2014

Important Insurance Policies for Authors and Writers

As a writer you know the value of clear and concise information. When it comes to insurance, you know that the information can be anything but clear.

The details of policies, what is and is not covered, and other insurance minutia often confuse freelance writers and authors interested in protecting the business they've built.

That's why at insureon, we try to make your business insurance easier to understand. Read on for a breakdown of important insurance policies for writers.

General Liability Insurance for Writers of eBooks, Novels, and other Books

General Liability Insurance covers a number of liabilities that threaten writers, including…

  • Libel.
  • Slander.
  • Copyright infringement.
  • Damaged reputation.

In addition, General Liability Insurance also pays for many common lawsuits that could affect any business, such as…

  • Personal injury.
  • Property damage.

In these situations, General Liability Insurance will pay for the cost of a lawsuit filed against your business. More specifically, General Liability Insurance pays for lawsuits filed by third parties, which are people not employed by your organization. This includes customers, clients, subjects who appear in your writing, other writers, etc.

Here's how you might use General Liability Insurance. A writer keeps an author website, where they post articles and information about their books as well as maintaining a blog. If one of their articles criticizes another writer and they are sued for libel, General Liability Insurance can pay for the typical legal costs, such as…

  • Settlements.
  • Judgments.
  • Lawyers' bills.
  • Courtroom expenses.

General Liability Insurance is an important part of protecting yourself from common lawsuits that could end up costing tens of thousands of dollars, if not more.

Property Insurance for Authors, Writers, and Creative Writing Professionals

Property Insurance protects your commercial property (equipment, offices, supplies, inventory, etc.) and is important to get even if you work from home.

Personal Homeowner's Insurance may not protect a copywriter or freelancer who works from home if their commercial property is lost or damaged.

Property Insurance can reimburse you for the value of your lost property in variety of situations, including…

  • Specified weather events.
  • Fire.
  • Theft.
  • Vandalism.

If a fire burns down your office, commercial Property Insurance can reimburse your business for your damaged computers, furniture, and other property. If you rent your office, your lease may require you to purchase a certain amount of property insurance. This is because Property Insurance can also pay for the damage you cause to a rented space.

Property Insurance can reimburse you if you damage your landlord's building, even if the damage extends beyond your office space. This commonly happens when one business causes a fire that spreads in the building.

Business Owner's Policies for Authors of Children's Books, eBooks, Novels, Stories, and other Writing

A good way to save money on your business insurance, Business Owner's Policies (or BOPs for short) package these first two policies together (General Liability and Property Insurance).

BOPs can give you the same coverage you would want from GLI and Property Insurance, but they often cost less because they are a "small-business" insurance policy. Insurers sell these policies to small business that they consider "lower-risk."

How do you know if you're "lower-risk"? Insurance companies will look at the size of your office space, your industry, and whether you need long-term Business Interruption Insurance. BIC often comes with Property Insurance and covers businesses when their office space is damaged and they are forced to move. BICs can pay for income your business loses while it has to temporarily close its doors. If you need more than 12 months of this coverage, many insurance companies won't sell a Business Owner's Policy to you.

Cyber Liability Insurance for Writers of eBooks, Novels, Nonfiction, and other Books

Cyber Liability Insurance (also known as Cyber Risk Insurance or Data Breach Insurance) covers many of the costs that occur when your business is hacked. You may be wondering why a hacker would target your business, but as a recent article by Forbes Magazine points out, over 70 percent of cyber attacks happen to small businesses.

Cyber criminals often target small businesses because they have less network security and are less able to pursue them after the attack.

Unfortunately for hackers, Cyber Risk Insurance can pay your business's response to a cyber attack. This includes…

  • Crisis management.
  • P.R. / advertising campaigns to restore your reputation.
  • Credit monitoring for customers and other people whose data may have been stolen from your network.
  • Costs to contact customers about the data breach.

When your business suffers a data breach, your customers' and employees' data could have been stolen. Your business will often be legally obligated to inform your customers of the attack, which can make your business look unprofessional. This is why CLI can pay for advertising, public relations, and crisis management after the attack. Your business may need to rebuild its reputation.

Errors and Omissions Coverage: Professional Insurance for Authors, Writers, and Creative Writing Professionals

If a client, publisher, or customer sues you, Errors & Omissions Insurance (also called E&O or Professional Liability Insurance) protects your professional liabilities.

E & O Coverage is for lawsuits where other party claims you…

  • Were negligent.
  • Failed to deliver the writing / book you agreed to.
  • Delivered shoddy, incomplete, or unsatisfactory work.
  • Made mistakes in your writing.

The mistakes we're talking about aren't typos. If a nonfiction writer is sued for giving bad financial advice, E&O Insurance can cover the lawsuit. If your publisher is dissatisfied with the sales on your latest work and sues you, Professional Liability Insurance will pay for your legal costs.

As a "claims-made" coverage, Errors and Omissions Insurance covers your lawsuits slightly differently than other policies. In short, E&O won't pay for lawsuits over books that you wrote before you purchased this coverage.

Let's say you wrote a home-repair manual that gave misleading advice. You wrote the book four years before you were insured. If a reader who lost money following your advice decides to sue, your current coverage won't pay for the lawsuit, even if it is filed while are covered. Old books, articles, and other professional liabilities won't be covered unless they were published while you were under your current coverage.

Workers' Compensation Insurance for Authors of Children's Books, eBooks, Novels, Stories, and other Writing

Most businesses with employees need to purchase Workers' Compensation Insurance (often just called Workers' Comp or Workman's Comp) in order to meet their legal requirements.

Nearly every state requires Workers' Comp, but your business may qualify for certain exceptions. You might be wondering, how can I get Worker's Comp for less?Each state has its own rules, so we can't tell give you a definitive answer, but here are couple common ways businesses are able to save money on their Workman's Comp…

  • Exclude yourself from coverage. As the founder or owner of a business, you may be able to opt out of covering yourself. If you're injured on the job, you won't have Worker's Comp to pay for your medical bills, but some business owners accept the risk in order to qualify for lower premiums.
  • Exclude employees who don't earn W2 income. Some states allow you to exclude your independent contractors / non-W2 employees from coverage.

If an employee develops carpal tunnel syndrome and needs surgery, your business may be legally obligated to pay for the surgery and to pay your employee's wages while they recover. Workers' Comp can pay for these expenses and others. Among other things, Workers' Comp covers…

  • Medical expenses for employees who suffer an on-the-job illness or injury.
  • Paid leave while the employee is unable to work.
  • Legal bills for employers who are sued by their employees.

Workers' Compensation Insurance can prevent one accident from inundating your small business with medical and legal bills. Make sure you're protected and work with one of our agents to see if you qualify to save money on your coverage.

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