Business Pursuits Exclusion in New Jersey

New Jersey law defines a "business pursuit" as an activity involving "continuity" or "customary engagement" and a "profit motive." Prudential Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Boylan, 704 A.2d 597, 602 (N.J. Super. 1998). CMLP has identified no New Jersey cases interpreting this test in the context of online publishing out of the home (or elsewhere).

As a general matter, however, the New Jersey courts include nearly all profit-making activities carried out on a regular basis in the category of business pursuits. The activity does not need to be the insured person's sole occupation or means of support, but it must be more than merely sporadic or occasional.

Therefore, if you live in New Jersey, you may be in danger of losing coverage for your online publishing activities if you make money from your website or blog, such as through advertisements or a tip jar, unless those activities are temporary or sporadic.

Note that specific language in a policy might lead a court to a result different from the overall state trend.


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