In an increasingly digital environment where the production of content is quicker and easier,
the potential risk to make an error or omission has never been higher.
Whether you’re a publisher, producer, advertiser, social media influencer or digital marketer, purchasing the appropriate insurance to protect your digital agency from a range of allegations is an important consideration.
The two most commonly purchased products, media insurance and professional indemnity insurance are packaged differently, however they can provide the same protection as long as the coverage extensions we discuss below are incorporated.
If you are unfortunate enough to become the target of litigation, the potential cost can have a significant financial impact. Media insurance can offer peace of mind that you are protected against disgruntled clients and aggrieved third parties.
You may be required to hold minimum amounts of media insurance as part of your contractual requirements. However, even if that’s not the case, consideration should be made to maintaining protection against costly legal disputes.
What media insurance does your agency need?
The most important cover available under media insurance is professional indemnity insurance, as it offers protection against the failure to exercise reasonable skill and care in offering your services. However, media agencies should ensure their professional indemnity includes the following extensions:
- Copyright infringement – is a common allegation that advertisers and producers need protecting from. Anything that is reproduced or redistributed without the required consent, can fall foul of copyright infringement. Producers and executive directors are partially prone to claims if they fail to have the correct permissions in place.
- Invasion of privacy – occurs when someone intrudes upon the personal life of another without consent. News reporters and writers are likely to come up against costly invasion of privacy allegations, by potentially releasing sensitive information and causing emotional distress.
- Defamation – is damage to a reputation that has serious negative consequences. False statements or information, also known as libel or slander are typically covered as under a professional indemnity extension. Note these types of claims can be made against the individual and/or the business itself.
- Plagiarism – is the practice of passing someone else’s ideas or actual work as your own, which can happen intentionally or by mistake. Publishers and digital marketers are prone to allegations of plagiarism. Note there doesn’t need to be a copyright in place, so it’s important to be protected against allegations, even if they are without merit.
- Cyber breach and notification – often provided under a separate cyber policy – this media insurance can protect the business from first and third-party liabilities, including having to notify individuals that their personal identifiable information has been stolen. Not to mention advice and assistance from cyber specialists to assist with responding to a cyberattack.
The above extensions turn a traditional professional indemnity policy into what is more commonly referred to as media insurance.
What controls should media agencies implement?
Media insurance claims against publishers and producers can be reduced by ensuring the following policies are introduced:
- A content approval process for everything you publish. This way, nothing is released into the world without being carefully checked and a senior individual that takes responsibility.
- A permissions process should ensure any use of third-party material used in any production has the correct approvals, again with a senior individual that takes responsibility.
- Guidelines for staff with respect to the use of social media, online comments, blog posts and any other content you publish. This way, your employees will understand what is required of them, reducing the risk of a disgruntled third party.
Why do you need media professional indemnity?
Potential claims can be based on a number of legal grounds, including negligence, breach of contract, breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty or breach of statutory duty. However, without your professional indemnity cover being tailored to the needs of a media agency, you may find yourself without sufficient protection.
Media insurance policies are now commonly available to meet the needs of digital agencies. Additional media insurance covers include protection for key individuals, the website, client data and regulatory breaches.
Do we need a media insurance broker, or can we purchase direct?
Your media insurance should be tailored to the services you provide, for example if you produce a T.V series, it may be a specific requirement that you purchase a T.V / Film insurance to meet the contractual requirements of the broadcaster.
Working with a media insurance broker can ensure you purchase the most appropriate protection to meet your needs, as well as obtaining value for money. If you are unfortunate to find yourself caught up in a dispute, you’ll want to make sure your media insurance is adequate to provide the protection you need.