Insurance Co: Blogs Are A Liability

    March 27, 2007

An insurance carrier told a New Jersey law firm that they could not cover the firm’s Web site if they had a blog. The insurance company Chubb saw the blog as a liability and fretted that the content could be viewed as legal advice.

Lawyer and blogger Dennis Kennedy gave his perspective on the controversy," My rule of thumb on these issues is to simply substitute the word "telephone" for "blog" and then see if there is any new issue raised by blogs that aren’t raised by telephones. I haven’t found any yet – in twelve years off thinking about these issues since I first started my website."

Lawyer Kevin O’Keefe sees the behavior as typical of the insurance industry. On his blog he writes," Exclude coverage for anything you can get away with and talk of high risks that aren’t real so as to increase premiums and/or to sell new types of coverage."

The insurance company does not seem familiar with the definition of blogging. Blogger Bill Gratsch wrote" The idea that a law firm’s weblog is somehow completely different from its e-newsletter or its company website shows a lack of understanding of web technology."

The questions that remain: are the insurance company just doing its job and being overly cautious; or are they truly confused by the concept of blogging? Gratsch sums it up writing," We obviously don’t know the full story behind the insurance company’s rationale and perhaps it is simply taking a cautious approach to give itself time to understand weblogs and complete risk assessments, etcetera. For that I cannot blame them. They are running a business, after all. "