Media Liability Insurance – Taking care of writers, producers, bloggers

Wang Yan
Wang Yan

Global Courant

As an insurance broker, I often get calls from individuals and organizations looking for general liability coverage. The variety of these organizations run the gamut from your basic contractor to the adult daycare center. But it’s not this gamut that I’m concerned about, at least not for this article, it’s the individuals and/or organizations seeking general liability insurance for a media related business and not knowing they need a very specific and obscure cover called media liability insurance or communications liability insurance.

Some of these individuals and organizations include bloggers, web developers, radio program personalities, authors, production companies, publishers and broadcasters of instructional materials, television and radio stations, motion picture companies, cable and satellite broadcasters, and electronic publishing services of the advertising industry, as well as all other entities engaged in preparing materials for publication, republication, and electronic publishing services to name a few.

Many of these individuals and/or organizations do not realize they need media liability coverage and, even worse, many insurance professionals are not even aware that media liability coverage exists or that coverage is most likely specifically excluded from their general liability. This coverage is usually part of the general liability found in Cover B, Personal and Advertising Injury Liability, in a standard CGL (Commercial General Liability) policy. Personal and advertising damages cover liability, defamation, defamation of character, as well as copyright, patent, and trademark infringement. More often than not, it is only when there is a claim, and too late, that the person/organization learns that the main coverage for their operation has been excluded from their policy, media liability. In most cases, their search begins after being instructed by a vendor or contractor to purchase liability insurance. Nevertheless, there are some industry employees who know they need the coverage but find it difficult to find a professional who knows anything about the coverage or where to secure it.

- Advertisement -

In either case, most of these individuals or organizations will be at their wit’s end by the time they find us. Most have been told that the insurance they are looking for does not exist or is not available from the last dozen or so brokers or agents they have spoken to. There are obvious reasons for this frustration and even more obvious reasons that their search for media liability insurance leads them to so many dead ends.

For most of us, the notoriety of insurance companies comes from advertising, which generally includes those for AllState, Geico, Nationwide, and Liberty Mutual, which do not currently offer any form of true media liability insurance. As a result, most people become frustrated and discouraged. While media liability insurance coverage is a very easy form of insurance to understand, most captive agents do not offer it. For agents and brokers who primarily deal with home and auto insurance as a staple of their business model, exploring and becoming proficient in such a specific type of product is irrelevant to their own business.

You’re probably and certainly wondering right now, okay, what is media coverage? Media Liability Insurance protects you against claims arising from displaying, communicating, transmitting or providing information in a manner that violates the rights of others. Media Liability Insurance provides highly valuable third party coverage against liability, defamation, defamation, copyright, trademark and patent infringement, liability for personal injury, invasion of privacy claims or unfair competition claims that RESULT in financial consequences or personal injury. Examples of these circumstances include printing an abusive statement about someone, making defamatory remarks about a person or a company’s product, using someone’s logo or even the unauthorized use of a cartoon character in an advertisement or publication, distributing illegally obtained photos of someone, or marketing your product by making harmful false claims about your competitors’ products.

According to Citizen Media Project, which is affiliated with Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, lawsuits in the US increased 70% in 2008 compared to 2006. The cost to hire a lawyer and defend these allegations can range from $5,000 to at least $100,000 in the event that the case goes to trial. in 17 cases, totaling $43.9 million,” said Ron Coleman, a trademark attorney at Goetz Fitzpatrick in New York. (1)

That averages nearly $2.6 million per judgment, not including legal fees. It has been reported in various internet publications that 50% of adults are members of social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Often messages on these networking sites are written quickly and spontaneously, often these messages can be taken out of context, and because they are stored indefinitely, individuals can make claims well into the future. This brings up another point; adults should make sure they have personal injury coverage on their homeowner’s policy. Adding this coverage is minimal and in fact this coverage is necessary if you have or plan to get a personal umbrella liability policy. For a person in a non-media industry, this coverage provides similar protection, but on a personal level. In a recent case involving an Internet-blogging youth, the insured’s daughter disliked math class and also the teacher. The daughter made several “disparaging” comments about her teacher online. The teacher successfully sued the parents and was awarded $750,000.

- Advertisement -

The problem with our litigious society is that a claim or lawsuit often involves no error or omission. For example, a customer may not be satisfied with the service or simply do not want to pay a bill, they may file a lawsuit or make a claim for an error or omission, but their real goal is to avoid paying for services rendered. In this case and in all cases where a lawsuit or claim is filed, the defendant must still hire legal counsel and respond to the claim. In this case, media liability insurance typically covers the cost of defending this type of claim, which in many cases accounts for the bulk of the cost of the lawsuit.

Today’s media liability policies, which are tailored to meet the needs of a growing number of companies with communications risks, are carefully underwritten by a significant group of insurers.

The following are some well-known examples of suits related to this form of insurance:

- Advertisement -

  • In 1981, Carol Burnett was paid $1.6 million ($3.8 million in 2009 value) after suing the National Enquirer for describing her alleged public intoxication.
  • In 2006, chef Gordon Ramsey sued Associated Newspaper LTD alleging that he “famed some of his scenes.” Associated paid Ramsey $138,000 and apologized.(2)

Media Liability Insurance – Taking care of writers, producers, bloggers

World News,Next Big Thing in Public Knowledg

#Media #Liability #Insurance #care #writers #producers #bloggers
Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *