Almost every business relies on computers, networks and electronic data to support their business operations and serve their customers. What most business owners don’t realize is the substantial exposure associated with their use of electronic platforms and the data those platforms host. Today, Cyber Liability insurance is available to business owners for the exposures associated with their use of electronic platforms.
Most businesses are not aware that standard Commercial General Liability policies do not contemplate these types of claims, leaving companies with significant gaps in coverage for cyber-related perils. Any business that collects or handles confidential information, stores client data, uses email, generates revenue online, relies on the internet for transactions or uses a network to conduct its business is in need of this important coverage.
Cyber Liability insurance is designed to protect the insured against direct and indirect loss to the Company’s assets as well as third party claims of negligence. Losses can be caused by hazards such as the transmission of virus/malicious code, denial of service attacks, physical theft of a computer/device, accidental release of an insured’s confidential data and attacks by hackers. First party coverage under the Cyber Perils policy includes:
- Loss of data
- Loss of business income
- Electronic theft
- Cyber extortion
- Security event costs
Third party claims of negligence can include allegations that an insured:
- Permitted the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information
- Failed to secure a Network against attack
- Committed an act of defamation
Of particular interest to many businesses are data breach security concerns. Recent studies have shown that over 70 percent of all data security breaches are experienced by small to medium sized businesses and the cost of a breach can be staggering. The average cost for a data breach claim is over two million dollars. These damages include the cost of data reconstruction, customer/client notification and credit monitoring. This leaves small businesses most at risk because they are unlikely to have the time and resources necessary to handle a data breach security event.
Given the variety and complexity of these occurrences, an experienced insurance agent should be consulted to ensure that proper coverage is obtained and that no gaps remain. If you would like to learn more about insuring against data security breaches, contact us.