Media Business Insurance

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What is Media Liability insurance?

Media Professional Liability insurance (also referred to as Errors & Omissions) protects companies that advertise, publish, broadcast, blog, or entertain from liability arising out of the content they create, regardless of the mode of communication used. Any content “put out there” in the public eye may open up these media-related businesses to liability claims for defamation, invasion of privacy, plagiarism, infringement of copyright, emotional distress, and so on.



Even companies not considered in the media or entertainment industry are exposed to this liability exposure with just a website or if they communicate any kind of information.

Advertising agencies are facing new challenges that require coverage. They need to adapt as the marketing landscape changes rapidly. Professional video makers and film producers need the self-confidence to grow from small-scale productions to Hollywood blockbusters without worrying about large liability claims.

Theaters, cultural organizations, musical artists, actors, and TV or movie producers may enjoy unique challenges in the media, arts, and entertainment industries. A personal appearance of an author, singer, or actor may be on a live news or entertainment show on TV; everything they say is subject to interpretation, and the possibility of offending someone with what they say is high.

Who needs Media and Entertainment Insurance?

  • Advertising agency
  • Marketing company
  • Multimedia companies
  • Cable station operator
  • Internet and news media content creators
  • Radio, television, or cable broadcasters
  • Cultural organizations with art and related operations
  • Documentary, Industrial, Commercial, Educational (DICE) film producers
  • Musical groups and artists, actors
  • Publishers, reporters, authors
  • Promoters of performing arts, music, culture
  • Spokespersons
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Recommended insurance policies

If you work in media and advertising, you're vulnerable to lawsuits for copyright infringement, slander, negligence, and invasion of privacy, are just a few acts that will get you in trouble. Business insurance of different types will help lessen the financial impact when something goes wrong. The following policies are recommended:

Professional liability insurance

Media Liability is professional liability insurance, also called errors and omissions, for businesses in the media and entertainment industries. It protects these businesses from liability lawsuits pertaining to the content created, broadcasted, and published. For people who do public appearances or are spokespersons (public figures), anything they say may cause harm to entities, groups, or persons such as:

  • Accusations of professional negligence
  • Copyright or trademark infringement
  • Libel or slander
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Misrepresentation

An error in your media or advertising company could cause financial harm to a client. If that client files a lawsuit, your business could be seriously disrupted or destroyed. Media liability insurance, also known as professional liability insurance or errors and omissions insurance, can help with legal expenses related to your organization's conduct. This policy provides liability coverage related to the following:

Coverage provided by media liability insurance

Work mistakes and oversights

You may be sued for negligence if a client accuses you of making mistakes or asserts that your media or advertising business failed to meet certain standards. This accusation could lead to an expensive legal battle, especially if a client claims your brand or mass media business caused financial damage.

Media liability insurance can cover your legal costs, even if you did not initiate the incident.

Missed deadlines

Your customer may be negatively impacted by project delays, and your media liability insurance can help you cover legal costs such as:

  • Attorney’s fees
  • Court-ordered judgments
  • Settlements

Advertising injuries

Usually covered by a general liability policy, advertising and media-related injuries are generally excluded from the policy for advertising and media professionals because of their line of work.

Instead, media liability insurance coverage (sometimes called communications liability insurance) helps fill this niche by providing broadcasting liability insurance for risks like:

  • Libel and slander
  • Copyright infringement

General liability insurance

Most of the general legal issues facing businesses, including damage to merchandise, customer injury, advertising injury, and customer property, are covered by public liability insurance. This insurance policy investment helps you qualify for contracts and leases and proves yourself a responsible party to insurers. It is best for:

  • Slip-and-fall accidents
  • Damaged customer property
  • Commercial lease requirements

This policy can cover the related costs if a customer is injured during a client visit or if you damage customer property during a speaking engagement. It provides liability coverage for claims or suits arising out of your business’s operations:

  • Bodily Injury to visitors or clients to your office or job site
  • Third-party property damage caused by your business
  • Fire legal liability (liability to the landlord for damage to the rented premise)

Coverage provided by General Liability Policy

Third-party injuries

If a client or visitor in your office gets injured, you may be held responsible for the injuries. If they sue, your media or advertising company could be on the hook for any medical bills plus the cost of an attorney. General liability insurance will defend your business and pay claims or damages for which the business is legally liable for covered events.

Please note that the general liability policy doesn't include coverage for employee injuries, auto liability, or watercraft liability. For these, there are separate and specific policies.

Third-party property damage

In the marketing and advertising industry, you sometimes have offsite film or photo shoots or production locations where there are chances of damaging property at the site where you’re working. If your employee inadvertently breaks another person’s property, your general liability policy can cover repairing or replacing the damaged property. General liability may defend and pay court-ordered judgments for legal disputes over repairs for more expensive items to which coverage applies.

What’s not covered under General Liability ?

Most general liability policies for businesses in this industry do not get coverage for personal and advertising injury such as libel, slander, and copyright infringement. Typically, the General Liability policy excludes personal and advertising injury coverage for businesses in the media, art, and entertainment industries. Personal and Advertising injury coverage is closely related to the professional exposures of these businesses, so that is where coverage is found under the Media Professional Liability policy. Since creating and producing content is the primary function of advertising and media businesses, the personal and advertising exposures are too broad, so the general liability policies do not include this coverage for companies in this industry.

