Insureon Blog

Something General Liability Insurance Does NOT Cover: Lawsuits You Initiate

5. May 2015 08:38

wedding photographer talking to the bride and groom

Weddings: these momentous occasions bring out the best and worst in people. Emotions are high and expectations are even higher. And if there's one professional that may bear the brunt of these emotions and expectations, it's the wedding photographer.

You'd expect the story of the wedding photographer Andrea Polito to be one about her being sued by an unhappy couple. While the bride was indeed unhappy with the photography services, she's not the one initiating a lawsuit – the photographer is.

The Case of the "Hostage" Wedding Photos

Let's recap what brought these parties to this unfortunate legal crossroad. According to PetaPixel

Because Polito relies on her reputation to do business, this turn of events was especially difficult. With the couple dragging her business's name through the mud on the local news, surely prospective clients will think twice before hiring her.

So, according to the report, Polito decided to take action – she's suing the couple over:

She is seeking up to $1 million in damages.

While many small-business owners can empathize with Polito's position and decision to pursue legal action, there is one thing to be aware of: General Liability Insurance won't cover lawsuits business owners initiate. You can learn more about that in "Small Business Brings $65k Lawsuit over Negative Online Review."

Accused of Defamation? There's Coverage for That

Though General Liability Insurance won't cover defamation lawsuits you file, it may offer coverage when your business is the one being accused of ruining someone's reputation. Most GL policies include advertising injury coverage, which means it can step in when you're sued over:

You'd be surprised how easy it is to accidentally commit these injuries when you use social media marketing. We have an entire eBook dedicated to explaining advertising injuries and how to avoid them, so check it out here: Tweet or Twibel: The Small-Business Owner's Guide to Advertising Injury.

Dispute Resolution: Best Practices

That's all well and good, but what should you do if you feel as though legal action is your only respite when clients or competitors are slandering you? Because you can't rely on your commercial liability insurance to help out, it's important to exhaust all other forms of dispute resolution before you hire an attorney and head to court.

Here are some ideas:

For more customer service tips, read "Make a Better Impression on 88% of Your Potential Clients."

Tags:

Advertising Injury | General Liability Insurance | Photographers & Videographers | Risk Management | Small Business | Small Business Risk Management | Tips for All Small Businesses

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