MPR offers Media PI insurance to organisations to protect against damages and defence costs arising from content exposures and professional services.
The Media PI insurance policy addresses the spectrum of risks and dangers that organisations face when conducting business and media activities. It provides comprehensive cover, incorporating design developments to accommodate many of the newly emerging litigation trends and themes, to meet the needs of organisations that provide multidisciplinary services and content.
Why do your clients need Media PI insurance?
- However diligent an organisation, mistakes are possible and society is increasingly litigious. Claims for defamation, copyright infringement, invasion of privacy and negligence are commonplace.
- Media is effortlessly accessible, easy to use and widespread, with no geographical boundaries. Trends are emerging for riskier and more eye-catching content with an emphasis on speed over accuracy.
- Disseminating information in the modern world is fraught with danger and open to potentially devastating media liability claims that can destroy reputations and balance sheets.
Increasing amounts of organisations are now required to carry Media PI insurance. Evidencing a quality product is important and may even be a marketing advantage when competing for business.
What does the policy cover?
- The purpose is to insure an organisation for defence costs and legal liability incurred arising out of their media and business activities including, but not limited to, liability for:
- breach of professional duty;
- any form of defamation;
- intellectual property infringement;
- breach of confidence.
- Also, to insure them for costs incurred in:
- investigations of them by regulators and other authorities;
- defending a criminal proceeding;
- replacing or restoring documents.
- PR and crisis costs following a claim.
- The policy will also provide mitigation costs, which are designed to rectify any wrongful acts before they result in a claim against an organisation.
What limits are available?
Up to £10 million for any one claim.
What does an underwriter like to see?
- Financially stable media organisations with consistent and experienced management and with well-established media and business activities.
- Businesses that have been operating for more than three years and who have innocuous content exposure and solid clearance procedures.
- UK or European based organisations.
Is there anything an underwriter wouldn’t insure?
- Some media activities carry a greater risk. Underwriters will therefore exercise a more cautious approach to those organisations involved in contentious content or those with poor control procedures.
- Companies involved in higher risk areas such as advertising in tobacco or pharmaceuticals, licensing music or controversial productions will also find underwriters seeking to understand the business activities and prior experience to get a better feel for the nature of the risk.
Why choose MPR?
- Deep experience over many years in all the products we underwrite
- Simple and clearly stated policy language with the removal of ambiguity
- A straightforward, broker focussed, technical and service based proposition
- Strong financial rating
- Worldwide coverage, including the USA
- These days, media content has no geographical boundaries and claims can emanate from anywhere in the world. Policies with geographical restrictions will create uncertainty for the purchaser.
- Professional Services included as standard
- Many media firms also provide professional services as part of their work. Having the ability to include these as standard means that the client has comprehensive cover for their multidisciplinary work. Other insurers may have the capacity to add this by endorsement, but then bring in additional exclusions and questions. In the MPR Media PI Policy, both media and business activities are defined in simple and clear language to ensure that there is clarity on what is covered, further removing any ambiguity.
- Mitigation Costs and Withdrawal Costs
- Quite often, a speedy response and sensible resolution can prevent a problem from escalating into a costly claim. Having Mitigation Costs (including fee dispute settlement) and Withdrawal Costs (costs to remove publications) allows the insurer to work quickly in a time of need to ensure that the situation is rectified with minimal damage.
- Previous policy cover option
- Moving Media PI insurance carrier is a lot easier than it used to be. Whilst there has never been any obvious impediment to switching to a stronger product offering, bewildering use of jargon and statements of product capability can nonetheless create some room for doubt. Allowing an optional ‘look back’ provision in a policy permits a previous policy to be used to interpret a claim made on a superseding form. It is a far from perfect science, but it can provide some comfort where it is required.
- PR and Crisis Costs
- Sometimes a claim can have consequences beyond the financial loss. MPR provide a sub-limit as standard to cover the costs of a PR and/or Crisis Consultant to limit any further damage to the business operations or reputation, following a claim.
- Broad definitions and ‘All Risks’ cover
- Definitions make a difference and can be particularly important on ‘Media Activities’, ‘Matter’ and ‘Claim’, for example. The policy is also providing ‘All Risks’ cover (i.e. not on a ‘named perils’ basis) to ensure that there are no gaps in the language.
- Freedom to select law firm
- Within the media world, clients often have existing legal relationships. The policy recognises this by allowing the insured to appoint their own lawyers. Also, the insured has the freedom to choose whether to retract their published content and also will not have their rights compromised if they refuse to reveal the identity of confidential sources.
- Free trouble-shooting legal advice
- The policy provides direct access to an award-winning law-firm (specialising in PI Insurance) for 60 minutes of free consultation on each separate Media or professional service related matter. It doesn’t have to be a potential claim, it could just be a situation that needs some assistance. This access to partner level advice doesn’t constitute notification to the insurer, so the policyholder will have peace of mind that it will not be regarded as a claim or circumstance.
- Flexibility in settlement – no ‘Hammer Clause’
- An insured cannot be forced to settle a claim if they choose not to. A ‘Hammer Clause’ (where the insurer will not be liable for any additional monies required to settle the claim from the point after the insurer makes the settlement recommendation) is not a feature in the policy. Moreover, an insured can settle their own claim if the total loss falls within their deductible amount.
What can go wrong?
A well-established radio broadcaster reported on a news story and wrongly identified an unconnected person as the criminal. They also covered the story substantially on their website and twitter feed.
The individual sued for defamation and emotional distress by proving the radio station had caused him serious harm. Unfortunately, despite a swift apology and retraction, the multiple social media exposure inflated the settlement to a six-figure sum with substantial costs.
As part of an advertising campaign a design company was asked to provide not only the content, but was also consulted on the potential demographic, and which advertising slots to pick. The campaign failed to generate the anticipated sales and the client made a claim against the insured for compensation.
The claim attached to the professional advice that the insured had given in relation to the media buying. They made a mistake with the TV slots they advised upon and the campaign failed to reach the target demographic. As is quite common, had the non-media activities not been covered, the claim could have been denied because it wasn’t relating to the media activity. This shows the importance of ensuring the non-media activities are covered too. The claim was settled for a five-figure sum.
A television producer developed a new, mid-week, gameshow with a quirky catchphrase and jingle. After launching on cable television, an individual contacted the broadcaster to advise they had written to the producer a year before with the same idea, catchphrase and jingle.
The individual attempted to bring a claim for misappropriation of his idea. The producer was adamant that they had developed the idea in-house, but the costs quickly accrued as they defended themselves. Unfortunately, their internal controls didn’t extend to a process for dealing with unsolicited submissions (such as stating that submitted ideas become the property of the producer upon submission, or that the ideas can be used in any manner or form and that the company may use the idea without payment). The claim was eventually dismissed, but not before £25,000 defence costs were incurred.