If you have nothing nice to say, don't say it online...

    
    TD Insurance poll finds more than a quarter of Canadians (27%) believe
    they can't be held legally accountable for online comments
    

TORONTO, Oct. 6 /CNW/ - From celebrities to average folks, more people are finding themselves held accountable for their online comments. A recent TD Insurance poll found that a majority (67%) of Canadians have posted comments online and 18% regretted what they posted. Yet, more than a quarter (27%) believe they aren't legally accountable for their online comments.

Although the trend towards lawsuits against bloggers, message-board posters, social network users and yes, even Twitter users, is gaining momentum faster south of the border, it raises the question of how Canadians can protect themselves from their online words.

"Most people approach online commenting as though they were chatting in person, completely unaware of the risks they're taking," says Henry Blumenthal, Vice President and Chief Underwriter, TD Insurance. "A good rule of thumb when you're posting online is to ask yourself, how would I feel if this was printed in the newspaper with my name next to it?"

What's got Canadian tongues wagging online? More than half of respondents who post online do it to share their opinion about an experience (53%) or weigh in with their thoughts on an article or online entry (52%). Nearly a quarter (23%) vent frustration about a company, product or experience and a small percentage (5%) discuss their jobs or employers online. The old adage about Canadian politeness may hold true online, with only 6% admitting to gossiping.

Interestingly, men are more likely than women to have posted a comment in an online forum at 71% compared to 64%. Men are more likely than women to 'express an opinion about an online article or entry' (60% vs. 44%) and to 'correct information' (30% vs. 16%). Women are more likely to have posted to 'share their opinion about an experience' (58% vs. 47%).

Not surprisingly, younger Canadians (18 - 34 year olds) are more likely than their older counterparts to have posted online comments at 89%, but baby boomers are also joining in the conversation with 48% of 55+ year olds posting comments online.

When asked if they behave the same online as they do in person, the majority of Canadians (75%) said yes, but 9% did admit to being more opinionated behind the keyboard. Younger Canadians (18 - 34) are more likely to say they are more opinionated in person than online - 25% compared to 14% of 35 - 54 year olds and 7% of 55+ year olds. Yet, they're most likely to regret something they posted online (29% vs. 16% of 35 - 54 year olds and 5% of 55+ year olds).

"The way we communicate is constantly evolving and it's important for other areas of our lives to keep up, including our insurance policies," says Blumenthal. "Everyone's insurance needs are unique. Our experts will help you identify your personal needs so that you can have peace of mind knowing you're fully protected."

Most residential policies include liability insurance, but often the publication of libel, slander or defamatory comments is excluded from this coverage. TD Insurance Home and Auto offers an umbrella policy with home insurance that does provide coverage for the above. This added protection will help defend clients who have gotten themselves into unwanted situations as a result of a few strokes of the keyboard.

For more information, visit www.tdinsurance.com or call 1.866.454.8910.

About the Poll

From September 15 to September 16, 2009, Angus Reid Strategies conducted an online survey among a randomly selected, representative sample of 1,001 adult Canadians who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About TD Insurance

The TD Insurance brand is a part of TD Bank Financial Group. The wide range of TD Insurance products help protect clients from the 'accidents of life' including credit protection, life, health, travel, home and auto insurance. With more than three million clients, TD Insurance products and services are available through a network of more than 1,000 TD Canada Trust branches, the Internet and telephone. The TD Insurance brand, through its TD Insurance Credit Protection and TD Insurance Life and Health brands, is the number one provider of critical illness insurance and direct life and health premium origination in Canada. And through its TD Insurance Meloche Monnex and TD Insurance Home and Auto brands, is the largest direct-response insurance group in the country. For more information, visit www.tdinsurance.com. TD Insurance Home and Auto products are offered in Ontario by TD General Insurance Company and across Canada by Primmum Insurance Company and TD Home and Auto Insurance Company.

SOURCE TD Insurance

For further information: For further information: Jacqueline Burns, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 308-0177, Jacqueline.burns@td.com; Jason Graham, Argyle Communications, (416) 968-7311 x 229, jgraham@argylecommunications.com


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