There are more than 185 million Facebook users in the United States and 50 million businesses using Facebook as a means of marketing and interaction. People routinely conduct business by sending Facebook messages, Twitter direct messages, or text messages. Indeed, Facebook now offers businesses
a variety of tools to help them manage communications, including automated messages, average response time and even away status updates. In an age where the majority of Americans are connected to and communicate via
In an age where the majority of Americans are connected to and communicate via Internet and social media, it is important that insurance agencies adhere to best practices when it comes to electronic communications to avoid E&O claims.
One way to mitigate the exposure is to include a standard disclaimer on all communications, even automated responses. The disclaimer should state clearly that the agency cannot bind or alter coverages via social media, text, Facebook message, etc. and that coverage needs to be confirmed directly with a licensed agent. IIABA’s E&O Happens website offers boilerplate disclaimers for communications via social media, instant messages, and websites.
Richard Lund, a senior underwriter from Swiss Re, says, “The disclaimer samples on the E&O Happens website are templates that can and should be used for any sort of electronic communication, including email, texts, Facebook Messenger or any other type of communication. While it may be cumbersome, it is important to let those you communicate with know exactly what can and cannot be done via electronic communication.”
As agencies begin to embrace communication and marketing via the Internet and social media, it is important that they mitigate their E&O exposures. One simple and effective way to prevent a misunderstanding of the binding process is to include an effective disclaimer on all communication. A simple statement at the end of an email or Facebook replay can protect an agent against many types of E&O claims.