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Media Liability Insurance

Media Liability Insurance

Get a quote on Professional Liability Insurance

For companies in the media industry, including broadcasters and podcasters, offline and online publishers, content and video creators, and those providing professional services, advice, or recommendations, lawsuits related to your work may be more commonplace now than ever. With the digitization of media, the widespread reach of the Internet, and the speed with which information can travel, a small mistake or error can, in short order, lead to a big problem for your clients. If customers feel they have been personally injured or have suffered financial losses as a result of your professional work, they may seek damages and file suit against your business. This is where Media Liability Insurance comes in.

What is Media Liability Insurance?

Media Liability Insurance protects media companies from the costs of lawsuits and damages related to their professional services. Media Liability Insurance is a type of professional liability insurance specifically designed for media businesses, protecting against lawsuits related to failures in professional services, in addition to covering personal and advertising injury.

You may be familiar with personal and advertising injury coverage, as it is often included in general liability insurance. However, because their work is public, companies in fields like advertising, publishing, news, or web design are more at risk for personal and advertising injury lawsuits. Therefore, most insurance companies exclude these companies from the personal and advertising injury coverage provided in commercial general liability policies, resulting in the need for coverage via Media Liability Insurance.

Lawsuits that revolve around libel, slander, copyright infringement, or invasion of privacy can cost you and your business millions of dollars. Media Liability Insurance can provide you the financial backing to weather these lawsuits, covering your legal fees, as well as any money you are ordered to pay in a settlement. Media Liability Insurance will also protect you against lawsuits alleging any failures in your professional services, including poor performance, errors or omissions, and negligence.


What businesses need Media Liability Insurance?

In the course of doing business, there is inherent risk in the professional services and work your company provides. For media companies in particular, when you are creating content that is being consumed by the public, any mistake or failure on your part can lead to embarrassing and costly consequences for your clients.

If a third party files suit against your firm for plagiarism, copyright infringement, libel, or slander, the financial consequences could be devastating. If your client is unhappy with your work, they could also sue you, putting the financial viability of your business at risk.

No matter how careful and meticulous you are in your work, mistakes do happen. And even if you’ve done nothing wrong, clients can still sue you for perceived negligence. For most companies, lawsuits will prove to be financially challenging, and for those smaller media companies, this may be a risk that you’ll be unable to recover from.

Businesses that may benefit from Media Liability Insurance include:

What does Media Liability Insurance cover?

Media Liability Insurance covers claims arising from your professional services, advice, or work. Your insurance policy will cover legal costs, attorney fees, court costs, and any settlements or judgments against your company. While the exact coverage may vary from insurer to insurer, the following types of claims are typically covered:

Errors or omissions in your professional work. A dissatisfied client can sue your business if they feel a mistake that you’ve made has led to their financial loss.

Undelivered or uncompleted work. If you fail to deliver on a deadline or agreement, a client may sue you for damages.

Actual or alleged negligence. If a client believes that you have failed to use reasonable care in your professional duties—whether this is true or not—they may sue you for negligence.

In addition to covering professional liability claims, Media Liability Insurance also covers claims resulting from personal and advertising injury. Covered areas typically include:

Slander, libel, or disparagement. This offense refers to any defamation by speech (slander), defamation in written or visual form (libel), or discrediting of another’s products, goods, or services (disparagement).

Copyright, trade dress, or slogan infringement. This offense refers to any use of another’s copyright, product or packaging appearance (trade dress), or slogan without permission.

Plagiarism or misappropriation of ideas. This offense involves representing someone else’s language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions as your own original work.

Publications that violate privacy. This offense refers to any oral or written publication that violates a person’s right of privacy. Common privacy violations include: using a person’s likeness or name without permission, intruding into a person’s private affairs, using publicity to put someone in a negative light, or disclosing private information about someone.

What are the key exclusions to Media Liability Insurance coverage?

Media Liability Insurance policies are often customized to the insured and vary by insurer, so exclusions may differ. Generally, though, the following are considered common exclusions:

What are the limits of Media Liability Insurance coverage?

The limits of your insurance policy are the maximum amount your insurer will pay for damages, settlements, and legal fees. Media Liability Insurance policies are typically written on a claims-made basis, with a per-claim maximum as well as a maximum for each policy year. For example, your policy could have a $1 million per-claim maximum and a $10 million maximum for the policy year.

Unlike most other liability policies that are written on an occurrence basis, Media Liability Insurance policies are claims-made, meaning claims are only covered if the claim is made while the insurance policy is active. This is important to note because in the media industry, a client may not discover an error until long after the work has been completed.

For some Media Liability Insurance policies, insurers enact what’s called “shrinking limits” for defense costs. This means that these costs are included within the limits of insurance, with legal fees being deducted from the amount the insurer will pay for any settlements or judgments. Because of the expensive nature of litigation, particularly when involving public media, it’s worth keeping in mind these potential expenses when deciding on coverage limits.

Does Media Liability Insurance have a deductible?

Media Liability Insurance policies typically include a deductible, though depending on the insurer there may be a zero deductible available for small firms. Generally, the higher the deductible, the lower your insurance premiums will be.

Pricing and Quotes

Media Liability Insurance is a specialized type of professional liability insurance. AdvisorSmith found that the average cost of professional liability insurance for small businesses is $1,034 per year. This average is based upon small businesses with under $500,000 in revenue, with limits of $1 million. The cost of Media Liability Insurance will vary though, and it is highly dependent upon company revenue and specific line of business.

In order to get an accurate estimate on pricing, it’s best to get a quote from a reputable insurance company. Below we’ve highlighted a few of our trusted partners who offer professional liability insurance:

ProviderProfessional LiabilityErrors & OmissionsGeneral Liability

Final Word

Whether you are a newspaper publisher, PR firm, web designer, or content writer, you can benefit from the protections provided by Media Liability Insurance. Having Media Liability Insurance coverage means that your business and employees are protected in the event of lawsuits related to your professional services or work. A company without this coverage opens itself up to the financial consequences from suits alleging negligence, poor performance, libel, slander, copyright infringement, and more. Clients and businesses take their reputations seriously. Given the high costs that lawsuits of this nature can have, it may be in your best interest to acquire the coverage you need through Media Liability Insurance.

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