Business owners policies (BOPs) are useful tools for small businesses in low risk industries to save money on important insurances such as general liability and commercial property insurance. These policies are flexible, allowing you to add different coverage types as needed. One important liability that you should ensure your coverage protects is advertising coverage. This type of coverage can protect you if your business causes personal or financial injury through advertising.
Covered aspects of advertising insurance can include:
Libel—a published false statement about someone else, their business or product
Slander—a spoken false statement about someone else, their business or product
Copyright infringement of another’s business attributes or products
Invasion of privacy—your product, service or targeting methods cause problems for a consumer
Misappropriation—using another company’s ideas for your advertising purposes
If advertising is a big part of your business, your BOP insurance should include advertising coverage. This coverage can often protect things like your billboards, slogans and other materials.
For example, say that you hire a new social media expert and they post a message on Twitter that accuses a competitor of ripping off customers with a poor product. That competitor can come back and sue your business for libel. Lawsuits are expensive, costing thousands or even millions of dollars. Even a single lawsuit could send your business into heavy financial trouble or worse. This is especially true if you are a new business without the financial cushion to fall back on in case of an extra unexpected expense such as legal fees, court fees, defense costs, settlement expenses and more.
You often have to prove that any claims were not caused by your intentional negligence. In other words, you can’t usually cause an advertising injury intentionally or with malice. Your insurance will likely deny the claim.
Furthermore, the type of small business you own might not qualify for advertising insurance. Companies like internet providers, ad agencies and publishers have unique risks when it comes to advertising. Companies like these usually need special coverage for their advertising practices.
When choosing a business owners policy, make sure that it addresses your advertising needs. You can often add this coverage area to your personalized plan. Shop around to compare quotes and speak with your insurance agent to make sure that your business owners policy covers all of the main points of risk that your business faces day to day.