Considering Contingent BI/PD Coverage

Contingent Bodily Injury/Property (BI/PD) coverage is usually helpful to media or internet risks featuring how-to or instructional content. Game software developers are also good candidates (if you can get an underwriter to offer it) for BI/PD given the studies showing how violent video games can create violent moods in its users. And the producers of Fear Factor may have had BI/PD coverage to help protect them from the annoyance of a viewer’s lawsuit alleging that a particular rat-eating scene so disturbed him that he had to vomit and ran into a door. But here’s a new BI/PD scenario to consider: The London 2012 Olympics Committee recently had to pull its jazzy new video featuring the Olympics logo over concerns that the imagery (multicolored rippling effects on the logo) could cause epileptic seizures in viewers. These examples not only underscore the need for Contingent BI/PD, but may also illustrate that this type of coverage is worth purchasing even when your client does not have an obvious exposure to it.

Once an Insured decides to purchase Contingent BI/PD, it’s time to start evaluating the coverage provisions. Most professional liability carriers offering this coverage will offer it via an endorsement. Products/Completed operations coverage is usually a prerequisite and the coverage language usually lists protection for bodily injury and property damage arising from content in covered services. Content can be information published in a book or on a website, images used in a movie or online and more—essentially any text, image, sound, data or digital code could be included in the policy definition of content. Tech companies may be interested in also securing BI/PD protection arising from hardware design in covered services. This coverage is especially useful when product design coverage is excluded from the Insured’s General Liability policy. While it would not replace any need for products liability, it could help fill the gap.

For more on Media Liability policy forms and Contingent BI/PD, see our previous post, Media E&O Policies Provide E&O Coverage, Right?, Well….