Media Liability Insurance

Protect yourself from liability and legal costs arising out of your work.

December 15, 2022: Dinghy/NSM Insurance Group is discontinuing its media liability insurance program, including its partnership with the Authors Guild.

Dinghy/NSM Insurance Group will no longer offer new policies after December 31, 2022. Existing policies will remain in effect and will be serviced until the expiration date of the policy.

Policies with a renewal date between now and February 28, 2023, may be renewed for another year. Policies with a renewal date of March 1, 2023, or later may not be renewed.

Protecting yourself from allegations of defamation, factual errors, or plagiarism is as important as ever, but because of the increase in litigation and legal fees, even for baseless claims, it is becoming more difficult for companies to provide this coverage. We are currently in conversation with other media liability insurance providers to find an affordable alternative.

If you publish with any imprint of Penguin Random House (PRH), you can obtain media liability insurance through PRH. PRH has launched a new media liability insurance program for its authors after conversations with the Authors Guild, and we will be talking to the other Big Five publishers to see if they will do the same. If you’re a PRH author and you’d like more information, contact Christine Sadofsky at Epic Insurance Brokers at

Exposure to liability and risk of legal action is an important consideration for professional writers. While this exposure varies based on each project’s subject matter, all writers should be aware of the sources of risk and plan accordingly to avoid legal and other costs.

There are four main legal causes of action that writers may be exposed to: copyright infringement, defamation, public disclosure of private facts, and misappropriation of name or likeness.

Most publishing contracts make the author indemnify (i.e., reimburse) the publisher for any damages and costs, including legal fees, resulting from claims brought on any of these grounds, regardless of whether the claim is ultimately successful. This means that even if the author has not violated any third-party rights, and the case is settled or the author and publisher win, the author may still be on the hook for legal costs to defend the case.

The publisher’s liability insurance generally will cover most of the claim, but the publisher might make the author reimburse them for the deductible (or half the deductible, depending on the publisher). These costs can be significant, sometimes reaching the low six figures.