The Tech Errors and Omissions Insurance Trifecta – Covering Intellectual Property, Privacy and Media
We know that traditional Tech Errors & Omissions insurance covers failure to perform scenarios. But what about claims that are not related to the performance of a technology product or service? For example suppose you provide an internet platform that allows users to buy comic books online. You post pictures of comic book covers and characters on your website and maybe even allow visitors to read pages of the comic book. And as part of the order fulfillment you collect the home address and credit card info from your shoppers. Now suppose you do this for thousands of people. Everything is going great until the day you get a letter from Marvel’s attorney with a request for damages since you were using their images, trademarks and characters without proper authorization. Or maybe the letter is from a law firm representing your irate customers, saying that your site was responsible for a series of privacy violations – and demanding millions in damages. In these scenarios your platform performed perfectly, just the way it was supposed to….so no E&O coverage, right? If you have a typical, basic E&O policy the answer would be yes. However inthe past 15 years E&O insurance policies have evolved to recognize the many additional exposures to claims that are a result of the Internet. So these “non-performance” claims can be covered by an Errors and Omissions policy. The policies provide broad protection for issues such as: privacy, copyright infringement, trademark infringement, trade dress, trade secret (yes, you can get coverage for claims that you stole someone’s trade secret) and a full array of media exposure that you have as an internet
based “broadcaster” (disparagement, libel, defamation, false advertising..)
These E&O policies go by many names such as: plain E&O, CyberLiability, CyberInsurance, Internet liability and even Multi-Media insurance – and no two policies are the same. To make it even more confusing most insurers choose to brand their policies with their own names like “pro tech” or “fail safe”. They can cover (and exclude) a wide variety of risks making it imperative to match the policy to your companies own unique risk profile.