There are many facets to a Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy, but the common definition for policyholders is that CGL insures against bodily injury and property damage. While this is true, your CGL policy can be stretched to include other types of injury or damages that have nothing to do with bodies or property.
On most CGL declarations pages there is usually a limit listed for “Personal & Advertising Injury”. What is that, and why does it warrant its own separate limit and line item?
Why It Exists
Injury and damage can occur in several different ways, some of which can’t be fixed by a doctor or with a hammer and some nails. Personal and advertising injury coverage under the CGL was created after many court cases where just such injuries or damages occurred and were awarded. This takes tort theory (the theory of fault) from the physical (broken leg) to the mental (damaged reputation).
What It Is
The Commercial General Liability Coverage Form (CG 00 01) defines Personal & Advertising Injury as follows:
While there could be a bodily injury component to it, most damages under this coverage fall under libel, slander, false arrest and misuse of intellectual property such as advertisements, photographs, etc. The above is the Insurance Services Office (ISO) form definition, and carriers using manuscript forms may have varying definitions or this coverage, and various exclusions may apply.
Why You Need It
Even businesses that typically provide a service can expose themselves to personal and advertising injury claims. These claims often come about through the use of print or radio & television advertising, or through the use of websites and social media. If you write it, chances are someone, somewhere will be offended by it, and that may cause damage or injury.
Other products available to provide coverage for these claims may include Cyber Liability and Media Professional Liability. A risk management analysis of your business with your Hayes Broker can help determine what coverage is right for you.