Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

E&O Risk: Agents, Carriers Urged to Review Web Copy

Author: Joyce Sigler

When used well, a website is an effective consumer marketing tool. But have you thought about it also as an E&O risk?

E&O carriers are concerned about emerging issues with agency websites, according to industry veterans Joyce Sigler, account executive and systems administrator at Jones & Wenner Insurance Agency, in Fairlawn, Ohio, and Angela Ford, continuous improvement director with the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Texas.

In a presentation at the ACT fall meeting, Sigler and Ford said statements made on agency websites and social media posts are fodder for plaintiffs' lawyers, depending on how a particular state's laws view the concept of “marketing" online.

And it's not just current online information and statements that can be trouble. It's what you may have said years ago.

Lawyers can pull information off an internet archive, such as the Wayback Machine, which retrieves assertions agents have made to long-term clients on earlier versions of websites. “Words such as 'expert' are litigious," said Sigler. Or, “We check with you always to be sure you get a great deal."

“It's better to use, 'I advise,'" Sigler said.

The speakers urged agents to use technology to minimize litigious words. Audit the website and add a disclaimer. Double-check your promises on social media. Have a written social media plan and guidelines, and make employees aware of the E&O risk.

In an impromptu survey of the ACT meeting audience via the “Poll Everywhere" app, 62% of respondents said they are using technology to cover their E&O concerns. Another 17% were not, and 21% weren't sure.

Access ACT's social media guidelines and resources here.

Joyce Sigler is the Account Executive and all-around guru at the Ohio-based Jones & Wenner Insurance.

Angela Ford has a long history in our industry and is now driving the IIAT (TX) state association and the state of Texas forward as their Continuous Improvement Director. 

Last Updated:  December 21, 2018

​127 South Peyton Street
Alexandria VA 22314
​phone: 800.221.7917
fax: 703.683.7556

Follow Us!

​Empowering Trusted Choice®
Independent Insurance Agents.