Media Liability

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Media liability insurance is a specialized form of errors and omissions policy specifically designed for media clients who are at risk from liability claims brought by third parties. This type of policy is usually purchased by publishers, broadcasters, advertising agencies, authors, and other related firms that create and distribute media content through various platforms.

Typically written on a claim made basis, media liability insurance provides coverage against defamation, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement, plagiarism, intentional torts and related liabilities. Whether you are an online blogger, film producer, advertising company, news publisher, digital marketing company, or social media influencer, a media liability policy protects you from claim types that are unique to media professionals and for which you can be held financially responsible.

Who should buy Media Liability Insurance?

Media creators produce the shows we watch, the books we read, the music we love, the web content we read or stream, and more.

But behind the craftsmanship, media makers and entertainers often face liabilities that could lead to steep defense costs and the risk of a liability judgment. Things like libel, slander, intellectual property claims and similar issues are very common in the industry.

To protect the interest of publishers, broadcasters, producers, creators, and agencies, obtaining the right liability insurance is essential. This is where a media liability policy becomes extremely helpful, by providing coverage specifically designed for the unique needs of media producers. If your business deals with the following activities or have a direct relation with these industries, then having media liability insurance is highly recommended:

  • Film and program producer
  • Film, program, video and home entertainment distributor
  • Publisher
  • Author
  • Radio, cable and television broadcaster
  • Spokesperson
  • Advertising agency
  • Magazine, newspaper and book publisher
  • Cable operator
  • Marketing company
  • Multimedia company
  • Online content provider
  • Brand manager
  • Public speaker
  • Public relation firm

If you aren’t sure if media liability insurance will address your specific needs, check with your broker. It may be possible that another type of policy is the best fit or that your business needs multiple policies to provide more complete coverage.

What is covered by Media Liability Insurance?

Depending on coverage offered, not all media liability policies are created equal. Insurers’ policies often vary while some businesses need a customized plan to suit their specific requirements. Media liability coverage includes the following but may not be limited to:

Defamation – often arising from false information, defamation is damaging another person, product, group, or business reputation. When false statements are verbalized, they are called slander. But when they are printed in words or images, it is then classified as libel.

Plagiarism – defined as the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s original work. Because ideas are often similar in some ways, plagiarism is a possible media liability claim that media creators can face. Even if there is no copyright, as long as it is proven that the content is made by someone else, you can be held legally responsible for using content without authorization or creating substantially similar content.

Copyright Infringement – if you reproduce, distribute, perform, or display a protected work without permission, you are violating the exclusive rights of the copyright holder. Just like plagiarism, copyright infringement is a common risk in the world of media and entertainment.

Invasion of Privacy – common for reporters, entertainment writers, and celebrity followers, invasion of privacy is the unjustifiable intrusion into the personal life of another without proper consent. It includes disclosing his or her private information, publicizing the person in a false light, or using his or her name for personal gain.

Other media liability claims that may be covered by your policy are emotional distress, negligent supervision, and personal disparagement. On the other hand, media liability insurance typically excludes the following circumstances:

  • Breach of contract
  • Patent infringements
  • Claims made by regulatory authorities
  • Normal business activities relating to employment

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Claims scenario – Media Liability Insurance

Here are some real world examples on how a media liability policy could protect you and your business from unwanted lawsuits that could lead to damaging expenses.

Scenario 1 Your small production company recently filmed and published a short movie about teen students. It was a huge success but one music publisher sued you for copyright infringement, claiming that you used their song without obtaining a license.

  • Should you have media liability in place, the insurance company will cover all legal defense expenses and settlement charges, subject to your chosen coverage limits.

Scenario 2 You recently launched your own cosmetic collection online to increase sales and boost product visibility. However, a cosmetic company contacted you for using the same brand logo and warns to file charges against you for trademark infringement.

  • If you have media liability insurance, your policy can cover the cost of your legal defense as well as your liability for damages, subject to the coverage limits you choose.

Business Insurance

Running a business is challenging enough without having to worry about lawsuits, employee injuries or property damage. Having the right insurance gives you the peace of mind to focus on what matters - running your business.

The coverage you need depends on the type of business you run. A restaurant owner needs to be covered against customers possibly getting food poisoning while an accountant needs to be covered against calculation errors. CoverWallet's intelligent assessment system will identify the insurance you need based on your specific business, get you a policy that fits your budget, and do it all in less time than you think.

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