Also called calumny, vilification, slander (for verbal statements), and libel (for written or published words). Defamation is generally considered to be the publication by any means of communication of material concerning an individual or organisation which either injures or lowers their its reputation in a business or profession, in the eyes of reasonable members of the community, and /or leads people to shun, ridicule, avoid or despise them.
The person(s) being defamed must either be identified in the communication, or it must be obvious that the publication infers or is directed at the person or organisation.
The exposures or Television and Radio broadcasting can range from infringement of copyright to defamation. These claims can be significant both in terms of potential settlement amounts and considerable defence costs due to the often complex nature of the matter. Publishers are also susceptible to claims arising from defamation and infringement of copyright, but also carry exposures relating to factual errors in published materials. The defence costs in these cases are similarly sizeable due to the often high profile nature of the claimant.
Advertising Agents or Public Relations companies can attract claims for defamation, errors in printing, breach of copyright and even misleading or inaccurate statements in publications for clients. All of these exposures have the potential to cause the media company significant financial damage.
Elements of cover for libel, slander and defamation can usually found in Professional Indemnity, Directors & Officers Liability policies and under some other liability policies. However where an organisation conducts a significant amount of advertising, publication and self promotional activities, it may be more effective to transfer these risks to insurers with a “stand alone” defamation insurance policy. This ensures coverage for all activities, and elimination of the potential for a defamation claim to exhaust available coverage for other types of claims.
Defamation insurance is available to protect an organisation from the costs of damages successfully awarded against them, and legal expenses to defend any actions. The policies are underwritten by a small number of specialist insurers who will generally include coverage for:
Defamation Insurance is a complex and specialised area of insurance. If you want to know more about these policies and conditions relevant to your profession, contact a specialist insurance broker such as Cooper Professional Risks Pty Ltd.
An insurance broker’s role is to act as your representative and work in your interests, seeking the best cover at the best price for you from market knowledge.
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Cooper Professional Risks Pty Ltd trading as CPR Insurance Services is an Authorised Representative of National Adviser Services Pty Ltd (ABN: 60 096 916 184) trading as NAS Insurance Brokers (AFS No.233750)