Can Your Website Be Used Against You?

Mallory Cornell, MBA
Mallory Cornell, MBA

Can Your Website Be Used Against You?

Absolutely.

As much as your website is a strong tool for advertising, posting information, getting referrals and even accepting payments, it also has a growing potential to be used against you in an E&O claim. Website content should receive the same consideration as a paper document when it comes to making promises and touting the skills of the agency being represented. Here are just a few risk management tips to keep in mind when evaluating the risks that may be present on your agency website.

First and foremost, what standard of care are you setting through promises on your website. Avoid making impossible promises that could be difficult to defend at your E&O trial. Examples of this language found on websites (outside of Wisconsin) include:

  1. “We start by taking the time to learn your business. We ask the right questions to uncover your unique requirements and individual concerns. Then we help you to understand your potential for risk, no matter how elusive it may seem.”
  2. “We address your need for a comprehensive risk management program and can reduce your overall cost, increasing your profitability and productivity.”
  3. “We dig into the insurance specs to make sure you include all proper coverages on every job you bid.”

From a content perspective, be mindful of the information and articles you are posting. If the content was created by the agency, are all the statements factual? The more specific the information being provided, the higher the risk of allegations against the agency for providing inaccurate advice. If the information is from another source, does the agency have permission to post it and has all the information been reviewed for accuracy?

Also, be mindful of that helpful “click here” button provided to make it easier to contact the agency. A customer may decide to send personally identifiable information through the system creating a potential data breach exposure.

These are just a few quick tips to remember when you’re reviewing or creating your website. Take a moment to review your website and ask yourself some important questions.

Do you have a privacy statement on your website?

Are appropriate disclaimers included on your site?

Is all content on your website accurate and do you have permission to post it?

If you collect information or payments on your website, are you compliant with state and federal privacy and data breach notification laws and regulations?

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Mallory Cornell, MBA

Mallory Cornell, MBA

Director of Risk Management

Mallory is the Director of Risk Management for IIAW. Joining the team in April 2017, Mallory continues to build the risk management playbook within IIAW to provide additional resources to members. Through innovative new practices, key risks will be identified and mitigated in a tailored fashion to meet your business needs.

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