In today’s litigious world it’s more important than ever to protect your assets above and beyond what your home, auto, and condo insurance limits cover. Personal umbrella insurance will do just that by helping to cover social media liability and legal fees in the event of a lawsuit if anyone in your household says something personally harmful on a social channel. It also can give you significant peace of mind in a contentious social media environment. 

Preparedness is crucial as social media use is as pervasive as it’s ever been. UFCW Canada  reports that in 2016, 67% of Ontarians were using social media in some form; even in Quebec, the least-connected province, nearly half were using social media. 

The reality is that most people who take their rants and reviews to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter -- among other outlets -- do so in haste. They typically don’t consider the implications of their actions when they hit “post.” But if the target of the rant or a negative online business review sees it as defaming, it’s easy to illustrate the slander in a claim since they have it in writing. This makes it all too easy to be held accountable. Unfortunately, your basic homeowners insurance, even if it includes personal injury insurance, won’t cover you if you’re sued for defamation.

The US is known for its large personal injury liability awards and settlements, but the trend in Canada is heading in the same direction. Unfortunately, the millions of Canadians who utilize social media underestimate the importance of purchasing umbrella insurance for social media liability coverage.

So if your teenager is involved in a contentious argument on Facebook, or worse yet – a cyberbullying situation – you might be hit with a lawsuit. The ramifications could leave you extremely vulnerable with tremendous out-of-pocket expenses. Investing in an umbrella policy that covers slander and libel, helps with legal fees and helps pay for fines or damages, could prove invaluable. 

Without personal umbrella insurance, if you’re sued for something you or a family member disseminates on social media and found liable for a settlement in excess of what your homeowners insurance covers, you’ll find yourself driven into a worst-case scenario lawsuit, all because you didn’t purchase additional insurance. So in addition to supplementing your liability coverage for your auto and home, an umbrella insurance policy can also protect you from unforeseen social media liability. An umbrella insurance policy may be less expensive than you think. Contact your broker to ensure you are properly covered.