The power of media is overwhelming. With the current potential of virality and misinformation, mixed with the sheer amount of people plugged into the Internet, simple mistakes can become big problems. Truth can be misrepresented as lies. Old tweets and comments can resurface. And if your company suffers from an oversight in media or advertising, you could experience expensive setbacks.

It’s for this reason that media liability insurance exists.

But what is media liability insurance, exactly? And kind of broad protection can it provide for media professionals? Below, we’ll explain that and more.

Media liability policies typically fall beneath professional liability insurance. Also known as errors and omissions insurance (E&O). E&O is a type of specialized coverage that helps protect individuals and businesses from professional mistakes (those that result in financial loss for a client).

In which case, this type of liability insurance is considered an endorsement of a bigger policy, and typically provides coverage for:

Work mistakes – If a client claims that you’ve made a mistake related to your media services, one that resulted in their financial loss, they can file a lawsuit.

Missed deadlines – A missed deadline could mean the loss of income for your client, or a variety of other problems. Should this occur, your client might end up taking you to court to try and recoup their losses.

Negligence – Negligence also pertains to mistakes made, but it can be both willful or unwillful. If your client believes that you’ve acted negligently, they could file a claim.

Advertising injury – Typically, advertising injury is covered under a general liability insurance policy. However, given the ubiquitous nature of media, professionals who work directly in media may not be covered should they be accused of plagiarism, copyright infringement, or defamation. Liability insurance for media fills this gap, should a claim or lawsuit be brought against them.

Invasions of privacy – This typically includes four separate wrongdoings, including intrusion upon seclusion, the misappropriation of someone, falsely portraying a person or entity, and the public disclosing facts that should’ve been kept private.

If a claim is filed for any of the above, a media liability insurance policy can help protect an individual or business.

But how, exactly?

The biggest thing a media liability insurance policy helps cover is legal defense. Why? Because advertising error (plagiarism, libel, slander, etc) typically results in a client getting litigious. Thus, a policy typically covers the costs involved with hiring a legal team and investigating a given claim. Even if you’re not a fault, the process alone can be expensive. This coverage includes (but is not limited to):

  • Legals fees
  • Court-ordered penalties
  • Settlement payout

The reality is that media liability claims can be quite hefty, which is why it’s always recommended that you select a high enough limit; otherwise, your coverage might not be able to protect you from a massive payout or legal bill.

To that end, when it comes to settling in court, there are typically two different clauses within a media liability policy that you need to be aware of:

Consent-to-settle – This is a part of your policy that states your insurer, once they’ve started the review process, will not settle unless the policyholder provides consent.

Hammer clause – This clause follows “consent-to-settle,” stating that if the policyholder doesn’t agree to a settlement which is acceptable between the insurer and claimant, a penalty will apply. Typically, this penalty results in a reduction of what the insurer is willing to pay the policyholder on the final settlement.

An argument can be made that the two clauses are contradictory. On one hand, the insurer gives the policyholder the flexibility they want. On the other, if the policyholder disagrees with a settlement, they’re penalized. While this is standard practice when it comes to media liability insurance coverage, it’s something to make note of.

As you might guess, it’s typically those who work in (or spill into) media that benefit from this type of coverage. A few types of professions that benefit from a media liability insurance policy include but are not limited to:

  • Bloggers
  • Advertisers
  • Writers
  • Publishers
  • Marketers
  • Influencers (particularly social media influencers)
  • Journalists
  • Broadcasters

All insurance coverage policies come with exclusions. Media liability insurance is no different. When considering a policy, it’s important to note that a media liability policy typically excludes:

  • Criminal or nefarious acts – Crimes are not covered. Although, insurance might come into play before it’s discovered a crime was committed.
  • Bodily injury – Media liability insurance doesn’t cover any physical damage.
  • Property damage – Media liability insurance doesn’t cover any physical damage.
  • Breach of contract – If a contract is breached, it’s usually excluded from a media liability policy.
  • Patent Infringement – If a patent owner’s rights have been violated, the claim will be excluded from the policy.
  • Securities fraud – If it’s discovered that securities fraud was committed, the policy is void.

Are you a consultant or marketer that needs media liability insurance? At Thimble, we’ve redesigned small business insurance to create flexible, affordable, and on-demand policies.

Not only does our professional liability policy help protect you from claims of negligence (if your services result in financial loss for your client), but if you’re eligible, we also include media liability insurance.

It’s endorsed in your professional liability policy.

Additionally, we create plans tailored to you—that includes both professional and general liability insurance. Our general liability policies help protect you from third-party claims of:

  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Personal injury
  • Advertising injury

By choosing an insurance policy that goes by the hour, day, or month, you only pay for insurance when you need to. It’s why our policies are so affordable, and why we’re the next big thing in small business insurance. If you’re interested in an insurance policy, just click “Get a Quote” or download the Thimble mobile app, input a few details about your business, and review your free quote.

From there, you can click to purchase and receive your Certificate of Insurance instantly. Did we mention this only takes 60 seconds? It’s that fast.

Defamation lawsuits (and the likes of) can escalate quickly. Given the current media landscape, small businesses and individuals need to create safeguards in the case that they’re accused of slander or plagiarism. They also need to be prepared for other problems that can arise due to their services.

For those safeguards, there’s Thimble.


Our editorial content is intended for informational purposes only and is not written by a licensed insurance agent. Terms and conditions for rate and coverage may vary by class of business and state.