Did you know that blogger’s insurance and insurance for vloggers, influencers, and other media publishing jobs is a real thing? Well, it is. And if you are actively doing any of those, you may want to consider investing in coverage for yourself and/or your small business. Here’s why.
I reached the point last year where I felt I needed to get coverage and started doing my own research. I started by reaching out to the agent that handles my home and auto insurance. I won’t name the insurance company, but it is a well-known insurance company.
Unfortunately, they do not cover bloggers as a business, at least they do not at this time. I have a feeling though that they will need to get on board with the program sometime in the near future.
Anyway, my agent has been friends with my family and has been handling my insurance for more than 20 yrs. So, I decided to bend his ear on where to go, what to ask for, and what to avoid.
He was able to direct me to an insurance agency that handles the type of coverage that I was seeking. I am sharing my experience with you today so that you can maybe find some piece of helpful information for your own needs.
Why Insurance is important for Bloggers and Other Related Businesses:
Unfortunately, we live in a world of lawsuits. Some are legit but many are just make-money-quick schemes. Putting yourself out there in front of millions of people puts you at risk of eventually stumbling across someone who wants to target you.
A claim can be valid or it can just be your bad luck of catching the wrong person’s attention. Regardless, you want to make sure that you have all of your I’s dotted and your T’s crossed.
Insurance can also protect you in the event that something happens beyond your control for which you are invariable responsible. For instance, your site could be hacked and information about clients could be stolen.
You could be involved in an auto accident while on a business trip. Someone could be injured at your physical place of business or from following a piece of advice that you published.
Then, there is also the occasional request from sponsors or other businesses that you wish to collaborate with. Yes, other businesses may request proof of your insurance before they agree to have you write a post about their product. It’s rare, but it does happen.
The list of possible scenarios is endless. Suffice it to say that business insurance for bloggers is a real need.
Types of Blogger’s Insurance
When it comes to blogger’s insurance or insurance for other related jobs, there are really two types of basic insurance policies that you need to be aware of as a small business. However, I want to mention four types in this post because we all have different needs.
The first and probably what you are wanting to know about is media publishing insurance (AKA professional insurance). The second type of insurance is general liability. We will go over this one first because it is what most traditional businesses have.
The last two are additional types that you may want to add on at some point in your career. All are important in different ways and to different degrees.
General Liability Insurance: What it is. What it does, and why you may need it.
For the most part, you can think of general liability insurance as coverage for physical property related occurrences. Now, you may be wondering if as a blogger you even need general liability. And the answer is that only you can decide that.
After speaking with my friend/agent about what I need to look for when seeking business coverage, he recommended that I go forward with general liability. The reason being mostly with the potential for auto accidents during the commission of a business trip.
Even though my automobile is covered under my auto policy, things can get muddy if someone sues you do to an accident that occurs while you are on a business trip. If the injured party chooses to, they can sue your business. If that occurs, a good general liability policy could be your lifesaver.
General liability can also be used to cover your equipment. For instance, most bloggers have quite a bit of photography equipment. They may also have equipment specific to their trade, such as woodworking tools, cooking appliances, etc.
What you have and what the value is really depends on what type of blogger you are, but you may want to have all of these things protected from loss or destruction.
This type of insurance can also protect you if you have employees working on/with property that you own or lease. In which case, you are probably required to have general liability anyway.
An employee could fall and get hurt or they could get injured during the commission of their duties. Be sure to discuss employees with your agent and let them help you determine what needs to be included in your policy.
Media Publishing (AKA Professional Insurance)
This is probably what you are thinking of when “blogger’s insurance” comes to mind. This is the type of insurance that all publishers and media platforms use, from authors to new’s stations.
These policies vary quite a bit from person-to-person. You need to really look at what is being included in an offered policy and don’t be afraid to request additional inclusions.
For instance, the first policy presented to me by my new agent did not include Omissions & Errors. As a blogger, this is probably the most vital part of an insurance policy that I can have. Some of the things that I included in my policy include:
Copyright infringement – this covers me in the event that I am ever accused of copyright infringement. Although I only use my own images and images that I pay for through a legit company, that certainly won’t stop someone from trying to make that claim.
As a blogger, copyright infringement claims are probably one of the most likely accusations that I could think of as a potential claim. So, I definitely wanted this included.
Omissions/errors – As I said before, omissions and errors (O&E) is a must. This is the part that deals with what you actually say. You could inadvertently make a mistake with your information or you could leave something out. It protects you if someone makes a claim that they suffered an injury or harm due to said mistake.
