What would you do if you were hit with a liability suit for more than your current PR firm insurance covered?
Thankfully, here at InsuranceHub, we have experience helping PR agencies that get their clients featured on websites, newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV programs. We understand the risks that come with promoting your clients and making them seem as successful, honest, important, exciting, or relevant as possible. We also understand that not all press is good press.
We understand the risks that come with:
- Crisis public relations strategies
- Social media promotions and responses to negative opinions online
- Writing and distributing press releases
- Creating special events designed for public outreach and media relations
- Conducting market research
- Speech writing
- Writing pitches and sending them directly to journalists
- Expanding business contacts via personal networking or attendance and sponsoring at events
- Copywriting and blogging for the web
Types of exposure that PR agencies need protection from:
Property exposures: This is probably limited to your office. If you have expensive equipment for the production of photographic, graphic design, audio, or visual artwork for your clients, be sure to talk to your agent about it.
Your biggest concern here is fire, water, and smoke damage. Invest in a monitored fire alarm system and a sprinkler system to minimize loss. Do your employees have company-supplied laptop computers and display equipment? Talk to your agent about this.
Equipment breakdown exposures: Your biggest concern here is most likely heating and air-conditioning equipment. If your climate control system breaks down, your artwork could be ruined.
Crime exposures: This basically means you should be concerned about employee dishonesty. You most likely have access to your clients' proprietary information, trade secrets, lists of customers. You might also have access to the personal information of the client, their employees, or their customers.
That's why the smartest PR firms do background checks on all of their employees. Have a system to monitor and protect all client information. Use different employees to deposit, bill, and disburse funds. Annually do an audit of your books. Regularly do a an equipment inventory as well.
Inland marine exposures:
- Accounts receivable for unpaid balances.
- Any client property that you are in control of. You might need bailees' customer insurance.
- Valuable papers and records. Your clients' records and art are typically originals that are almost impossible to replace or re-create. Keep originals in fireproof cabinets and create duplicate copies and keep them off-site for protection.
- Talk to your agent about a special floater if any of your property is taken to off-site production locations.
Premises liability exposure: Do you have clients that come to your office location? If so, clients must be kept in waiting areas and designated conference areas. Ensure that all areas are well-maintained, including their floor coverings.
You also may face off-premises exposures when your employees do sales visits, training sessions, and the photography and filming of advertising materials. Remember to be careful when off-site so the public doesn't get hurt.
Professional liability and advertising liability exposures:
Risk factors include:
- How the product/organization is advertised
- Promises made on behalf of the product/organization
- How the advertisements will perform
- Potential copyright or trademark infringements
- Negative statements made about competitors
Do you rent vehicles for employee use? Do you supply vehicles to employees?
- Are there clear written procedures regarding personal use by employees and their families?
- Do you take age, training, experience, and records of each driver into consideration when selecting drivers?
- Do you take age, condition, and maintenance of the vehicles into consideration?
- Do you ever rent cars overseas for your PR work?
Talk to your agent about each of these answers you come up with.
Workers comp exposures:
Ergonomically designed workstations may reduce eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and similar repetitive injuries.
Some PR firms require off-site work for sales presentations. This may lead to extensive traveling both inside and outside the United States. If employees are working out of the country or overseas, the potential for them getting hurt can be very high. If a worker is hurt in another country, the cost of sending them home could be very high. Talk to your agent about the need for special foreign coverage.
Here is the minimum recommended PR agency insurance coverage:
- Business Personal Property
- Business Income with Extra Expense
- Employee Dishonesty
- Money and Securities
- Accounts Receivable
- Bailees' Customers
- Valuable Papers and Records
- General Liability
- Employee Benefits Liability
- Professional and Advertising Liability
- Umbrella Liability
- Hired and Nonownership Auto Liability
- Workers Compensation
Other PR agency insurance coverage to consider:
- Equipment Breakdown
- Computer Fraud
- Special Floater
- Employment-related Practices Liability
- Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage