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Cover available for IM risks


When risk management tactics fall short, insurance coverage can help guard against such instant messaging-related liabilities such as viruses, information theft and harassment allegations, said Nancy Flynn, director of The ePolicy Institute in Columbus, Ohio.

She advises insurance brokers to be aware of IM- and e-mail-related risks that face corporate clients "and make sure that you've got them fully covered in case their employees accidentally or intentionally stir up some trouble for the company via IM."

In her book, "The ePolicy Handbook," Ms. Flynn cites a laundry list of policies that give coverage to electronic exposures: media liability coverage, to insure against copyright and trademark infringement; specialized network security coverage, to guard confidential data; and crime loss insurance, to guard against "e-theft."

Sandy Codding, a managing director at Marsh Inc. in New York, said he has not seen many companies asking particularly about exposures with instant messaging.

"Generally speaking, and I'm talking from a professional liability standpoint only, the policies that provide coverage for electronic content are not specific to how that content is generated."

A policy that provides coverage for electronic coverage could include instant messaging, though that technology might not be explicitly named, he said.