What Is Media Liability Insurance?
(Quotes, Cost & Coverage)

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So what is media liability insurance for advertisers, broadcasters, publishers, producers and other media businesses? Media liability offers coverage for lawsuits brought by your clients - usually alleging that you made a mistake or oversight in the work you did for them.

What Is Media Liability Insurance?

What Is Media Liability Insurance?

Media liability insurance is something many people might never have heard of before; but you should know that it's a type of insurance you cannot afford to be without if you work in the media industry and are at risk of a claim for what has been said in an article, press release, radio or television or any other form of media.

You might have already heard of errors & omissions insurance (aka professional liability) before. Errors & omissions insurance for media and advertising firms is called media liability insurance. What is media liability insurance? In simple terms, E&O insurance covers your business against any claims, damages or losses that might arise from an outright error - or omission of information - basically negligence.

Media Liability Insurance

What is media liability insurance? It is a type of errors & omissions insurance policy, but it is customized to suit the operations of in media and broadcasting businesses. This type of insurance covers your business and employees in the event of claims, losses or damages arising from four main different types of claims. The four main types are:

There are also other types of media claims that include:

If you work in the media industry, then you are at risk for being made responsible for any of the above should a claim ever arise. Wouldn't it make you (and your employees) feel much safer in the work environment if you knew that these types of claims were protected against? This is exactly what is media liability insurance - and it can be exactly what gives your publication or business the peace of mind it needs.

Media liability coverage can also be extended to social media liability coverage if your business has a strong presence on social media, and interacts with users and clients through popular social media channels (like Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter & YouTube) - as is the case with most businesses and companies in the modern tech age.

Copyright Infringement

Claims of copyright infringement can potentially destroy a person's reputation - but it can also destroy a business in the media industry. In the largest copyright infringement claim the United States has ever seen, (2012) individual authors brought their lawsuits forward against several US Universities whom they alleged copied their work. Media liability insurance will protect you and your business if anyone working for you ever makes your publication liable for a copyright infringement claim.

Plagiarism

Claims of plagiarism in the media industry are more common than you might think. Since the burden of proof is usually fought over in the courtroom, the legal costs of plagiarism claims alone can run into thousands of dollars or more. What is media liability insurance? It protects you in the event that you ever suffer damages or losses as the result of a plagiarism claim or allegation.

Defamation

These days, it's very easy to be accused of slander, libel and defamation - especially if you're a writer or journalist who happened to rub someone up the wrong way, or if you have a journalist in your ranks who is a bit of a loose-cannon. (Yes, almost every publishing house in the world has at least one.) Be covered against claims of defamation against your staff and publication - it's not if but when in the media world.

Invasion Of Privacy

Invasion of privacy claims can easily be brought against a media house or broadcaster - especially in the case of investigative journalism or tabloid writing. Even if legal lines were not crossed, such a suit can run up thousands of dollars in legal costs while the matter is investigated, either internally or by the authorities - and your business should never have to suffer as a result. What is media liability insurance? It protects you.

Should I Buy An Occurrence Or Claims Made Media Liability Policy?

Media liability insurance is usually sold on an occurrence or claims-made basis, and knowing the difference is important when buying this type of policy:

Media Liability Risks & Exposures

Any company that distributes information to the public via a web site, podcasts, desktop publishing, email, and etc. f faces the exposures of a traditional publisher. Easy access to electronic technology, including smartphones, is contributing to a huge influx of publications and educational services.

Modern publishers will encounter both familiar and new communications exposures and the level of accompany risk will be related inversely with their level of skill and experience. The underwriter will want to see copies of publications, contracts with freelancers, and information on steps taken to insure accuracy and originality of content to avoid intellectual property claims. Media Liability errors and omissions claims involve allegations of damages (physical injuries or economic loss) caused by error or negligence in the ideas or expressions contained in published (or broadcast) material.

Often, a claim or lawsuit may not involve a clear error or omission. A client who is unhappy with the result of a firm's efforts may file a claim to obtain a different result or avoid paying a fee. Media Liability Insurance typically pays for the cost of defending this type of claim.

Standard carriers are often wary of providing media liability for these increasingly popular methods of communication. Standard liability forms, such as ISO's Commercial General Liability Policy, typically exclude personal and advertising injury for media-related exposures such as:

Distribution of material in violation (or alleged violation) of the following statutes:

Insurance Classification Of Media Companies

Insurers classify media firms using several coding systems. You can wind up paying more for your insurance if your media business is not properly classified - and there are several classifications for media and advertising companies:

SIC Code 2731 - Books: Publishing, or Publishing and Printing

Here is the official OSHA SIC code description for Books: Publishing, or Publishing and Printing:

Establishments primarily engaged in publishing, or in publishing and printing, books and pamphlets. Establishments primarily engaged in printing or in printing and binding (but not publishing) books and pamphlets are classified in Industry 2732.

