Gallagher today announced it has appointed Erik Alsegard to oversee a new intellectual property (IP) insurance practice.

Erik Alsegard joins Gallagher following a seven year tenure at CFC Underwriting, where he was the IP Practice Lead. He has also held specialist IP insurance positions at Munich Re and Miller.

As IP Director, Erik will report into Executive Director, Tom Draper, who runs Gallagher’s cyber practice, and his first priority will be to offer the services to existing Gallagher clients that have a demand in this growing area of specialist insurance.

IP insurance typically covers legal defence costs and damages or settlement awards for policyholders accused of IP infringement, among other things. A common reason for purchasing the insurance is also to cover contractual obligations to indemnify customers or licensees in relation to IP infringement claims. The costs involved in IP claims can be very significant and in some cases prevent businesses from trading. The insurance may also cover the legal costs associated with pursuing parties infringing on the policyholder’s IP.

Commenting on his appointment, Erik, said: “My two favourite topics are insurance and IP and I have spent over 15 years combining the two as a broker and as an underwriter. Coming to Gallagher to lead the development of this practice is a fantastic opportunity - due to its intangible nature IP risk is a very real but often uninsured exposure that can significantly impact firms and it’s important that businesses have access to specialist advice on this complex area. I look forward to working with the team to develop our offering.”

Tom added: “I’m delighted to welcome Erik to Gallagher. In my role, leading our specialty cyber practice, I am very aware of the evolving risks that businesses are facing and IP is one such area. Erik is a seasoned practitioner in the IP insurance market and brings depth of market insight and technical understanding that will be critical to developing the solutions we deliver for our clients.”