With the recent cyber security attack in Europe and some companies in the United States, data breaches are becoming more common and more costly. Businesses that have been exposed to data breaches face civil liability from customers, credit card issuers, business partners and stakeholders.
PC Magazine defines a data breach as, “An unauthorized dissemination of information. It may be due to an attack on the network or outright theft of paper documents, portable disks, USB drives or laptops. Sensitive information can also be found in trash cans when reports are carelessly discarded.”
As an insurance agent you gather personal data such as Social Security and driver’s license numbers, credit card or bank account information and more. Most agencies have moved away from paper records to electronic data systems and web based applications to store your agency’s data. The personal information and data must be protected from hackers and data breaches. But these days that isn’t always possible.
Most small business owners believe their company is safe from hackers, viruses or a data breach. That’s because most small business owners think they’re too insignificant to be attacked. The reality is most data thieves are looking for an easy target. Security software company Symantec did a study and found that 40% of attacks are against organizations with fewer than 500 employees. Computer hackers aren’t the only ones who can attack your agency. Your agency can be open to attacks by disgruntled or recently fired employees who have access to your data.
If you are reading this, you’re probably an insurance agent or you work at an insurance agency. If anyone should know why you carry insurance, you do. A business liability policy is unlikely to protect against most cyber exposures. Most commercial policies are written to insure against physical loss or injury. These policies don’t protect your agency from electronic damages associated with a data breach.
Like the recent ransomware data breach a cyber liability insurance policy covers cyber extortion. Cyber extortion is when hackers hijack your website, data, and/or networks and deny you access until you pay them to restore your systems. Cyber liability insurance covers expenses associated with data breaches like credit monitoring, costs to defend claims against state regulators and losses resulting from identify theft.
Does your agency have Cyber Liability Insurance? If not, contact your broker and discuss the level of coverage your agency needs based on your range of exposure.
Vikki Thomas has been working in the insurance industry since 1995. Vikki has worked for several carriers in customer service, quality assurance, underwriting, product management and marketing. Vikki has worked at AccuAgency since 2008.