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Risk Management: Insurance Websites and Agency E&O Issues


An increased digital presence and expansion of on-line services by insurance agents has generated some new concerns and potential exposures to be examined. We touched upon this briefly in our blog last month when talking about how agents are increasingly specializing and getting into niche markets. Here we want to take a more in-depth look on how Internet marketing and social media marketing, while definitely helping to expand an agency’s reach beyond the communities it serves, also necessitates effective risk management protocols to protect against E&O claims.

These protocols include:

  • Protecting your customers’ and potential customers’ information when distributed electronically
  • Ensuring that you are not making claims in the content on your website, blogs, social media posts, etc. that could cause you potential problems in the future; expectations that you cannot meet, for example
  • Reviewing your content to make sure it’s accurate and includes any qualifying statements (such as “we will help you find the right coverage”) and disclaimers (“may include but is not limited to”; or “exclusions do apply”)
  • When using someone else’s content, getting permission and crediting them within the content; be sure they are a reputable source
  • Including a privacy statement on your website about the confidentiality of customer data
  • Making sure a disclaimer is on your website in a prominent location and having your attorney review the disclaimer
  • If there are interactive features that collect identifiable information, making sure you’re in compliance with all state and federal privacy and data breach notification regulations

Additionally, many carriers are requiring that the site is SSL certified – where the connection between the browser and the web server is encrypted – in order for Cyber Liability insurance to be included as part of the E&O coverage.

Axis Insurance is a leading provider of E&O coverage for insurance agents and brokers, including providing programs for MGAs and MGUs. Give us a call at (877) 787-5258 to discuss your specific E&O needs.

 

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Blogged on: March 6, 2012 by Mike Smith
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