COVID might have sullied the water somewhat for the creative industries, with the last six months throwing hurdle-after-hurdle at those who create everything from video content to books and TV – particularly those whose primary income stream is based in the live arena.

With such uncertainty constantly nibbling at our collective heels, there’s never been a worse time to be caught out with an intentional and unwarranted tort such as libel, plagiarism, or invasion of privacy.

That’s why, in a nutshell, any company that creates, produces or markets creative content of any kind really needs media liability insurance.

What does media liability insurance cover?

Your company is probably already insured under a commercial general liability (CGL) policy, which covers claims made against your business that result from an offence included in the definition of personal injury.

However, CGL excludes libel and slander, not to mention several other infringements that media and creative businesses might often be accused of. So, without media liability insurance they would have no coverage.

For example, if an online magazine published a negative review of a local establishment and stated that the health standards were below par and the establishment were to sue that magazine, the magazine would only be covered if they had media liability insurance.

The same would also be true if a movie production company was being sued by a music publisher for using a song in their movie that they didn’t obtain the license for.

These are both examples where, without media liability insurance, the offended parties would have no legal costs coverage.

What’s covered by media liability cover?

It’s a type of insurance typically offered by insurers that deals specifically or primarily with the creative industries and so has a greater well of knowledge to pull from and act in the best interests of their clients.

It’s technically a type of errors and omissions insurance purchased by businesses that create and provide content, to protect them from a variety of torts relating to the media.

This can include, but is not restricted to, the following:

  • Libel, slander, and defamation.
  • Invasion of privacy, which also includes public disclosure of private facts and misappropriated of names and/or likenesses.
  • Intentional or negligent infliction of distress.
  • Trademark and slogan infringement.
  • Copyright infringement and plagiarism.

What kinds of media liability insurance do specialist insurance brokers cover?

You’ll find most brokers willing to offer media liability coverage, but for those in more specific sectors, it might be worth looking a step further at even more niche insurance that caters directly to the areas you’ll be operating in.

Are you a social media influencer, for example, that often discusses products or other influencers on your various channels? Have you ever paused to consider what would happen if you got your facts wrong and ended up accidentally spreading false information that left you open to a lawsuit?

Or are you often signing deals with brands that ask you to promote products and have wondered what might happen if you neglect to declare your interest to your audience? These could be covered by a bespoke personal media profile insurance plan that is tailored around the legal needs of bloggers, vloggers, and influencers.

Whichever field you fall into, if your business is in media then there is almost guaranteed to be a more specific insurance policy available that focuses on your exact needs – rather than everything under the sun.

Sometimes, a more focused hand is more effective than a jack-of-all-trades and in such an uncertain world, sometimes a skilled and focused hand could make all the difference.