New Player in Media Liability Insurance

Darwin Professional Underwriters Offers Coverage of Up to $10M

Darwin Professional Underwriters is entering the media market by offering liability coverage of up to $10 million for media entities, including broadcasters, advertising agencies, advertisers, television and film producers, publishers, authors and media conglomerates.

The Farmington, Conn.-based firm -- which wrote $246 million in premiums last year and has primarily focused on medical and management liability insurance -- sees growth potential in providing liability insurance for “media wrongful acts,” spokesman Drake Manning said. Those could include defamation, invasion of privacy, emotional distress, false arrest, harassment, breach of confidentiality, copyright infringement or deceptive trade practices.

“We saw a market opportunity,” he added. “There’s been interest on behalf of potential media liability buyers to have a new source of coverage available to them.”

Manning said large conglomerates tend to self-insure to a certain level, then buy additional liability coverage from multiple underwriters to build a “tower” of coverage.

Darwin’s liability insurance would also cover fines levied by the Federal Communications Commission for indecency violations, Manning said.

The media liability product includes governmental-claim coverage, declaratory-judgment-actions coverage (that provides funding for proactive legal action) and merchandising cover. Additionally, the coverage is offered on either an occurrence or claims-made basis, and defense expenses are offered both within and in addition to the limits of liability.

Limits of $10 million are available on either a primary or excess basis.