Liability insurance specifically for editorial services

A client who I have been working with for 1 year just sent me a new contract, and they slipped into the contract that they want all of their contractors to have liability insurance.

I have never even thought about such a thing, and I know nothing about such policies.

This article on the blog was very helpful:
https://blog.freelancersunion.org/2014/11/14/ev...

However, I remain curious. So say I miss a comma in editing a company newsletter, the client accuses me of this error damaging their reputation, and they sue me? Does this actually happen?

Is this what liability insurance would protect an editor from--error and omissions?

Does anyone have any specific examples of how a liability insurance policy serves editors/writers? Can editorial services really cause bodily injury or medical costs?

Does anyone recommend any sources of information to read?

https://blog.freelancersunion.or...

  • Hi Johanna - I've encountered this and had liability insurance for a few years - although at the moment I do not. In my instance it was specifically related to working on the client site. My recollection was that the client required me to have $1M in liability to cover things like a vehicle accident on their property that caused damage to a person, another car, etc.

    As a freelance writer and editor, I do not recall ever being required to carry liability insurance specifically as it relates to content errors and omissions. However, I always include an errors and omission clause in my contracts that read as follows:

    "Although [IC name] makes every effort to produce complete and accurate work, it is the client’s responsibility to sign-off and approve in writing the final product prior to production. In signing off on the final product, [IC name] assumes that the client has read and reviewed all the developed content and is authorizing the content to appear in printed and/or digital form. Once the client approves the final content, [IC name] is not liable for any errors or omissions."

    There might be better 'Errors and Omissions' language out there - not sure. I am definitely curious on what additional information you may find.

    Regards - Mary

  • Hello Johanna!

    The insurance is generally called "Errors and Omissions" insurance. The best way to get this type of insurance is to speak with the agent you work with for your home, renters, life, or automobile insurance. You can ask for a "rider" that attaches to an existing policy, or get a new policy, but it's often cheaper if you work with a provide who holds a policy for you already. If you have a relationship with an insurance agent, give them a call and ask to discuss your needs.

    It's important to have business insurance, even if you have an LLC. If you are a sole proprietor like me, it's even more important to protect your personal assets (home, car, etc.), which could be at risk if someone sues you.

    I am not sure if the Freelancers Union provides access to legal assistance or a reduced rate for a plan, but that's also something that is good to have. I am also a photographer and belong to the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), who provides Indemnity Insurance as part of my dues. I also purchase a separate business policy that costs between $200 and $300 a year.

    I hope this helps you!

    Best wishes,
    Diana Ost
    Writer, Editor, Photographer
    Austin, TX

  • Hi Johanna - I've encountered this and had liability insurance for a few years - although at the moment I do not. In my instance it was specifically related to working on the client site. My recollection was that the client required me to have $1M in liability to cover things like a vehicle accident on their property that caused damage to a person, another car, etc.

    As a freelance writer and editor, I do not recall ever being required to carry liability insurance specifically as it relates to content errors and omissions. However, I always include an errors and omission clause in my contracts that read as follows:

    "Although [IC name] makes every effort to produce complete and accurate work, it is the client’s responsibility to sign-off and approve in writing the final product prior to production. In signing off on the final product, [IC name] assumes that the client has read and reviewed all the developed content and is authorizing the content to appear in printed and/or digital form. Once the client approves the final content, [IC name] is not liable for any errors or omissions."

    There might be better 'Errors and Omissions' language out there - not sure. I am definitely curious on what additional information you may find.

    Regards - Mary

  • Hello Johanna!

    The insurance is generally called "Errors and Omissions" insurance. The best way to get this type of insurance is to speak with the agent you work with for your home, renters, life, or automobile insurance. You can ask for a "rider" that attaches to an existing policy, or get a new policy, but it's often cheaper if you work with a provide who holds a policy for you already. If you have a relationship with an insurance agent, give them a call and ask to discuss your needs.

    It's important to have business insurance, even if you have an LLC. If you are a sole proprietor like me, it's even more important to protect your personal assets (home, car, etc.), which could be at risk if someone sues you.

    I am not sure if the Freelancers Union provides access to legal assistance or a reduced rate for a plan, but that's also something that is good to have. I am also a photographer and belong to the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), who provides Indemnity Insurance as part of my dues. I also purchase a separate business policy that costs between $200 and $300 a year.

    I hope this helps you!

    Best wishes,
    Diana Ost
    Writer, Editor, Photographer
    Austin, TX