PR: The Best Insurance in a Crisis?


The tragic capsizing of the Costa Concordia in Italy has caused not only alarm among potential cruise customers, but also speculation as to how much the accident will cost Costa and parent company Carnival Cruise Lines—and their insurers.

And PR definitely has a link with both crises and insurance. On Jan. 18 Weber Shandwick announced a partnership with Liberty Mutual Insurance to provide crisis management services as part of Liberty’s “commercial lead umbrella” policy, which provides companies with an extra layer of insurance beyond their general coverage. According to the release, policy holders have up to 72 hours to identify a crisis and file a claim to receive up to $50,000 in crisis management support from Weber Shandwick. Up to $250,000 in additional crisis management coverage is also available.

This isn’t a first, though. In October 2011, Burson-Marsteller entered into a similar agreement with Chartis, and other insurance companies such as Chubb offer crisis service providers to their customers. And it's not just big PR agencies that team up with insurance companies. Jim Lukaszewski, president of Minneapolis-based Lukaszewski Group, says he has agreements with two insurance companies to provide crisis services, with another partnership pending.

“Insurance companies are paying more attention to corporate crises because the costs of a damaged reputation can be high,” says Lukaszewski. “If a business goes under because of a reputation issue, the insurance company is on the hook.”

Many times, says Lukaszewski, a long PR engagement for a company in crisis isn’t needed. “One phone call might solve the problem,” he says. More importantly, insurers have learned that quick apologies can help prevent expensive litigation. Hence, the practice of insurance companies teaming with PR is “a very subtle way to help their customers really mitigate the risks of insurance," Lukaszewski says. And he adds that it's a financial win-win: The policy holder doesn't have to pay high PR costs up front, and the PR agency knows that it will get paid.

 

 




Comments Off

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' Social Media 20/20 Summit

PRN_summit_ads_175x135_ep

This gathering will feature some key influencers and operators in social media, sharing their knowledge and experience in a full day of eye-opening sessions. You will take away practical knowledge to increase the visibility of your brand and expand its reach on social media.

Use code “150off” at checkout.

Get $50 off PR News' Media Relations Guidebook

book-mediarelations-180x150

This 8-chapter resource contains practical implications for some of the most innovative developments in media relations, including the technologies, methodologies and mannerisms that determine the ecosystem in which PR pros practice this essential part of their craft.

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription

Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.