1. Web Site Publishing Liability
This insuring agreement provides coverage for loss that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay as a result of its wrongful acts associated with the content posted to its web site. Wrongful act, as it pertains to this insuring agreement, is defined to include any actual or alleged error, misstatement or misleading statement posted or published by an insured on its web site that results in an infringement of another's copyright, trademark, trade dress, service mark, defamation, or violation of a person’s right of privacy.
Although limited to material published on the insured's web site, this insuring agreement in some respects duplicates coverage provided by the Personal and Advertising Injury coverage in the commercial general liability policy.
In the CGL, Personal Injury coverage includes (1) oral or written publication of material that slanders or libels a person or organization or disparages a person's or organization's goods, products or services; (2) disparaging a person's or organization's goods, products or services; and, (3) violating a person's right of privacy. Libel and slander are forms of defamation. These offenses are also included here in this policy, but only when the defaming or disparaging material is published on the insured's web site.
The Advertising Injury coverage on the CGL provides coverage for infringing upon another's copyright, trade dress or slogan, if they occur in the course of the insured's advertising, including only that part of a web site that is considered an advertisement. The coverage here goes further than that in the CGL because a covered offense can arise out of any part of the insured's web site, not just the part that is considered an advertisement.
Endorsement EC 20 16
(Exclusion – Social Media) excludes claims or arising out of a wrongful act that occurs through the authorized or unauthorized use of a social media web site or blog by an employee.
Endorsement EC 20 17
(Exclusion – Software Infringement) excludes claims or loss arising out of any infringement of copyrighted software, software code or software license. Variations to watch for:
- Not all policies cover all the causes of action shown here and some policies cover more causes of action.
- Some policies cover claims alleging damages caused by third-party reliance on the textual content displayed in the insured's web site. (Example: an insurance agent's web site contains technical information on policy coverages and recommendations for handling risk exposures.)
- Some policies cover material published in any form (not just the web site), including social media, printed advertising and other types of publications.