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What does personal and advertising injury mean? In a commercial general liability policy this covers injuries that come as a result of your advertising and marketing of your goods and services. It’s a broad area of injuries that can include libel, slander, misappropriation, and copyright infringement.

What Does Personal And Advertising Injury Mean?

This article will clarify the meaning of advertising and personal injury. It will also describe the types of advertising offenses that are covered by a business liability policy.
Most businesses experience with a general liability insurance policy is if a person is hurt or property is damage by their business operations. Most business owners understand that if someone slips and falls on their premises and breaks leg, or they damage a customers property – the reason why they are held liable.
So most commercial general liability claims involve physical damage to someone else’s property, or physical harm to another person. But what about claims that legally protected rights have been violated but which do not involve bodily injury or physical damage to tangible property?

What does personal and advertising injury mean? Read on to learn about this important coverage.

What Is Advertising Injury?

In general liability insurance, advertising injury refers to an injury that is committed by a business entity during the course of advertising its products or services. This damage may be suffered by an individual or another business. It includes the offenses of: libel, slander, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement, and misappropriation of advertising ideas. The injured party usually suffers from a financial loss as a result of the injury.

What does personal and advertising injury mean? For example, Company A (a bread company) says their products taste better than their competitor Company B’s products, ruining Company B’s reputation as a result. Due to Company A’s ad, Company B loses customers and profits, and subsequently sues Company B for damages to recover their loss of income.

Advertising injury involves offenses committed by a business in the course of advertising its goods, products or services. The offenses cause damage to a third party. Advertising injury is one of two types of injury covered by Coverage B. The other is personal injury.

What Is Personal Injury?

In business and general liability insurance context, personal injury refers to offenses committed by a company while performing activities that are outside of advertising. Under commercial general liability coverage, these offenses that do harm other than bodily injury. Personal injury includes: false arrest, detention, or imprisonment; malicious prosecution; wrongful eviction; slander; libel; and invasion of privacy.

In the past, advertising injury and personal injury were categorized as separate entities in insurance coverage. Today, these coverages have been merged. They are offered as a single coverage called the Personal and Advertising Injury Liability.

What Is Covered By Personal And Advertising Injury Liability?

Personal And Advertising Injury coverage is subject to a limit listed in the declarations. This limit may be $1,000,000 or more. When choosing the Personal And Advertising Injury limit, you should consider the amount for which you could be held liable if you commit any of these offenses:

False arrest, detention or imprisonment: Here the offense involves the unjustified forceful restraint (seizure) or keeping a person against their will (detention). Imprisonment usually implies the detention inside a prison. The offense is mainly based on the deprivation of a person’s right to liberty.

Malicious prosecution: This offense involves the instituting of legal proceedings, either criminal or civil, against another without probable cause or proper cause. Malice is required (ill will is the motivation) and the procedure must end favorably for the defendant.

Wrongful eviction from, unlawful entry into or invasion of the right of private occupancy premises that a person occupies: Wrongly expelling a person from their premises, wrongfully entering their premises, or otherwise invading or preventing the individual’s right to occupy their premises (including a room or dwelling) is the essence of this offense. Insurers, in general, adopt a position that these offenses are insured only if the eviction, entry, or invasion of the right of a private tenancy is committed by the owner, landlord, or lessor.

Oral or written publication, in any manner, in materials that slanders or libels a person or organization or disparages a person’s or organization’s goods, products or services:

  • Slander is defamation by speech.
  • libel is defamation in written or visual form.
  • Disparagement is similar to defamation but involves a comparison that detracts or discredits the goods, products, or services of another because of false statements.
  • Publication is a critical element to defamation or disparagement and only means that the false statements (either by speech, written or visual) have been made to third parties other than the person or organization whose reputation, goods, products, or services are allegedly harmed.

Oral or written publication, in any manner, of material that violates a person’s right to privacy: The following are four well-recognized categories as respects invasion of privacy:

  • Misappropriation of a person’s likeness or name, usually for the commercial benefit of another.
  • Intrusion upon a person’s right of seclusion or solitude, or intrusion into private affairs.
  • Use of publicity to place another in a false light, if a reasonable person would find it objectionable (the depiction does not have to be defamatory).
  • Public disclosure of private facts, even if the information is true and not abusive if the revelation is embarrassing or otherwise reasonably objectionable.

The use of another’s advertising idea in your “advertisement”: If another person or organization alleges your organization is using their advertising ideas in your advertisements.

Infringing upon another’s copyright, trade dress or slogan in your “advertisement.”: Similar to the above, if the named insured is alleged to have, in their advertising campaign, infringed on the copyright, trade dress, or slogan of another business.

Liability Policy Limits

What does personal and advertising injury mean? The declarations page of a general liability policy will list how much the policy will pay for claims on behalf of its insured, for each specific limit. Below is in example of commercial general liability policy’s limits of insurance as listed on the declarations page:

Limits of Insurance

What Does Personal And Advertising Injury Mean? - The Bottom Line

We hope this article on what does personal and advertising injury mean? has been informative. If you are ever sued for an offense that is covered under personal and advertising injury then your insurer will defend you. But there is no duty to defend when the insurance does not apply or when the limits has been exhausted due to payment of judgments or settlements.

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