Insurance Law Lesson 29: Personal and Advertising Injury

The main parts of a standard commercial general liability policy are “bodily injury” and “property damage” caused by an occurrence and “personal and advertising injury.” Prior lessons have discussed the former (Lessons 19-20, 24-26). Onto the latter.

Personal Injury and Advertising Injury used to be separate, similar to BI and PD. They still are in some policies. But the standard now has them together with a single definition.

Whether considered together or separate, P&AI has nothing to do with what the average person thinks when she hears “personal injury.” P&AI is defined as a particular subset of offenses, including:

-False arrest/imprisonment

-Malicious prosecution

-Wrongful eviction


-Violation of right to privacy

-Use of another’s advertising idea in your advertising

-Copyright/trade dress/slogan infringement in your advertising

Some policies expand the definition to include discrimination or other similar offenses as well.

In the standard policy, P&AI does NOT need to be caused by an occurrence. Some policies require P&AI to be caused by an occurrence, but they define occurrence as an accident or something that leads to P&AI. Either way, the accident requirement is absent.

Leave a Reply