What Does Personal and Advertising Injury Mean on a General Liability Policy?

When you purchase a business insurance policy, it is likely that you will come across general liability insurance. General liability insurance is one of the most important coverages for business or individual, as it protects against common accidents that can occur at your business. 

Personal and advertising injury covers primarily non-physical injury another person or business may suffer due to your business’ everyday operations. This coverage covers claims concerning: 

  • Libel and slander 
  • False arrest 
  • Copyright infringement 
  • Malicious prosecution 
  • Theft of an advertising idea 
  • Wrongful eviction 
  • Invasion of privacy


Most of these apply to many businesses, but some apply to specific situations. Wrongful eviction, for example, primarily applies to issues between landlords and their tenants. A tenant who feels they have been wrongly evicted may file a lawsuit against their landlord. This coverage provides compensation for legal expenses related to such a lawsuit. 

Who Needs Personal and Advertising Injury? 
Essentially every business needs general liability insurance, including personal and advertising injury. These type of claims don’t only come from clients. They can also come from other businesses.  

For example, say you are just starting a retail business. You and an advertising consultant decide on a logo for your business and have it commissioned. 

A week later, a boutique in the same city gives you notice of a claim for copyright infringement. You discover that your logo is very similar to theirs in design aside from the colors. 

General liability can help cover the legal costs associated with this dispute, including defense costs, court fees and settlement expenses.

No matter what you business’ industry, you could face a range of expensive lawsuits concerning personal or advertising injury. 

Another example of a covered accusation is that of malicious prosecution. Say you run an electronics store, primarily selling phones and laptops. There is a customer who you believe has been shoplifting, but you haven’t been able to find proof. One day, they come in and you think you see them take something off the shelf and stuff it in their purse. 

You confront them and they deny stealing anything and the argument grows into yelling. You have security check their purse. As it turns out, they had not stolen anything and were simply putting their wallet back in their purse. 

In this case, the customer could sue for destress and false accusations. 

Be sure to speak with your insurance agent about your personal and advertising injury coverage. 

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