There’s Coverage for That: Advertising Injury

What is advertising injury coverage?

Advertising injury insurance protects businesses whose advertising infringes upon on the copyright or intellectual property of someone else, by providing coverage for settlements, legal fees, and defense costs in the event of a lawsuit.

Claims for advertising injury may also arise from slanderous or libelous advertising – that is, advertising that defames other people or companies through untrue statements.

However, advertising injury coverage does not usually cover false advertising about your own products/services.

When would I need advertising injury coverage?

All businesses that advertise in any way should have advertising injury insurance.

If you were sued for copyright infringement, stolen ideas, slander or libel related to advertising, your advertising injury coverage would apply.

For example, if you launched a marketing campaign and used a musician’s composition without permission, you could be sued for copyright infringement.

Now, if in that campaign, you also spread mistruths about a competitor, you could be sued for libel or slander (depending on the medium; slander is for spoken words, while libel is for written words or images).

Tip: Before using any music, images, or slogans in your advertising, check the copyrights, and get permission if it’s needed. (If you want to know more about how copyright works, check out this guide from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.)

How do I get coverage for advertising injury?

Coverage for advertising injury is automatically included in a typical Commercial General Liability policies (more on CGL policies here).

Advertising injury coverage is not included in home-based business packages that are added onto home insurance policies, as those packages are designed for smaller businesses.