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Social Media Exposes Businesses to Liability

of small businesses use social media to drive growth.
of small businesses gained new customers through social media.
of small businesses don’t have policies governing employee social media use.

According to, most small businesses have hopped on the social media bandwagon, but few realize what can happen when the wheels fall off. 75 percent of small businesses don’t regulate how employees use social media, which increases the chance of lawsuits over libel, slander, brand infringement, and advertising injury in digital marketing. Add in the potential for clients to sue over negligence when their marketing campaign causes trouble, and an advertising agency’s exposure doubles. Luckily, General Liability and E&O Insurance can offer your advertising clients financial protection.

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Important Insurance Policies for Advertising, Graphic Design, & Media Professionals

Your clients in advertising, graphic design, and media services need small business insurance to keep the financial repercussions of lawsuits and property loss at bay. Knowing where their risk exposures lie allows you to connect your clients with the coverages that help their businesses thrive.

Different policies cover different risks that your advertising, graphic design, and media service clients often face. Each policy listed here is an important component of their business protection plan:

General Liability Insurance

Because third-party lawsuits over premises liability or property damage can be expensive, General Liability Insurance is a key coverage for most professionals whose offices are open to the public. A "third party" can be anyone who doesn't work for your client's agency, such as a customer or partner. If a customer claims they were injured on your client's property or suffered property damage because of something your client did, General Liability helps cover the cost of your client's legal fees.

Professional Liability / Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance

Professional Liability also covers third-party lawsuits, but it kicks in when your client's customer alleges they lost money because of your client's negligence. For example, say a customer claims the ads your client created violate a federal regulation and can't be used. They sue for what they spent on the services and the revenue they should have generated from a usable campaign. Professional Liability Insurance, also called Errors and Omissions Insurance, covers your client's legal fees - even if the claim is meritless.

Property Insurance

Advertising professionals rely on their commercial space and their media equipment to serve their clients. Property Insurance can protect their business assets against loss or damage because of fire, vandalism, theft, or windstorms. It compensates your clients for the cost of replacing or repairing your client's property.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

Your advertising, graphic design, and media service clients may enjoy a relatively safe office environment, but that doesn't mean their employees won't experience work illnesses or injuries. For example, copywriters can easily develop carpal tunnel syndrome over time. Plus, many states require employers to carry Workers' Compensation Insurance, which covers employees' medical care and forgone wages when they develop occupational ailments.

Umbrella / Excess Liability Insurance

If a contract requires your client to carry more coverage than they normally do, suggest they invest in Excess Liability Insurance. This policy is a cost-effective way to bolster one of your client's other liability coverages. For example, if your client faces a judgment that exceeds their $1 million General Liability limits, they can make a claim on their Excess Liability policy to cover the difference. Umbrella Insurance is a type of excess insurance that extends coverage of multiple policies. Note: Neither Excess Liability nor Umbrella Insurance can be applied to Professional Liability Insurance policies.

Tips for Insuring Advertising, Graphic Design, and Media Services Professionals

When finding adequate coverage for your media clients, be sure you keep your eyes peeled for the best deal on their rates. For example:

Explore a Business Owner's Policy (BOP)

Because consulting work has a low level of physical risk, your client may qualify for a Business Owner's Policy (BOP). A BOP packages General Liability and Property Insurance into one convenient bundle at a discounted annual premium. Plus, you can customize your client's BOP with endorsements to ensure they are properly covered.

Suggest your clients exclude themselves from Workers' Comp

The low level of physical risk in the advertising and media industry presents another way to keep your clients' premiums low. They may be able to control costs by excluding themselves from Workers' Compensation coverage and only covering their employees.

Remember, a policy isn't a good deal if a client's assets are still at risk. Evaluate the policy's coverage, premium, and deductible when you discuss it with your client.

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