In today’s new digital world, social media platforms have quickly become everyone’s favorite place to connect with friends, learn valuable information, and express themselves by showcasing their own lives. Social media has intrinsically intertwined with our lives today. For example, when you meet someone new, you often become friends on social media, and when you look for a job, the company you’re applying for will typically search for your online profile.
Using social media has become a way of branding yourself. You can easily establish your own identity and build your image. From this phenomenon, the social media influencer was born.
Of course, with constant exposure of your life to the public, social media influencers face unique risks. Therefore, influencers should receive protection from liabilities.
Here’s why social media influencers need insurance.
- A social media influencer is someone who has built a strong reputation for themselves on a social media platform, and therefore has many loyal followers.
- Influencers face many risks because they are always in the public eye. Common liabilities include defamation, copyright infringement, invasion of privacy, property damage, non-performance of contract, and financial fraud.
- Social media liability insurance is often both required and wanted by companies.
- An influencer can usually be faced with negative online responses and interactions, especially as he or she grows in popularity.
- Some of the more common plans influencers get are professional liability, commercial general liability insurance, cyber liability insurance, and property insurance.
What is a social media influencer?
A social media influencer is someone who has built a strong reputation for themselves on a social media platform, and therefore has many loyal followers. These individuals regularly make content on their channels and engage with their audience. Brands love working with social media influencers because of their great power: when partnering with a company, their loyal followers will flock to what they promote.
Influencers come from many different backgrounds and can be found in any area of promotion, including narrow niches.
What are the risks of being an influencer?
Though social media has had many benefits, such as being able to reach a large audience, making direct connections through platforms, and creating organic content, these can also be a double-edged sword.
As a social media influencer, your life is constantly under scrutiny. When your posts are published for the masses to view, it’s likely that you’ll receive criticism and negative feedback, as not everyone will have the same opinions. With a large number of followers, your content will make it to an even wider audience. There’s a good chance someone will take action against you.
Today, authenticity is key to being a successful influencer. However, many people might view you as being ingenuine and misleading. Let’s say you promote a skincare product. It works fantastically for you and clears up your acne. You might receive hate because the product didn’t work for someone else as well as it worked for you.
You must make informed decisions about who you work with and be careful with what you say.
Specific Liability Issues Facing Influencers
- Defamation: You are watched closely and must not gossip or spread damaging information about another. On the flip side, because you are in the limelight, brands could make disparaging comments about you.
- Copyright infringement: You must be careful about using someone else’s intellectual property without rights to do so, especially with having to constantly put out new content.
- Invasion of privacy: If you take pictures or videos (vlog) of someone without them knowing, someone can object to their appearing in your content.
- Property damage: You want protection for where you live, as well as protection for your equipment, like cameras and computers.
- Non-performance of contract: If you are contracted with a company but don’t complete your duties (say, missing posts), you could be sued.
- Financial fraud: When promoting a product, make sure all your claims are accurate. If someone buys the product because of you, but it doesn’t work like you said, you could be held liable.
These are some of the most common types of liability claims against social media influencers, but the legal landscape regarding the digital world is constantly changing, and you may be faced with more issues down the road.
3 Reasons Social Media Influencers Need Insurance
If just hearing the possible lawsuits didn’t convince you that social media influencers need insurance, here’s some specific reasons.
1. It’s both required and wanted.
When companies partner with an influencer, it’s often required that its contractors have insurance. Most professional businesses understand that social media exposure comes with a lot of risk, and thus want their influencers to have protection.
2. You can face being “canceled” and have online disputes.
Being “canceled” refers to followers withdrawing support and can also be used as a form of online shaming on social media. Because influencers live much of their lives online, their opinions will be heard. You may be sued if your opinion is taken the wrong way.
3. You have a huge online presence.
As you gain more followers, you also attract more attention. In addition to being canceled, you may be a target of cyber criminals. These criminals can lock you out of your accounts or ruin your personal brand by posting for you. If you reach worldwide recognition, you must be aware of different cultures and address each respectfully.
What types of coverage does an influencer need?
Some of the more common coverages for social media influencers include:
1. Professional liability. This protects you from copyright infringement, invasion of privacy, breach of contract, and more. You can read more about professional liability in our blog: What is Professional Liability Insurance?
2. Commercial general liability insurance. This will cover claims for defamation, as well as personal injury, property damage, and advertising injury.
3. Cyber liability insurance. This protects you from cyber-attacks. Check out these blogs for more information: Don’t Lose Sleep Over Cyber Security, How Much Your Personal Data is Worth on the Dark Web?, and The Growing Need for Personal Cyber Insurance.
4. Property insurance. This will cover your personal property like your cameras and computers.
How can an influencer find the right coverage?
Figuring out which coverage to get can be confusing. There’s a lot of information surrounding the digital world, but Blue Ridge Risk Partners is here to help you get what you need.
Reach out to us today!