Personal and Advertising Injury (CGL, Coverage B)
This coverage part of the CGL does not deal with bodily injury or property damage liability. Bodily injury is something relating to a person’s physical health in this case, whereas personal injury is more focused on the written or spoken deed against a person.
Those are covered in part A, which is titled “premises and operations” as well as “products and completed operations”.
Personal and advertising injury pertains to financial damages you cause to another person as a result of libel, slander, defaming their products or services, or violating their right to privacy.
Any of the aforementioned acts can be committed orally or via any media type, such as on television or in a newspaper.
Let’s look at examples of where each coverage parts would be in effect.
What is personal injury?
This doesn’t cover bodily injury of any sort, despite what some people might think upon seeing such a title. Rather, this is about invasion of a person’s privacy. Under the personal injury portion of your liability policy coverge, you may find that you’d be covered if you accidentally encroach into someone’s personal life. This might include you publishing personal information about someone in a print journal.
Read more: Liability vs. Medical Payments Coverage
Maybe you publish an article on a website stating that an individual has a disease, when they either do not, or they do and that information was personal.
That person retains the right to sue you for any “personal injury” that results, which may include loss of their job or the inability to get job. Hence the reason it’s called personal injury coverage.
What is advertising injury?
Perhaps you own a small business property and pay for advertising space in a local newspaper.
You unknowingly use a national company’s slogan in your advertisement. Unfortunately even if you think that it was your idea and had no idea that such a slogan was already in use, it would still be considered a copyright infringement.
If a person in your town was a relative of someone at the large, national company, and told them their slogan was being used, the company would retain the right to take legal action and sue you for copyright infringement because they in fact have nothing to do with your piece of property.
The advertising injury portion of your CGL policy would pay for the costs associated with any judgment levied against you in court as a result of the infringement. A good thing to keep in mind if you or any other business attempts to use someone else’s trademarked property.
There are two additional coverage types that make up a complete general liability policy.