As insurance law changes to address the issues of privacy, intellectual property and technology, lawyers face new challenges and the rise of new liabilities and policies.
“The law really hasn’t developed to cover a lot of these things and providing advice with regards to those types of activities is a challenge,” says Christopher Keegan, senior vice president and national resource for Errors and Omissions insurance coverage for Willis of New York, Inc.
“I think keeping up with the intellectual property risks themselves is probably the biggest challenge,” says Keegan. ”We in the insurance industry are following those developments and trying to pinpoint what the risks might be.” He cites social networking as one of the areas where assessing IP risks is difficult.
I interviewed Keegan, Robert Chesler, and Tod Zuckerman for a Westcast podcast about their book from West, Assets and Finance: Insurance Coverage for Intellectual Property and Cyber Claims, the 2008-2009 edition.
Chesler, chair of the Lowenstein Sandler Insurance Practice Group, explains some of the history in this area.
“Over the past decade, creative forces within the insurance industry designed new types of policies to protect from claims of intellectual property infringment, invasion of privacy, loss of data and system disruptions,” Chesler says. “We’re really now in a period of the creation of an entirely new insurance paradigm. One that’s designed to address the risks that corporate America now faces.”
Since the early 2000s, there’s been a specific exclusion for intellectual property risks that eliminates coverage for most, but not all of these, according to Tod Zuckerman, a solo practitioner in San Francisco. “It’s a moving target for the practicing attorney who represents policyholders.”
You can hear from Chesler, Keegan and Zuckerman in this Westcast podcast.
Posted by Kevin Hunt, senior communications specialist, Thomson Reuters