Workers’ compensation insurance

Workers' compensation insurance pays the medical expenses and lost wages of employees who are injured while working. This policy is required in all but a few states for businesses with a certain number of workers. The benefits for an injured employee will vary by state, the maximum weekly wage, disability ratings, death benefits, and the medical reimbursement amounts allowed for health care providers. However, work injuries are all set by each state.

If a server slips on a spilled drink and falls, breaks an arm, or an editor develops carpal tunnel syndrome, it can lead to expensive medical bills and possibly surgery.

Business owners considering this coverage may be interested to know that Employers’ Liability coverage is included in the Workers’ Compensation policy. This provides a defense to the employer if sued by an injured employee alleging the employer’s negligence caused or contributed to the injury.

Even if the lawsuit is unfounded, it is unlikely that you will be spared from paying hefty legal costs to defend yourself and your business.

Cyber liability insurance

Cyber liability insurance coverage safeguards small businesses and organizations from the high costs associated with data breaches or other types of cyber attacks. A cyber policy is highly customizable and can provide first and third-party coverage when an attack occurs.

This policy provides coverage related to the following:

  • Data breaches
  • Cyberattacks
  • Ransomware
  • Phishing
  • Denial of Service
  • Other cyber incidents that disrupt business

A data breach could be immensely harmful to your company's finances. That's why companies with credit card numbers or other sensitive data of their clients need cyber liability insurance. In the event of a breach of private information, the policy covers the following:

  • Data breach liability lawsuits
  • Client notification costs
  • Fraud monitoring expenses
  • Public relations expense
  • System Damage

Coverage provided by cyber liability insurance

Cyber liability insurance includes two kinds of claims, first-party and third-party.

First-party cyber liability insurance

First-party cyber liability insurance covers the insured’s company losses from a cyber incident. It can cover expenses related to:

  • Crisis management and public relations expense
  • Notification and credit monitory expense
  • Cyber extortion demands
  • Hardware damage
  • Social engineering
  • Computer and funds transfer fraud
  • Business interruption loss
  • Data recovery or restoration

Third-party cyber liability insurance

Third-party cyber liability insurance insures the business entity for liability claims or suits against them, alleging the negligence of the insured caused harm to the claimant. The insured is responsible for the protection of information stored at their company. If the insured missed updating security software that permitted the incident to occur, they could be liable for all ensuing damage caused by the cyber-attack. The Cyber policy will:

  • Defend the insured for covered acts
  • Pay court costs
  • For covered acts, pay those damages the insured is liable

Because of the potential overlap of coverage provided by the media professional liability and the cyber coverage, it is recommended that the same insurance company is used for both coverage types. By doing this, you can avoid finger-pointing at the time of a claim where both carriers may dispute which is responsible for paying for different aspects of the loss.


The cost of an insurance program for media, arts, and entertainment businesses will vary greatly depending on many factors, from type of business, revenue, client count, experience, coverage, limits purchased, and many more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Insurance for Media & advertising

1. What is media liability insurance coverage?

Media liability insurance is a type of Errors and Omissions (E&O) coverage generally for publishing, broadcasting, and other media-related businesses. However, in today’s digital world, any company that has created content for its website or blog has media liability exposures that would benefit from this coverage. It responds to third-party liability claims and lawsuits for covered wrongful acts such as defamation of character, plagiarism, errors in published material, or copyright infringement. This coverage only pays for financial losses a third party suffers because of the insured’s wrongful act. It covers traditional and digital media. This insurance provides legal counsel to represent the insured for covered acts and will pay the awarded damages and court expenses for lawsuits.

2. Is media liability insurance required by law?

Media liability insurance isn't legally necessary, but the coverage it provides is important not just for media businesses. Any company that creates and publishes content physically or digitally whether an individual author or a large marketing company, should have this insurance. It protects you from claims of defamation, privacy issues, plagiarism, and more. Some policies include limits for public relations expenses during a crisis. You could be accused of something in a lawsuit that your company is not even responsible for, but you will still need a defense and this policy provides legal counsel to do just that.

3. What is advertising injury liability coverage?

Advertising injury liability is typically included in general liability policies for businesses that are not in the advertising or media industries and some other professionals that obtain this coverage via a professional liability policy. When it is included in the general liability policy, it only applies to the insured’s advertising of its own business. It protects the insured from third-party claims of financial loss due to a covered act, such as copyright infringement by the insured. This coverage applies to all ad types, TV, radio, newspapers, the internet, and social media.

4. Who needs media liability coverage?

  • Content creators and publishers
  • Bloggers and influencers
  • Journalists and reporters
  • Media companies
  • Magazine publishers
  • Cable station operator
  • Book authors
  • Film producers
  • Website owners
  • Commercial printers
  • Social media managers
  • Musical groups and artists, actors
  • Advertising agencies
  • Marketing agencies
  • Public relations firms
  • Spokespersons
  • Podcasters
  • Online forums and community managers
  • Educational institutions with online content
  • Nonprofit organizations with a digital presence
  • Any individual or entity involved in content creation, publication, and distribution

5. What are the different types of media liabilities?

 Media liability means publishers, media, and content creators are responsible for what they share. Different types of media liabilities can occur:

  • Defamation
  • Copyright Infringement
  • Violation of Privacy
  • Plagiarism
  • Intellectual Property Infringement
  • Misrepresentation
  • Product Disparagement
  • Breach of Confidentiality
  • Publications of False Statements
  • Errors and Omissions
  • Content-Related Lawsuits
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