Do I Need Professional Liability?

It is obvious that Doctors and Lawyers need Malpractice or Errors & Omissions (E & O) insurance, but there are other Professions that should obtain Professional Liability Coverage including but not limited to:

  • Estheticians
  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Property Managers
  • Educational Consultants
  • Financial Planners
  • Internet/Web Designers
  • Newspapers & Magazines
  • TV & Radio Stations
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Public Relations Consultants
  • Media Buying Agencies
  • Graphics Designers
  • Publishers & Printers
  • Direct Marketing Organizations
  • Marketing Consultants

Media and Technology Professional Liability

For the purpose of this post, I’ll concentrate on Media and Technology-related Professional Liability (PL) policies. Media and technology are rapidly changing industries and their insurance policies must continue to improve to meet these needs and protect insureds from third party claims.

What Does Professional Liability Cover

A common exposure media organizations face is a libel/slander claim arising from their content. This is primarily contained in the broadcasts, website content, or articles they run and in advertisements they accept. The typical claim might involve a libel/slander action by a third party, holding the media organization responsible for the libel or slander.

What if a client is not happy with the result of a service provided to them and brings a claim to obtain a different result or avoid paying a fee. These types of claims are often just as difficult and expensive to defend as a clear-cut error. PL Insurance typically pays for the cost of defending this type of claim as if it were a clear-cut error on the part of the insured consultant.

How does a court determine the value of a marred reputation or a stolen idea? Awards can far exceed actual economical damage and often include exemplary damages that can destroy an organization.

Also unique to media liability are unusually high legal expenses: offended plaintiffs tend not to negotiate, prolonging litigation, and defendants often cite their First Amendment right of free speech, refusing to settle.

What Carriers Offer Professional Liability?

Professional liability (PL) insurance for media organizations, often called media liability and sometimes called errors and omissions or E&O insurance is available from a small group of specialty lines insurers. Our agency is appointed directly with several carriers and we have access to many others through wholesale brokerages. We have yet to find a type of company that we were unable to provide a competitive quote for.

What Determines My Rate?

Coverage and pricing varies greatly depending upon the type of professional operation, the specific services provided and its size, experience of the principals in the firm, and location. Carriers may specifically tailor their programs for certain types of media organizations in order to protect their insureds from unique claims arising from their specialized services. For example, a website designer may have advertising injury exposure relating to content used in building websites, while a public relations consultant may have a financial exposure in addition to a libel/slander exposure. When you request a quote, be prepared to fill out an application, and provide a resume from all principals in the firm as well as any advertising materials (brochures, websites etc).

Coverage is typically provided on a claims-made basis. Availability of occurrence depends upon both the type of organization and market conditions, but it is rare. Limits and deductibles vary with the size and type of insured. Standard aggregate limits for most small to medium sized organizations start at $1million. Policy forms vary significantly.

New technology and emerging media exposures – especially those arising from newsgathering – have caused carriers to consistently update their coverages in the traditional media liability policy.

You won’t find a form to fill in on this website for Professional Liability due to the variation in coverages depending on your line of work. Call me at 877-257-1652 or request an application via email to mluckner@orrandassociates.com.

Leave a Reply to Do I Need Professional Liability?