Public relations agencies are primarily engaged in designing and implementing public relations campaigns for their clients. The purpose of a public relations campaign is to promote the interests and image of a particular client who may be an individual, a corporation or some other entity (e.g., a nonprofit).
Public relations firms also engage in lobbying, political consulting and media relations on behalf of their clients. PR firms are paid large sums of money to engage in these activities.
You are often needed most in times of crisis, when a client needs your expertise to craft a strategy and communicate effectively with the media and the general public.
If you miscommunicate or do anything that leads to a financial loss for a client, your business will be the one in the crosshairs. Your PR firm is not immune to crises of your own; if you are accused of a mistake or negligence in your professional services, you can be sued.
You also face typical property and liability risks just like any other business. In order for you to focus on your clients, you need to make sure your assets are protected if something goes wrong or someone sues you. You need public relations insurance to make sure you have the protection you need in order to stay afloat if the worst happens.
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What kinds of risks can threaten a public relations firm? Consider the following:
- Slips and falls at your office
- Weather events that destroy business property (buildings and their contents)
- Fire and smoke
- Theft and vandalism
- Employee injuries at work
- Lawsuits from clients, vendors or the general public
- Professional negligence
- Damage to a client’s property
PR Firms Need Business Insurance
With the help of an insurance agent, you can determine which kinds of public relations insurance you need in order to protect your business assets. You likely need the following types of business insurance policies, at a minimum.
- Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance protects your PR firm if you cause injury or property damage to a third party. If a client falls and suffers an injury at your office, your CGL insurance covers direct costs related to the claim (e.g., medical bills) as well as lawsuit-related costs if you are sued. It pays for attorney fees, court costs and any court-ordered settlements or judgments. CGL insurance also pays for claims related to advertising liability, slander, libel and copyright infringement.
- Whether you own your office space or lease it, you need insurance coverage for your business property. Commercial property insurance reimburses you for property damage to building(s) and their contents caused by fire, wind, smoke, theft, vandalism and certain other causes of loss.
- Your commercial property policy should also include coverage for business interruption. This important coverage helps you stay afloat if your office space is damaged by fire or some other covered peril and you must close or relocate while repairs are made. It pays for ongoing expenses (salaries, rent) and lost income that follow the loss.
You might be able to purchase a business owners policy, or BOP. A BOP is a packaged policy designed for small- to medium-sized businesses.
It bundles property, liability and business interruption coverage into one convenient, affordable policy. Only certain businesses qualify for a BOP; your Trusted Choice agent can help you determine your eligibility.
Public Relations Agency Professional Liability Insurance
Your clients rely on you for your skills and expertise. They pay you to craft and manage their public images and may even need you to respond in a crisis. If you or one of your employees is negligent and makes a mistake that leads to a financial loss for a client, you can be sued for damages.
Examples of professional negligence for a public relations firm include the following:
- Unintended plagiarism
- Ineffective communication strategy (i.e., doesn’t deliver results as promised)
- Plagiarism or copyright infringement
- Conflict of interest
- Erroneous advice
- Invasion of privacy
- Breach of confidentiality
- Erroneous research leading to faulty advice or tactics
- Theft of client records
Even if a negligence claim against you is unfounded, you still have to defend yourself if you are sued. Professional liability insurance for public relations firms protects you if your advice or services cause financial harm to a client.
If you don’t have professional liability coverage, your personal assets could be at risk. A professional liability policy pays for your legal defense, including attorney fees, court costs, and any settlements or judgments that you must pay.
Insurance for Independent PR Consultants
If you work out of your home full time or even just some of the time, you may be uninsured or underinsured if you think you have coverage under your homeowners insurance policy.
A typical homeowners insurance policy limits coverage for office equipment to around $2,500 — not nearly enough to replace a computer, printer, phones, desk, fax, scanner, or other equipment or supplies you need for your business.
And your homeowners policy will not cover business liability, loss or damage of business records, and damage caused by business interruption.
If you have a home office, you have several options in order to make sure you have appropriate coverage:
- Endorsement to your homeowners insurance policy. Independent PR consultants can add an endorsement to a homeowners insurance policy that provides more coverage for the home-based business or home office. This option is viable for one-person businesses without a lot of valuable equipment or business-related visitors. The endorsement typically adds about $2,500 in business equipment coverage as well as some additional liability protection at an affordable price.
- In-home business/home office insurance. Some insurance companies offer a specialty policy for in-home businesses or home offices. The in-home business policy includes certain features of business insurance policies designed for larger firms, but sometimes with much lower policy limits. A typical in-home business policy provides business property coverage in the amount of $10,000 and a liability coverage limit typically between $300,000 and $1 million. It may also provide limited coverage for loss of valuable documents, accounts receivable, off-site business property and use of equipment.
- Business owners policy: A BOP as described above is often recommended for home-based business owners who need more than $10,000 of business property coverage as well as liability coverage for customer injuries and business interruption coverage.
Other Insurance for Public Relations Companies
You might need a variety of additional business insurance policies or endorsements for your PR firm. Talk to your independent agent about your need for any of the following:
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Employment practices liability insurance
- Cyber liability insurance
- Commercial vehicle coverage, and hired and nonowned auto liability coverage
- Commercial umbrella (excess liability) coverage
Find Public Relations Company Insurance Quotes
PR professionals know how important it is to have good advisers in your corner. In order to find great quotes for business insurance to protect your assets, talk to an independent agent.
A local independent insurance agent can work with multiple highly-rated insurance companies in order to find the best combination of coverage and price for your business. Your independent agent will get to know you and your business and will remain your trusted adviser for the long term.
Talk to an independent agent in your area today.