Advertising Injury

When your company’s advertising is accused of harm or misuse of intellectual property.


What is advertising injury?

Advertising injury is when someone claims that you harmed their reputation or infringed on their intellectual property. If your advertising is accused of hurting a person or company, general liability insurance can help cover your legal expenses such as attorney fees and court-imposed settlements or judgments to settle the case.

Advertising injury, along with personal injury, is a type of non-medical injury coverage protected by a general liability policy.

Example of advertising injury include:

  • If your advertising paints a damaging and false picture of other people or companies. If this harms their reputation, you might get sued for defamation. If you harm their financial interests, you might have to defend yourself against claims of disparagement. 
  • If you use another company’s trademark or trade dress (how a product or service looks) without permission, it can lead to accusations of intellectual property infringement.
  • If you disclose someone’s private information without permission — a privacy violation —  you might trigger litigation.

Given these risks, it makes sense to follow advertising best practices. Always verify the truth of your claims when communicating in public. If you’re not sure your advertising is legal, ask your attorney to review it.

What insurance can help protect against advertising injury?

A general liability policy that covers lawsuits related to advertising can help protect against the loss of advertising injury. The insurance industry often combines advertising-related and non-medical claims into coverage called personal and advertising injury.

Your advertising injury coverage does not protect against all potential losses. For example, it won’t cover litigation resulting from:

  • Crimes you’ve committed
  • Contract disputes
  • Misrepresentation of facts
  • False advertising
  • Actions of ad agencies, publishers and internet service providers (ISPs).

Does advertising injury cover bodily injury?

Say you inadvertently divulge someone’s sensitive personal information online which causes the person great distress and sparks depression. Your general liability insurance might pay for the medical bills the person incurs to return to good health.

Normally, personal and advertising injury protection covers only non-medical personal injuries. However, if someone develops a medical problem after your advertising harms them, your insurance might cover medical bills. 

How NEXT helps small business owners

Advertising is essential for business growth, and it’s crucial to advertise so that you don’t cause harm. In the rare case that you do, a NEXT general liability policy can help pay for covered legal expenses.

NEXT is 100% dedicated to small business. NEXT small business insurance helps you take the risks you need to grow and scale your business.

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