Media & Marketing policy cover

The Media profession, which covers the area of marketing and communications, is considered to be a speciality professional indemnity risk and is a class on its own. It is important that a proper Media policy wording is purchased as miscellaneous wordings are totally inadequate to cover this profession.

Most PI policies require that a third party claim is made for a loss which, for the media industry, would almost always be a financial loss, arising as a result of the neglect, error or omission of the insured. In reality, media professionals will often be in a position to resolve any issues without their client needing to know there is a problem. Alternatively, they might waive an outstanding bill or issue credit notes so as to preserve commercial relations with their clients. The end result is no third party claim for damages and, therefore, under most wordings, no valid professional indemnity claim. For this reason, media professional indemnity policy wordings provide ‘first party’ cover which allows the problem to be put right without a claim being made by the client and also cover to allow the Insured to recover his fees from underwriters and not charge his client for work that has gone wrong.

Usually, a Media Professional Indemnity policy will have a limit of indemnity that is provided on an “any one claim” basis with cover for legal defence costs provided in addition to the policy limit, although this is often restricted to one extra limit for each claim’s costs. The excess will not normally apply to insurers’ costs and expenses.

Policies are likely to provide the following cover: Libel & slander (defamation), Infringement 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) and Product disparagement.

Typically, media policies will exclude things that should have more specific insurance for example Employers liability, Bodily injury / property damage except where caused by a breach of professional duty, Property owners, Vehicles etc. Policies are likely to exclude Products liability, however, sometimes there can be an overlap between professional and products liability for media professionals as some media businesses sell, repair or alter products and also have professional exposures. Contractual liability will be excluded – this is liability assumed under any express warranty, agreement, guarantee or the like, unless such liability would have attached anyway as is Insolvency / bankruptcy of insured, Circumstances known at inception of the policy, Fines and penalties, Claims by financially associated parties – although some insurers will cover these claims if they emanate from a third party. Environmental risks are also normally excluded.

Then there are exclusions that are specific to the media industry – The outcome or operation of any game, promotion, contest or lottery, Advertisements that result in any adverse change in a claimant’s health, lifestyle or relationship with others, Mimicking (i.e. copying what is seen in an advert), Stunts, Statements that were known to be defamatory at time of publication, Trading loss or loss of any client, Obscene, blasphemous or pornographic material.