Insurance to protect intellectual property (IP) has been around for several years, but until recently, it usually offered too little for too much. Now Aon Corp., in Denver, has introduced a "risk-transfer service" that offers blanket protection of intellectual property assets.
In the past, IP insurance was un- attractive because its coverages were low (around $25 million), and it was usually limited to defense of patent- infringement claims or paying off trademark-violation claims. IP insurance also traditionally had complicated underwriting requirements that created difficult hoops for companies to jump through.
"We've created a product that covers all intellectual property--patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyright--and includes defense, as well as enforcement, of intellectual property rights," explains Judith Pearson, director of Aon's financial services group. "We also provide catastrophic limits of liability."
The product offers coverage in excess of $200 million, with a minimum deductible of $5 million, although Aon recommends deductibles of $15 million to $25 million. The policies are written on a company-by- company basis. Premiums are based on the type of IP being insured, the company's industry, and other variables. However, a company can expect to pay premiums ranging from 1 percent to 5 percent of the policy's coverage.