New Chubb product protects against range of media risks

A new insurance product offers organizations in Canada and the U.S. protection against a broader array of both traditional and emerging media-related exposures.

Chubb Insurance Company launched MediaGuard, its new errors and omissions (E&O) liability insurance policy last week in Toronto. The new product brings together several stand-alone products into one insurance platform, along with new coverage enhancements.

“Media Guard is a compilation of three different policies that we’ve had for media companies and for Internet exposure,” said Matthew Davies, senior underwriting officer and Canadian manager of professional and media liability with Chubb. “Those policies were written literally in the last century, so this is an upgrade and update of the three policies for multi-media companies, news gathering organizations and for any client who might not be a true media risk but who has an Internet exposure through their website.”

The policy provides third-party liability protection against exposures such as defamation, invasion of privacy, copyright and trademark infringement, misappropriation and advertising errors and omissions. Enhancements include stand-alone insuring clauses for news media and multimedia E&O, producers E&O, internet liability and news media subpoena defence costs. Other enhancements include built-in advertising coverage (content and E&O), merchandising coverage for production activities and automatic coverage for websites created after policy inception.

Davies said that Chubb launched the new product to address the changing nature of the liabilities faced by both media and non-media organizations. Such policies typically covered professionally produced and vetted information or broadcasts from mainstream media corporations. “Now, anyone with a cell phone camera is a paparazzo if they wish to be. And there are certainly lots of places on the Internet where anybody can post anything they wish and it may be something that comes back to haunt them at a later date,” said Davies.

Another risk, he pointed out, is that regional media organizations are now able to reach a global audience with the help of the Internet. “You’re no longer just being heard in Thunder Bay or Sudbury, you could be heard in Durban, South Africa,” said Davies. What these organizations may not be aware of, said Davies, is that they are subject to the laws in the jurisdictions in which their information is being broadcasted. “So if your broadcast defames someone in Australia or Japan, or steals an idea from someone who lives in Switzerland, they can sue you in that territory, under those laws.”

He said that many companies, particularly non-media organizations, don’t have a firm grasp of the potential liabilities to which they’re exposed. “I don’t think that it’s well understood. And I think that brokers are learning more about how to position Internet exposure to their clients,” said Davies. “There is more awareness now among insurance professionals because the Internet is not going away and clients are asking questions about it.”

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