While ADA lawsuits previously focused on physical access barriers to businesses, in the past few years they have shifted to include cyberspace as well. Lawsuits alleging inaccessible websites and mobile apps accounted for at least a fifth of the total number of ADA Title III lawsuits filed in federal courts in 2019.
With the Supreme Court declining to review the Robles v. Domino’s case, small businesses in the United States continue to be without formal federal guidance on how to make their websites compliant.
While the majority of complaints are being brought forth on behalf blind or visually impaired individuals, plaintiffs with hearing impairments are also common. Designing your website to comply with WCAG 2.1 Guidelines and providing an accessibility statement will show your users that you are committed to accessibility and how to reach out if they encounter a problem.
Having the right insurance will play a big role in surviving an ADA website complaint. It is important to review your policy (or policies) to ensure you are fully covered for ADA discrimination claims. Specifically, ensure that your EPLI policy includes Third Party Discrimination Coverage - though this alone may not be enough to completely off set an ADA claim as it often does not cover the expense to update a website to make it compliant. Other policies to review include Cyber Liability (Privacy and Security Wrongful Act) and Professional Liability / E & O Liability (Failure to Provide Service).
ADA Website accessibility claims are not going away and, in fact, continue to escalate. Businesses need to be prepared in the face of changing guidelines and court rulings to stay compliant. Your independent insurance agent is a great resource for reducing your risk and finding gaps that may exist in your coverage. Plus, at Concklin Insurance Agency you can always stay up to date on compliance, regulations, and more with our client portal. Don't have a portal? Contact your agent today to get set up.