  • Book club publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Books: publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Music books: publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Pamphlets: publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Textbooks: publishing and printing, or publishing only

SIC 4841 - Cable and Other Pay Television Services

Here is the official OSHA SIC code description for Cable and Other Pay Television Services:

Establishments primarily engaged in the dissemination of visual and textual television programs, on a subscription or fee basis. Included in this industry are establishments which are primarily engaged in cablecasting and which also produce taped program materials. Separate establishments primarily engaged in producing taped television or motion picture program materials are classified in Services, Industry 7812.

  • Cable television services
  • Closed circuit television services
  • Direct broadcast satellite (DBS) services
  • Multipoint distribution systems (MDS) services
  • Satellite master antenna systems (SMATV) services
  • Subscription television services

SIC Code 2721 - Periodicals: Publishing, or Publishing and Printing

Here is the official OSHA SIC code description for Periodicals: Publishing, or Publishing and Printing:

Establishments primarily engaged in publishing periodicals, or in publishing and printing periodicals. These establishments carry on the various operations necessary for issuing periodicals, but may or may not perform their own printing. Establishments not engaged in publishing periodicals, but which print periodicals for publishers, are classified in Industry Group 275.

  • Comic books: publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Magazines: publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Periodicals: publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Statistical reports (periodicals), publishing and printing, or publishing
  • Television schedules: publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Trade journals, publishing and printing, or publishing only

SIC Code 2741 - Miscellaneous Publishing

Here is the official OSHA SIC code description for Miscellaneous Publishing:

Establishments primarily engaged in miscellaneous publishing activities, not elsewhere classified, whether or not engaged in printing. Establishments primarily engaged in offering financial, credit, or other business services, and which may publish directories as part of this service, are classified in Division I, Services.

  • Atlases: publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Business service newsletters: publishing and printing, or publishing
  • Calendars: publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Catalogs: publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Directories: publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Globe covers (maps): publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Guides: publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Maps: publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Micropublishing
  • Multimedia educational kits: publishing and printing, or publishing
  • Music, sheet: publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Patterns, paper, including clothing patterns: publishing and printing,
  • Race track programs: publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Racing forms: publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Shopping news: publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Technical manuals and papers: publishing and printing, or publishing
  • Telephone directories: publishing and printing, or publishing only
  • Yearbooks: publishing and printing, or publishing only

SIC Code 7812 - Motion Picture and Video Tape Production

Here is the official OSHA SIC code description for Motion Picture and Video Tape Production:

Establishments primarily engaged in the production of theatrical and nontheatrical motion pictures and video tapes for exhibition or sale, including educational, industrial, and religious films. Included in the industry are establishments engaged in both production and distribution. Producers of live radio and television programs are classified in Industry 7922. Establishments primarily engaged in motion picture and video tape reproduction are classified in Industry 7819 and those engaged in distribution are classified in Industry 7822.

  • Audiovisual motion picture program production
  • Cartoon motion picture production
  • Commercials, television: tape or film production
  • Educational motion picture production
  • Industrial motion picture production
  • Motion picture production and distribution
  • Music video production
  • Nontheatrical motion picture production
  • Religious motion picture production
  • Tape production, video or motion picture
  • Television film production
  • Training motion picture production
  • Video tape production

SIC Code 2711 - Newspapers: Publishing, or Publishing and Printing

Here is the official OSHA SIC code description for Newspapers: Publishing, or Publishing and Printing:

Establishments primarily engaged in publishing newspapers, or in publishing and printing newspapers. These establishments carry on the various operations necessary for issuing newspapers, including the gathering of news and the preparation of editorials and advertisements, but may or may not perform their own printing. Commercial printing is frequently carried on by establishments engaged in publishing and printing newspapers, but, even though the commercial printing may be of major importance, such establishments are included in this industry. Establishments not engaged in publishing newspapers, but which print newspapers for publishers, are classified in Industry Group 275. News syndicates are classified in Services, Industry 7383.

  • Commercial printing and newspaper publishing combined
  • Job printing and newspaper publishing combined
  • Newspaper branch offices, editorial and advertising
  • Newspapers: publishing and printing, or publishing only

SIC Code 4832 - Radio Broadcasting Stations

Here is the official OSHA SIC code description for Radio Broadcasting Stations:

Establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting aural programs by radio to the public. Included in this industry are commercial, religious, educational, and other radio stations. Also included here are establishments primarily engaged in radio broadcasting and which produce radio program materials. Separate establishments primarily engaged in producing radio program materials are classified in Services, Industry 7922.

  • Radio broadcasting stations

4833 - Television Broadcasting Stations

Here is the official OSHA SIC code description for Television Broadcasting Stations:

Establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting visual programs by television to the public, except cable and other pay television services. Included in this industry are commercial, religious, educational, and other television stations. Also included here are establishments primarily engaged in television broadcasting and which produce taped television program materials. Separate establishments primarily engaged in producing taped television program materials are classified in Services, Industry 7812. Establishments primarily engaged in furnishing cable and other pay television services are classified in Industry 4841.

  • Television broadcasting stations

What Is Media Liability Insurance? - The Bottom Line

We hope this article on media liability insurance has been informative.

Further Reading On Media & Information Technology Insurance

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