be crippling. A Directors and Officers (D&O) policy is the only coverage that protects the personal assets the influencer has worked so hard to attain.

Assessing the Risk of Your Social Media Influencer

Getting ahead of the risk is important. The first step is to take a holistic look at the social media influencer’s activities, actions and tendencies. First, perform a full risk assessment and then maintain a portfolio of insurance to properly cover those risks, including a General Liability (GL) policy, paired with a Professional Liability or Media Liability policy. Other policies may be recommended depending on the type of activities and assets to cover.

For more information, contact your HUB Entertainment Business Management risk professional to determine if your client has the coverage they need to protect their work.