Defamation of Character

Published: | Updated: October 12, 2017

Definition - What does Defamation of Character mean?

Defamation of character is a false written or spoken statement about a person that harms their reputation. It is an illegal offense and can result in civil or criminal charges. In the context of insurance, damages may be owed to the party filing a defamation of character lawsuit. Therefore, individuals may seek insurance protection for libel, slander, and defamation of character.

Insuranceopedia explains Defamation of Character

Even though a single, false statement may not seem like a serious offense, it actually can be quite damaging. For example, if a businessman gives a public interview in which he falsely claims a rival CEO embezzled $30 million, that could have major ramifications for the latter. The rival might quickly find themself losing clients and business due to the damage to their reputation. In this situation, they could sue the businessman for defamation of character. Coverage for these lawsuits may be a part of a personal liability insurance policy that protects against losses from such situations.

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