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Industry Insights Hiscox Insurance Insurance

Saving slip ups – Why it pays for agencies to choose their insurers carefully

Hiscox Insurance


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February 19, 2015 | 4 min read

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Breach of confidence may be the most nerve-wracking area of risk for any agency.

Hiscox industry insight

Unless you look at every email that leaves your office and listen to every conversation your staff have, you cannot be sure that one of them might not inadvertently let slip a secret about your company or a client.

Only recently you may recall that Prime Minister David Cameron breached protocol by making a comment about his conversation with the Queen [following the Referendum where he said she ‘purred’ down the line].

It’s unlikely that anyone means to do it, but we are all vulnerable to being swept up in the moment and letting something slip.

You may also recall the case of JK Rowling writing her first book since the Harry Potter series under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith.

She told only a few people, including her solicitor, Chris Gossage, a partner at Russell’s Solicitors. He knew that it wasn’t to be discussed, but caught up in the excitement of it all, told his wife’s best friend over dinner one night.

In July 2013, it was revealed by the Sunday Times, following a Twitter exchange with a journalist. In November 2013 Gossage was fined £1000 by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and Rowling accepted an apology and substantial damages from the solicitors, which were donated to charity.

In order for a claim against you to succeed, your client will usually have to prove financial loss; this can come in many forms. Whether you will be covered will be determined by the wording of your policy, and also your relationship with your insurer and their expertise in dealing with your industry.

The stories previously mentioned have been very high profile in the media due to the people involved, but there have been other far more low profile instances where something similar has occurred.

This is one reason why clients often request professional indemnity insurance as part of a contract – in case details inadvertently leak out when they shouldn’t.

We insured an agency who was working on advertising for a major new retail tech launch.

This included a number of angles, including flyers and posters to be used in store.

The client was very concerned that if any detail of the major campaign leaked in advance, their competitors would be able to pre-empt them and get spoilers in place – damaging their campaign.

They did not expect this to happen, but to ensure they were protected should the worst occur, they required not only our agency to carry professional indemnity insurance, but also the printer producing the sales materials.

When you think how much money some firms invest in new product launches, it’s hardly surprising they want to be confident they will not lose out financially if something should go wrong – we would always suggest it’s important to ensure you choose your wording and insurer carefully, and choose one that understands your industry, is familiar with the things that can go wrong, and can move speedily and effectively to resolve issues should they arise.

For more insight and comments from media and marketing professionals visit:

Samantha Newman, head of emerging professional indemnity and charities, Hiscox


Twitter: @hiscoxuk

Industry Insights Hiscox Insurance Insurance

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Hiscox Insurance

Hiscox Ltd. is a Bermuda-incorporated insurance provider, listed on the London Stock Exchange. An underwriter at Lloyd's of London, the company largely specializes...

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