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media professional professional indemnity insurance

Media professional indemnity insurance

Media professional indemnity insurance covers the areas of marketing and communications which is a relatively new industry sector.

The term media is a very broad range that is used to describe all forms of audio and visual content. Descriptions under media include television and radio broadcasters, advertising agencies, design companies, list brokers, public relation firms, publishers and internet marketing companies, to name but a few.

All such listed descriptions above are at risk of allegations of negligence, privacy issues, libel and slander claims and intellectual property disputes.

Care must be taken to ensure that the media professional indemnity insurance cover is arranged to contain the relevant wording. The policy should include rectification and irrecoverable fees cover as in reality an agency will very often deal with a problem and incur costs rectifying a problem in order to protect a commercial relationship. This can often help to avoid a larger claim being made where a project has gone wrong and will typically pay:

  • A Fees due to you where your client refuses to pay
  • The sub-contractors you are committed to paying
  • Rectification costs
  • The expenses incurred to rectify a breach of your professional duty, even here your client may be unaware

Underwriting considerations

Most risks will need to be proposed to the insurance industry by completing the relevant media proposal form. Underwriters will also be interested in seeing the CV’s of the directors to ensure that they have the relevant experience.

The underwriters will then use the split of the turnover highlighted in the proposal form to assess the risk and come up with the premium that they require to underwrite the risk.

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Examples of the type of work are:

  • Production of advertisements – TV and commercial film work is deemed higher risk than radio and press due to the productions costs involved.
  • Media planning and buying – This is generally considered low risk. Again, TV and commercial film exposure is higher than that achieved through other forms of media.
  • Design and production of printed literature and documents – This area is viewed as medium hazard. There are far more claims in this area but they tend to be of lower value.
  • Direct marketing including mailshots – There are a lot of claims in this area so this tends to be classified by underwriters as high risk.
  • Sales promotion – Again this tends to be classified by underwriters as high risk.
  • Marketing including market research – This is generally viewed as low risk.
  • Public relations – Normally low risk.
  • Publishers – The risk depends on the content and circulation.
  • Company Size –This can be established in two ways, the gross annual income of the company & the number of partners/directors/employees.
  • Claims Experience –This information reflects on the type of work carried out by a company. It also reflects the quality of the company’s work, experience, staff & internal risk management.

The usual cover

  • Libel & slander (defamation)
  • Breach of intellectual property rights (e.g. copyright)
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Dishonesty of employees
  • Loss or damage to documents
  • Rectification (first party) cover
  • Irrecoverable fees (first party)
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