Media Liability Insurance Cost

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The media industry can refer to a variety of content and countless types of production and methods of distribution. Some material is completely developed and created in-house, others combine elements from various sources, and some are entirely outsourced or curated. No matter how the content comes to be, once you claim or distribute the material, it becomes your problem. That means that if a video you produced includes an improperly licensed song or if an advertisement uses a logo that is strikingly similar to that of another product, you might be liable for damages. Media liability insurance is a particular type of errors and omissions policy designed to protect companies from the risks of liability claims from media content.

In this guide, we will provide all the information you need about media liability insurance costs to help simplify your decision-making process.

We Cover in This Guide

  • Media liability insurance cost (and factors that determine it)
  • What is media liability insurance?
  • What does media liability insurance cover?
  • Benefits and risks
  • Who needs media liability insurance?
  • Tips for buying
  • FAQ
  • Summary

Media Liability Insurance Cost

Most media liability insurance policies have limits between $500,000 and $1 million per claim with premium rates that start at $500 per year and can be as high as $2,500. Costs vary depending on coverage limits, company size, exposure, claims history, and deductible. For example, a national publication with numerous staff and freelance reporters that has a history of investigating litigious companies will have much higher rates than a small local newspaper focusing on the town’s affairs. Additionally, the following are some specific details that will impact a company’s media liability insurance cost:

  • Subject area of your content
  • Source of content
  • Consent and disclaimer policies
  • Revenue source
  • Contracts with independent contractors
  • Technological protections

What Does Media Liability Insurance Cover?

While the specific coverage depends on your choices, most media liability insurance policies include claims related to:

  • Libel, slander, defamation, disparagement: Damages to a person, product, or business from expressing false information.
  • Plagiarism: Presenting another person’s work as your own.
  • Copyright infringement: Reproducing, distributing, performing, or displaying protected work without proper permission or obtaining rights.
  • Invasion of privacy: Intrusion into the personal life of another without cause.

Additionally, most policies cover emotional distress, false arrest, negligent supervision, wrongful entry, and personal disparagement.

While media liability insurance can protect against a majority of potential risks, the following scenarios are typically excluded:

  • Breach of contract
  • Patent infringements
  • Regulatory authority claims
  • Normal business activities
  • Data breach
  • Criminal acts
  • Bodily injury or property damage
  • Securities fraud offenses
  • Discriminatory employment practices

Be sure to review your policy to understand your coverage and add whatever you need to fill in any known gaps.What does media insurance liability cover?

Benefits and Risks

Media liability insurance provides various benefits to cover the countless risks of running a business involving content. While keeping all content creation internal provides a great deal of security, your potential is then limited by your number of employees. Acquiring additional material and employing freelancers is a cost-effective way to expand, but it also adds additional risks because you have less control over the content and are relying on your contractors’ word about how their product came to be. If you are sued, you will have to pay for legal costs and potential damages. This could be devastating to any business. Media liability insurance gives you peace of mind to grow your company because you are covered from such liabilities.

Who Needs Media Liability Insurance?

Any business involved in the creation, production, acquisition, or distribution of content is subject to liabilities from claims of libel, slander, and misused intellectual property. Media liability insurance is essential to protect against such risks. The following are types of industries that would benefit from such coverage:

  • Film, television, commercial, or digital content producer
  • Film, television, commercial, or digital content distributor
  • Author
  • Radio, cable, or television broadcaster
  • Spokesperson
  • Advertising agency
  • Magazine, newspaper, book, or website publisher
  • Cable operator
  • Marketing company
  • Multimedia company

Tips for Buying

When assessing media liability insurance costs, consider the following to find the best coverage for your needs.

  • Work with an independent agent: An independent insurance agent will help identify risks your company may face and direct you toward insurers with the most experience covering comparable media companies dealing with similar content.
  • Understand your policy: Media liability insurance policies can vary considerably. For instance, not all provide coverage for punitive damages or international business. Additionally, you are often required to use a lawyer chosen by your insurer. Be sure to review your policy closely, and make sure it provides your desired coverage before signing a contract.
  • Compare quotes: Get quotes from at least three different insurance providers. Rates can vary considerably between insurers.


What is the difference between “claims made” and “per-occurrence” policies?
Claims made policy: covers any claim while the policy is active.
Per-occurrence policy: covers liabilities if the incident and claim occur while the policy is active.

Are you required to notify insurance providers of potential claims?
Most providers require you to present a “notice of circumstances” about potential claims when applying for insurance coverage.

Are 1099 employees covered?
Most media liability policies cover independent contractors on behalf of the insured company. Be sure to review your policy to determine the nature of the coverage.


Working in media subjects your company to a number of risks. You have to produce or distribute an enormous amount of content to retain an audience and bring in enough income to maintain operations. Because of this, your oversight might lapse and something could slip through the cracks. A resulting lawsuit could ruin your company. By understanding media liability insurance costs and determining your needs, you can know that your policy covers all potential claims and feel secure that your business is protected.

Typical cost is


Premium costs start at $500 per year, but can be as high as $2,500 per year depending on company size, exposure, claims history, policy limits, and deductible.

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