Friday, March 29, 2024

Do you need media liability insurance?


                Something that I often ask the artists and writers I work with is if they have insurance. In particular, I ask if they have media liability insurance. Most don’t, but it is a type of insurance coverage more artists and writers should consider obtaining.

                In most publishing contracts, you are guaranteeing the publisher that your work will not infringe upon another’s intellectual property nor will it cause harm to a third party via defamation, libel, etc. If you or your publisher is sued because of your work that they published, you are likely responsible for paying their legal fees because you agreed to indemnify them.  

                These types of lawsuits can be very expensive. If you have basic insurance, typically known as a CGL (Commercial General Liability), it likely will not cover your expenses and legal fees. However, if you have media liability insurance, you are more likely to be covered. A typical media liability policy should cover the following: defamation, invasion of privacy, emotional distress, copyright and trademark infringement, misappropriation, and negligent publication.

                If you do have one, or you decide to get one, make sure that any agreement you sign complies with any requirements in the policy. If you sign an agreement that does not comply with your policy requirements, then the insurance company may not provide coverage.

                A media liability insurance policy may not be right for everyone, but if you are worried about being sued for copyright or trademark infringement or any of the other areas mentioned above, you should strongly consider obtaining one.

The name of the policy may differ depending on the insurance carrier. It may fall under an E&O policy (errors and omissions) or a professional liability policy. It is a good idea to ask questions and make sure the insurance carrier offers the coverage you are looking for.