Liable and Slander – Obviously, I do not go around slamming people or businesses. So, you may wonder why I feel the need for this. The reason is that I write about products and businesses and often give my opinion on what I like and don’t like about said product. So, as unlikely as it is, I still have a slight risk of someone coming after me for this. It is right up there next to O&E coverage.
Legal defense – I included this so that I would not be out of pocket the expense to defend myself or to fight a claim in the court of law. I would say this was just as important for me as the other sections because it is often the legal expenses that can do in a small business.
I also wanted to mention a few others that was brought to my attention during my research and through previous experience.
This is additional insurance to protect your personal assets. This type of insurance kicks in when someone comes after you personally and usually once your other policy has been capped. The scenario that was given to me was:
Assume you are involved in a car accident and the other party sues you personally for medical and or emotional expenses. Depending on the situation and the damage, a jury could potentially award a hefty amount. That means that you could end up losing savings, future income, etc. An umbrella policy is intended to provide protection to you in such situations.
It’s not really business specific, but because there are people out there that think that because you have a certain amount of followers or viewership that you also have a certain amount of money. Unfortunately, this could make you a target for opportunistic people.
It is also just a good idea to have in the event that you actually are responsible for injuries to someone. None of us ever plan to harm another, but accidents do occasionally happen.
You can often include this in with your professional insurance policy, or you can find and get this as a separate insurance policy. I personally have not requested this type of insurance for my business, yet. So, I can’t share any experience on the subject other than to say that it is something that you may want to consider if you and/or your family depends on your income.
Questions asked on My Application
When you apply for media publishing insurance, the underwriters are probably going to want to assess your risk before they quote you a price. During my application process, I was asked questions concerning the following:
- Types of publishing, appearances, etc. – they wanted to know where I posted materials. These included links and questions related to my blogs, social media account, live feed, books, podcast, and tv appearance. They also wanted to know the reach for each.
- Income Breakdown – I had to report how much I am making and what I predict to make next year. The percentage of income was broken down by where the income is generated. i.e Advertisers, sponsors, etc.
- Disclaimers in place – they wanted to know if I had disclaimers in place and a few other questions related to my disclaimer.
- Copyright infringement – they asked about my policy concerning copyright infringement. They wanted to know if I had a stated policy in place and if the policy provided a course of action for complaints.
- Legal action – There was also a question about what type of issues I would feel the need to seek legal advice on, and what action I would take in that situation.
Cost of Blogger’s Insurance
From my own experience, I have learned that most blogger’s insurance policies are priced according to the risk that you pose and on the income that you make. In other words, they will look at whether or not you accept guest posts, whether or not you use your own imagery, what type of content you write about, and how you respond to any questions.
For those of you looking for a specific number, I am happy to share mine. For my Professional Insurance, I ended up with an annual fee of about $1200. For my general liability, I was charged almost $700.
So for the two, it came to right around $1900 annually. They did offer monthly payments, which may be easier for you to swallow. I am more of a “get it all out of the way now” sort of person. But, if that isn’t something you want to do, you do have options.
You should also keep in mind that they will likely require an annual review of your situation. I was informed by my new business insurance agent that they would issue a renewal application each year and adjustments would be made if needed.
Where to find Blogger’s Insurance
I highly recommend that you check with whichever insurance agent that you feel most comfortable speaking with to see if they offer any of the things that you need. Most likely they won’t be able to offer you media coverage, but they may be able to handle general liability. They will also likely know of an agent who does deal with media coverage.
You may get lucky and find that you have someone right in your hometown who handles this type of insurance. This was the case with me, and it really helped to have someone to serve as my go-between and to have someone to ask for clarification when I needed it.
If you can’t find someone local, I can tell you that
many bloggers use Hiscox for their media insurance. In fact, the application that I was sent was created by them. (Update: Hiscox appears to no longer be providing coverage for bloggers, specifically.)
You can also check with CFC insurance. They handle my underwriting and you can go through them directly to apply. They offer custom packages as I described above in the details of my own package.
I won’t say that it will be easy to hunt down an agent, but they are out there. You just have to dive in and start making phone calls. When you hit a roadblock, always make sure to ask for recommendations on where to go next. Eventually, you will hit pay dirt.
Whether or not you decide to seek Professional Insurance or blogger’s insurance of any kind is, of course, a personal and business decision. I can’t tell you when you should or even if you should. But, I hope this has given you something to think about and a starting point if you are looking to protect your business. Best of luck!