By Amanda Duncan, President

Does your insured have a website? Utilize software pertaining to their business? Store client data like names, addresses, and payment history? Correspond via email? From Fortune 500 companies to small businesses across the country, maximizing technology is a key component to success, which means daily interaction with the cyber world. The cyber prefix describes anything related to computers, internet, and electronic communications. Data is all around us – computers, laptops, tablets, phones, watches…the list goes on and on. There is really no escaping the internet with over two billion websites in existence worldwide. With this shift in how businesses operate on a daily basis comes significant exposure to cyber liability. There have been trillions of dollars in cyber losses in 2019 already!

Data breaches can happen at any company—large or small, commercial, institutional, industrial—including insurance carriers and agencies. In fact, half of all cyber attacks are targeted at small businesses as they generally do not have as much cyber security as larger organizations. While coverages like General Liability, Business Auto, Property, and Workers Compensation are common purchases for businesses, these policies may not protect an insured’s digital assets. Any data a company handles, including but not limited to: payroll, credit card numbers, personal information, account specifics, needs its own protection. A cyber attack could cripple any size business for months or years  because of legal fees, loss of income, restoring systems/data as well as damage to the company’s reputation. Therefore any business should consider adding Cyber Liability insurance to their risk management portfolio.

Cyber Liability insurance covers financial losses from data breaches and other cyber events. While policies and endorsements may vary, there are several exposures addressed via a typical Cyber form: Security Breach Expense, Extortion Threats, Replacement or Restoration of Electronic Data, Public Relations Expense, and Security Breach Liability. PartnerOne Environmental offers Cyber Liability via endorsement to ALL contracting and consulting risks. A wide range of limits are available, from $10,000/ $25,000 to $500,000/$1,000,000. For a couple hundred dollars in premium, insureds can protect themselves from thousands of dollars in cyber losses should the unthinkable occur.

Talk with your clients about their digital footprint. Remember the size of the business does NOT matter; data breaches can happen to anyone and they do happen on a daily basis. Every industry is becoming increasingly dependent on technology which means cyber exposure will just continue to grow. Cyber Liability insurance is fast becoming an essential part of an insured’s overall risk management program.