Cyber insurance – Is it worth the extra money?

Posted on Monday, April 6, 2015
Cyber insurance – Is it worth the extra money?

When watching the news, it is commonplace to see issues with cyber security. Companies of all most every size are having to rethink their cyber security protocol, as there are incidences of cyber theft very often. Having insurance coverage for this type of risk is essential for companies these days, as they need to protect themselves in case of a first-party or third-party exposure of information to their database. Cyber insurance policies give the companies protection from liability claims.

What is Cyber Insurance for?

When a business’ database is hacked, the information stored on its network is at risk of being stolen, sold or used. Whether it is credit card information or personal information, if this data is breached, it will put a business at a greater risk of various liability issues. Cyber insurance gives coverage to protect the costs associated with the aftermath of a cyber attack, such as lawsuits. Due to the fact that different companies offer different coverages, what is covered or not covered can vary significantly from carrier to carrier, from state to state.

Is Cyber Insurance Worth It?

Due to the sudden rebirth of this type of policy, cyber insurance has now turned into something that all companies should have; large or small. Overall, there has not been very many claims made against the policies as of yet, but it is steadily being purchased, especially after some of the very big headline-grabbing data breaches of Target, PF Chang’s, and Home Depot.

One case that has been very interesting to follow is the one that involves Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. of America. Their policyholder, Alpine Bank, hired a web designer to redesign their website and maintain their server. Unfortunately, hackers were able to breach the website and, therefore, customer information. This left Alpine Bank with some significant cost in letting all their customers know about the security breach. They filed a claim against their policy and the insurance carrier then sued the designer. This is one case that is sure to be watched carefully for the result.

How Should a Company Protect Themselves?

With the speed in which technology is evolving, online criminals are only getting more tools to do more damage. This makes cyber security essential in this day and age. However, since all policies are not created equal, it is important that you take two essential steps to find the right policy. First of all, you want to be sure that you take the time to evaluate the different policies that are available. Look at the declarations page and ensure that you understand exactly what is being covered and at what liability limit it is being covered up to.

Secondly, be sure that if there is a breach, you give written notice immediately, as not notifying the insurance company as soon as possible can lead to claim denial.

Today, cyber insurance is not required by the Federal or State government for a business to purchase. However, with the many data breaches that have occurred within large and small companies, it is important that a company ensure they are covered. Liability costs can quickly add up, but the right insurance policy can cover a large portion of the costs to keep your business afloat financially. Compare and contrast different cyber insurance policies to find the one that is right for your company and your particular needs.

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