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How Your Company’s Website Could Be an E&O Exposure

How Your Company’s Website Could Be an E&O Exposure

A company website is an important aspect of a business’s online presence. Your business’s website is often the first impression your company gives to potential customers. It should be clear, clean, easy-to-navigate and contain enough information to answer common customer and potential customer questions and leave visitors with a good grasp of what your company is about.

In contrast, a website – even one that looks great – can actually serve as an errors & omissions (E&O) risk if special care isn’t taken to ensure the language and data on the website is accurate. E&O claims typically arise from claims against the services that a business provides. But, claims against businesses that are in regards to their website language are becoming increasingly common too. What your company’s website does – or doesn’t – say could be a professional liability risk. Below are some of the ways in which a company’s website could be an E&O exposure.

Over-Promising

One of the reasons that website language may be brought up in a courtroom is because the website has over-promised things like services, performance and pricing, but the company is unable to deliver. Don’t make promises that you may not be able to keep, such as “We offer the BEST service in town or your money back!” Rather, let customers know what you aim to offer if they choose to use your service; “We aim to offer the BEST service in town. Please let us know how we can help you!”

Too Much Information

There can be such a thing as too much information, especially if that information is incorrect or outdated. Company information, locations, employee information, services provided and product descriptions should be routinely checked for accuracy and updated as soon as something changes. For example, if a company’s website includes information for a product, they should be providing exactly that product to their customers. If they change the product’s appearance, function or size later down the road but forget to update the information on their website, they can be held liable for improperly representing that product to customers.

The Privacy Policy

Regulations have changed over the past few years, and in 2018 it’s more important than ever to have a privacy policy on your website. This informs website visitors about the types of data that your website gathers from them and how it is used. It should be easily accessible, and ideally should include details on how their data is protected as well.

The Disclaimer

Not to be confused with the privacy policy, the disclaimer is meant to reduce the likelihood of claims against the company from visitors to the website. It should contain information such as, the specific name and web address of the website, the person or entity that owns the website, the liability accepted or not accepted by the website owner and the website owner’s policy regarding endorsements towards third party links from their website.

In this highly litigious day and age, business can’t be too careful in reducing as many of their liability risks as they can possibly identify. Careful risk management paired with comprehensive E&O coverage, helps business owners spend more time and resources growing their business and less time and resources defending themselves against professional liability claims.

About Axis Insurance Services

Axis Insurance Services specializes in providing employers with EPLI coverage and would be happy to discuss this must-have protection with you, particularly critical in today’s litigious environment. Just give us a call at (201) 847-9175.

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Blogged on: September 26, 2018 by Mike Smith
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