Is Cyberbullying Covered Under your Homeowners Insurance Policy?

What Does Energy Efficient Really Mean? How Does It Save Me Money?
July 8, 2015
What Does it Mean to Bundle My Insurance Policies? Is it Beneficial?
August 3, 2015
Show all

Is Cyberbullying Covered Under your Homeowners Insurance Policy?

The internet has many advantages, but unfortunately some disadvantages as well.

Cyberbullying has become a rising trend in the online world and this can have some dire consequences. These consequences are often not limited to the victim, but may also occur for the parents of the cyberbully.

Many people wonder if cyberbullying is covered by their homeowners insurance, so let us take a closer look at this phenomena and the applicable insurance policy.

Cyberbullying Trends

Unfortunately, cyberbullying is on an all-time high in the US. The hostile online behavior is often used to harass, embarrass and even isolate a person.

Cyberbullying is more frequent with teens and children than it is with adults, however, adults can also be a victim of this nasty online behavior.

The cyberbully is always held liable or accountable for his/her actions, but this liability may also be transferred to the parents of a minor, who basically had no idea that their child was engaging in activities such as cyberbullying. Avoiding the problem is one thing, but it is not always possible to check what your child is doing 24/7.

Should you be hit with a lawsuit due to your child cyberbullying, there are certain things you can do.

Vulnerability to Cyberbullying Lawsuits

Cyberbullying can have some serious consequences for people other than the victim, especially when the victim is a minor. Teens who engage in cyberbullying can be held liable to some degree, however, the parents are usually the ones that pay the most.

Parents can be sued for the misuse of the internet and may encounter some serious compensation claims. However, some of these claims are included in your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Of course, it is always better to avoid lawsuits and keep tabs on the internet usage of your child.

How Homeowners Insurance May Help

Many homeowners insurance policies offer coverage for serious lawsuits and this can include slander, mental anguish and invasion of privacy. However, it is important to realize that coverage does depend on the circumstances.

A common lawsuit that occurs with cyberbullying is negligent entrustment against the parents of the minor that engaged in the cyberbullying. People should also understand that the majority of homeowners insurance does not cover claims for intentionally perpetrated harm, this means that the minor intentionally acted to cause harm to the victim.

However, your policy will normally cover claims that relate to a different person than intended, which means that your policy can cover injuries that resulted from unintended results and an intentional act. To avoid encountering problems with your insurance policy, it is really important to read everything your policy provides.

When you are facing a cyberbullying claim against you or someone in your family, it is also important to immediately contact your insurance agent or agency. When the insurance carrier is not notified in a reasonably timely manner the coverage can be voided.

So what can you expect from this insurance coverage?

In general, a homeowner insurance policy can cover your defense costs and will give you some degree of protection against damages that you will be held liable for.

Another problem you may encounter while trying to use your homeowner insurance policy, is that the insurance carrier denies you the coverage. If you suspect that you are eligible for this coverage, but have been wrongfully denied by your insurance carrier, contact your agent and/or attorney to investigate this claim.

There is a very fine line when it comes to coverage so it’s important to be involved in the claims process and represent your interests as best as possible. Given the fact that cyberbullying is such a sensitive subject, you may encounter some serious problems when you are trying to make a claim on your insurance policy.

However, there are certain things you can do to ensure that you are covered in the event of a lawsuit. Having a good attorney is definitely helpful, since you may be held liable for the actions of a third party, even if the actions occurred without your knowledge. An attorney will also ensure that you receive the proper coverage if it is mentioned in your homeowner insurance policy.

Even though cyberbullying is something that should be punished, it can lead to parents being sued for the actions of their children. Most parents who deal with these lawsuits are very unaware of what their child is doing, so protecting yourself against this type of lawsuit is also a good idea.

Ask yourself how much you know about the internet activity of your child and the liberties they enjoy. For that reason, having access to the account and internet activity of your child is not a bad idea. However, if this situation does occur, you can at least have some protection through your homeowner’s insurance.

Comments are closed.