As a blogger, you probably think of your blog like a business—and if not, now’s a good time to start. Whether your goals are to make money, become internet famous, or spread the word about one of your favorite hobbies or pastimes, your blog can be a tool to accomplish your goals.
If you want to be successful, you’ll need to analyze things like market demand and your existing competition. But should you also take protective measures, like getting insurance for it?
Types of Insurance to Consider
There are several types of insurance you might consider as a blogger:
- General business insurance. Some providers offer a general business insurance policy, tailored to your needs, which may combine multiple different types of insurance into one convenient package. Many of the below varieties may be included in this.
- Liability insurance. Liability insurance will shield you from being held liable for a slew of different potential infractions. For example, if your blog somehow causes someone to be injured or lose money, you could be held legally responsible for the damages. Liability insurance would cover any legal fees associated with that lawsuit, including the cost of a lawyer.
- Workers’ comp insurance. In almost every state (Texas being the notable exception), you’re legally required to hold workers’ comp insurance if you’re employing other people. For the most part, workers comp claims can be filed for any injury sustained while on the job or in the course of employment, meaning that even if your employees are working remotely, you’ll still need a policy to cover you.
- Property insurance. If you blog from home for business purposes, your homeowner’s policy may not cover certain types of claims. If you’re using your property for a business, you may need a separate business property policy to protect yourself from theft or damage.
- Business interruption insurance. If you’re relying on your blog as a primary source of income, it would be devastating if your blog is unexpectedly incapable of producing revenue. For example, if you’re injured and unable to continue working, or if your website is unexpectedly taken down due to matters beyond your control, you might have trouble making ends meet. Business interruption insurance is designed to protect you under these circumstances.
Variables to Keep in Mind
Obviously, most hobbyist bloggers won’t need an insurance policy, but some bloggers can seriously benefit from it. These variables should help you determine whether or not you truly need business insurance:
- How you treat the blog. Do you consider this blog to be a business? Or is this just something to pass the time? If you’ve already created an LLC or a corporation for your blog, it’s clear that you’re taking this endeavor seriously, and you should probably get an insurance policy to protect it. If you haven’t thought much about the business aspect, you can probably get away with not having an insurance policy for it.
- Whether you have (or will have) employees. If you have employees or will have employees, you’re almost certainly legally required to have workers’ comp insurance, and may want to have other policies to protect your employees. If you’re working alone, workers’ comp is strictly unnecessary.
- Your size and plans for expansion. How many readers do you have? Do you expect that number of readers to grow in the near future? In general, the more readers you have and the more influence your blog exerts, the more likely it is for you to be held liable for some type of damage. Small blogs—those with fewer than 1,000 readers—probably won’t need to worry much.
- Your profitability model and plans for the future. How much money are you making from this blog? The lower your revenue is, the less you’ll need to worry about business interruption insurance—and probably the other types of insurance on this list. However, if this is a major source of revenue for you, you need to treat it like a business (and get insurance to match).
- Your liability exposure. You should also consider the type of things you’re writing about. If you’re in the habit of covering topics related to famous people or major corporations, all it takes is one libelous statement to land you in hot water. If you’re trying to give people advice on their health and safety, you’ll also be running a higher risk of legal action. But if you’re just posting recipes for desserts or your opinions on video games, you probably won’t have to sweat it.
Ultimately, if you’re blogging for fun and you’re dealing with a relatively small readership, business insurance isn’t worth the investment. But if you’re making a substantial income from your blog, or if you plan to scale to reach millions of people, it could protect you from a wide variety of threats.