The Next Insurance ‘Big Top’: Emerging Issues in ‘Personal and Advertising Injury’ Coverage

Ultimately, the development of intellectual property, defamation and personal privacy laws will influence personal and advertising injury coverage. As long as those areas of the law remain in flux, so will the scope of personal and advertising injury coverage.

March 30, 2012

Personal and advertising injury coverage is standard in commercial general liability insurance policies. While individual policy language varies, typical personal and advertising coverage extends to a variety of offenses, including:

  • Publication of material that disparages a person or organization or violates privacy rights.
  • Advertising that violates copyright, trade dress or slogan.

Recent case law in the area reveals several trending topics as courts continue their struggle to define the scope of insurer responsibility. One of the clearest trends to emerge is that, with greater frequency, courts broadly interpret personal and advertising injury provisions in CGL policies in order to trigger the insurer’s duty to defend.

For insurers, this direction means they are more likely to find themselves part of the litigation show, whether or not they are actually part of the finale.

Reprinted with permission. © 2012 Thomson Reuters.

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John N. Love

Of Counsel

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