From public relations agencies to commercial production companies and even creative service providers, there is a wide range of businesses that can benefit from purchasing media liability insurance. Media liability insurance is a specialized type of errors and omissions insurance that protects you and your business from legal liabilities associated with their work.
Although some media production companies and creative professionals might assume that they don’t need insurance because their occupation doesn’t involve heavy machinery or specialized tools, it’s a good idea to protect yourself against legal expenses. Even a small lawsuit can cause you to spend thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees. A comprehensive media liability insurance policy can help you cover these costs.
Interested in learning more about your media liability insurance options? Our guide will help you understand the types of coverages you might need, what you can expect to pay for your plan and more. We’ll also help you begin your search by collecting a few quotes from some of our top insurance providers.
Best Media Liability Insurance
Many companies offer media liability coverage across the United States. The right company for your need might vary depending on where you live, the nature of your business, the types of coverage you need and other additional factors.
The best way to effectively compare costs when you search for your business insurance policy is to collect quotes from a few competing insurance providers. Not sure where to begin? Consider starting your search with a few of our favorite companies offering media liability insurance products below.
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Types of Media Liability Insurance
Though media liability insurance is a single type of insurance policy, inclusions in your coverage can vary depending on the company you choose to service your plan. Let’s take a look at what your media liability insurance could cover and some additional types of insurance that can benefit your business.
Media Liability Insurance
Media liability insurance is a type of errors and omissions insurance that specifically applies to creative content providers and producers. Media liability insurance will help you cover the cost of legal defense and court-awarded judgments made against you if you’re sued by a client, customer or 3rd party because of something that you create or produce. Some examples of situations and claims that are included under most media liability insurance policies include:
- Plagiarism: Plagiarism occurs when you copy someone else’s work and attempt to pass it off as your own original creation.
- Copyright infringement: This occurs when you use someone else’s copyrighted creative content without their permission, like copying a competitor’s slogan and using it to advertise your business.
- Libel and slander: These are types of defamation that occur when you make false statements about a company or individual that harms their reputation or causes business losses. Libel occurs when the statement is written (for example, in a tabloid magazine or on a gossip forum), while slander occurs when the statement is spoken (for example, on a television program). An example of this type of defamation could include asserting that a competing media service provider has committed a crime when this isn’t actually true.
- Invasion of privacy: An invasion of privacy occurs when you intrude on someone’s life in a way that’s above and beyond a normal person’s expectation of privacy. For example, sneaking onto a celebrity’s private property to photograph their estate without permission.
Even the best media liability insurance policy won’t cover everything. Some examples of commonly excluded coverages include:
- Claims made by a local government or regulatory body
- Patent infringement
- Breaches of contract
- Lawsuits related to sexual harassment, employer discrimination or wrongful termination
- Data breaches
- Bodily injury or property damage claims
- Securities fraud
- Criminal acts that you admit to doing or that a court finds you guilty of
Your media liability insurance policy may also include a subsection called a “hammer clause.” A hammer clause is a policy that compels you to settle claims made against you outside of a court of law. Say a client sues you for defamation and offers to settle the claim for a payment of $100,000, you can choose to accept or reject the settlement. However, if you reject the settlement, bring the claim to court, lose and are ordered to pay $200,000 in damages, your insurance may only cover $100,000 of this judgment.
Additional Coverages for Media and Creative Companies
Because media liability insurance won’t protect your business against all types of lawsuits, you might want to consider adding the following additional coverages to your policy:
- General liability insurance: General liability insurance helps cover the costs of legal defenses if you damage someone’s property or if a client injures themselves on your property.
- Commercial property insurance: Commercial property insurance compensates you if the physical space you operate your business from is destroyed or damaged due to a covered peril.
- Cyber liability insurance: Cyber liability insurance compensates you if you suffer a data breach and a client sues you for mismanagement of private data.
Cost of Media Liability Insurance
The specific price that you’ll pay for media liability insurance will vary depending on a wide range of factors. Some things that might influence the cost you’ll pay for your insurance can include:
- The size of your business: Among the biggest factors that influence the price you’ll pay for your media liability insurance is the size of your business. As you hire more employees and add clients to your roster, the likelihood that you’ll make a mistake increases. Expect your insurance costs to rise as you expand your business.
- Your policy limits: Like most types of insurance, media liability insurance comes with a per-incident maximum payout that you can claim from your provider. For example, if you choose a policy with a $500,000 maximum, it means that you cannot claim more than $500,000 from your insurance provider to cover your legal expenses, regardless of the amount that you actually spend defending yourself and covering court-awarded damages. Choosing a policy with a higher max increases what you’ll pay each month for coverage.
- Number of years you have in your industry: The more experience you have working in your industry, the less likely you are to make a mistake that results in legal action from a client. You can expect your insurance expenses to slowly decrease over time as you gain more years of experience working with media and creative partners.
- Your business revenue: If you work with high-value clients or your company has high budgets for each creative project, legal action taken against you may be significantly more expensive than smaller media companies. Expect your insurance costs to rise as your revenue and average spending per project increases.
Some companies could offer media liability insurance policies for as little as $500, but most media companies and creative service providers can expect to pay around $2,500 per year for their basic coverage. This price will increase as you add optional protections to your policy. The best way to get an exact idea of what you’ll pay for your insurance is to claim a quote from a media liability insurance provider offering policies in your area.
How Media Liability Insurance Works
Even the most experienced and careful media professional can make a mistake on the job. Media liability insurance is a type of coverage that protects your business from costly legal expenses brought against your business. For example, if a client decides to bring you to court over a copyright infringement claim, your insurance will help you pay for your legal expenses. If the client wins the case and a judge awards a settlement, your media liability insurance will also help cover these costs.
An important note — media liability insurance will only protect you from legal action brought against your company. It won’t cover any type of expenses you incur suing another company or client for defamation, copyright infringement, plagiarism and any other protection included in your policy.
In addition to media liability insurance, you may want to protect other areas of your business. Cyber liability insurance, for example, can help protect you from lawsuits arising from data misuse or mismanagement. If you own a physical space where you operate your business, you may also want to consider purchasing a commercial property insurance policy.
Claiming Coverage for Your Business
Choosing the right insurance policy for your business is important — and it doesn’t need to be a hassle. Start by collecting a few quotes from some of our favorite media liability companies above. Because each insurance provider uses their unique formula to determine how much you’ll pay for coverage, it’s possible to save hundreds or even thousands just by knowing all of your options.