#024: Professional Liability Insurance: Do Freelance Writers Really Need It?

Do you have professional liability insurance? Do you even need it?

I mean … do freelance writers really get sued?

While most freelance writers won’t get sued during the course of their careers (thank goodness!), it does happen.  And the results can be devastating to you and your business.

In this episode of The High-Income Business Writing Podcast, I interview Jared Kaplan, CFO at insureon, a national online insurance company for freelancers and other self-employed professionals.

You and listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe to this podcast series in iTunes.

To help you get to the bottom of this important (but sometimes overwhelming) topic, I invite you to download my FREE freelance writer’s cheat sheet for professional liability insurance.

This cheat sheet pulls together, in brief, the most essential information from the show, including what liability insurance is, what it covers and how much it costs.

And, just as importantly, it delivers tips to reduce the odds of getting sued in the first place.


 

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Finally, if you have a question you’d potentially like answered on a future show —or if you’d like to be considered as a guest for a future episode — please let me know: ed at b2blauncher dot com.

Thanks again for your support!

Till next time,

-Ed

  • Annie Galvin Teich

    Thanks, Ed. This is valuable information, and I appreciate the topic.

    • edgandia

      Great to hear it was useful, Annie. Thanks for letting me know!

  • LA Reddon

    One of my clients – a very large multinational company – asked me to write a brochure to counter one of its main competitors. When the first draft came back to me for revision, the client had added some very harsh statements that clearly contravened Canada’s federal “Competition Act” dealing with misleading advertising. I pointed out (in writing) that the company couldn’t legally say what it was suggesting and backed it up by referencing the pertinent legislation. The client went ahead and printed it anyway.

    Over a year later, the competitor was successfully suing for thousands in damages and the witch hunt began for those responsible. I was so relieved to have documentation on hand proving that I’d done my due diligence! This company is still a valued client and now pays attention when I mention these points.

    Another thing to be aware of is this. In Canada, (not sure about the US), the onus is on the advertiser, not the manufacturer. So, if a client (or a freelancer) picks up a statement from a manufacturer’s brochure that’s not legal (for example, a quantified performance claim that’s made without adequate research information on hand), the client is liable for publishing the questionable information, not the manufacturer for generating it. And if YOU picked up and used the unsubstantiated claim as the freelancer, the client could hold you responsible.

    Freelancers should try to learn as much as they can about the legalities of their craft: trademarks, copyrights, performance claims, competitive advertising, price claims, guarantees, testimonials, advertising to children, “free”, etc.
    Be careful out there!

    • edgandia

      Great points here. Agreed. I have similar language in my contract. Among other things, it states that if the client changes the copy and those changes are libelous or damaging in some way, they’re responsible for that.

  • Isabelle Boulet

    I tried to get a quote from Insureon and they said that “creating content for social networks or blogs is ineligible”. I wonder if it is a recent development. I only write posts for my B2B clients’ blogs, not Perez Hilton, so I wonder if that exclusion applies to me.

    • Melanie Williams

      I only do professional writing and they told me I was uninsurable, like I had a strip club prostituting out small children. Did you ever find someone for insurance?

  • John Keyser

    Very useful information as I consider entering B2B writing.

    • edgandia

      Super! Thanks for checking it out, John.

  • Melanie Williams

    I’m having a hell of a time finding business liability insurance for my writing business. I’m starting to think it’s uninsurable.

    • edgandia

      Did you try reaching out to Insureon? I’m assuming you did and had no luck. Not sure who else to suggest. I know several freelance writers and copywriters who were able to get insured through them. All I can think of is to call them directly and ask to talk to a human.

      • Melanie Williams

        That’s actually who I spoke with. They were the second to reject me. I want to move into a building and want general liability, but they said they, as a firm, don’t work with people like me who ghostwrite or blog. I thought it was very offensive. I’m currently trying http://www.publiability.com/. They seem the most experienced/understanding with writers so far.

        • edgandia

          Sorry, Melanie. Not sure what to tell you. I’m not affiliated with Insureon. They were just a guest on my show. I know for a fact that they’ve insured some of my colleagues who do the work you describe. So I don’t know why they declined your request.

  • Deb Monfette

    Ed, great info as always. LA brings up a good point about the legalities of the craft: trademarks, copyrights, performance claims, competitive advertising, price claims, guarantees, testimonials, advertising to children, “free”, etc.”
    Can you recommend the best sources to find valid info on these topics?