Once considered a “rite of passage,” bullying is now viewed as a disturbing form of abuse. In many cases, bullying has caused long-term emotional damage to children and their families, and in some instances, even death. According to the iSAFE foundation, “over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying.”
Cyber bullying, a recent phenomenon that has coincided with the growing use of Internet and mobile devices, has tragic consequences for children, their families and communities across the world. As cyber bullying has become more common, it is important for parents to understand both its nature and how to be more hands-on when it comes to prevention.
Parents whose children have been negatively affected by cyber bullying have recently started taking action, including suing the parents of their child’s bullies for personal injury. Usually unaware of the issue until after the fact, the parents facing lawsuits are unprepared both emotionally and financially. Most standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover personal injury, and court costs can extend well into the millions, depending on the extent of harm done.
Coverage for personal injuries like slander and libel may be covered by most homeowners policies, but this often requires attaching a special endorsement. But these policies also typically cover liability claims that involve accidental damage, specifically excluding losses that are “expected or intended.” That means if harm is intended—often true in the case of cyber bullying—the policy may not provide coverage. And while some umbrella policies might provide broader coverage, they also often exclude deliberate acts to harm others.
In addition to talking with your children about cyber bullying and offering advice on handling conflict take the following preventative measures to help prevent cyber bullying: