Most businesses today use at least some digital information, which may include anything from customers’ contact details to their social security numbers depending on what a business does. Should the information a business has ever be compromised in a data breach, the business may be held financially responsible for the fallout. Cyber insurance policies help businesses in Massachusetts protect themselves from the liability that covered data breaches can expose a business
Cyber insurance is still a relatively new type of insurance. With the increased use of digital information and online threats, however, businesses are increasingly protecting themselves with this insurance.
Most businesses in Massachusetts should consider purchasing a cyber liability policy.
Banks, doctor’s offices and other businesses that handle lots of highly sensitive data often need coverage. These businesses are sometimes specifically targeted by online attacks, and a single breach could result in significant costs. Cyber liability policies aren’t just for businesses like these, however.
Businesses that don’t handle such large amounts of highly sensitive information may still want cyber liability protection. Retailers that accept credit cards, restaurants that accept online reservations and similar businesses can still face costs they aren’t prepared for if their customers’ data is compromised.
Cyber liability insurance is generally designed to help protect businesses from emerging online threats and data-related risks. Most policies provide protection against a host of potential attacks or breaches, and they’ll reimburse a business for certain expenses if the business experiences a covered attack or breach. Some of the costs that a policy might offer reimbursement for include:
Lost revenue caused by a temporary halt in operations
Lost revenue caused by damage to the business’ reputation
Financial reparations that affected clients or customers are awarded
Credit monitoring costs for affected clients or customers
Consulting costs for identifying and addressing any security weakness
Because cyber liability insurance is relatively new, the incidents covered and protections provided can vary more than they do with certain other kinds of insurance. Thus, it’s especially important to carefully review all of the coverages, terms, conditions, exclusions and limits included in a cyber liability policy to fully understand the protections the policy provides.
One example of a how cyber liability insurance coverages can vary is evident in how ransomware attacks are treated by policies. These attacks typically lock down a company’s data and refuse to release it until a ransom is paid. They’re a fairly new type of online threat, but they’re becoming more and more prevalent.
Some cyber liability policies have updated their coverages to include ransomware attacks, but others don’t yet provide protection against this threat. To see whether a particular policy does, it’s necessary to carefully review all of the policy’s paperwork.
While commercial property insurance may provide coverage for the physical servers, computers and devices a business owns, most commercial property policies don’t offer coverage for the software or data stored on such hardware. If these policies
For example, a commercial property policy might pay to replace physical devices that are destroyed in a fire or stolen by a burglar. It would be unusual for this type of policy to pay for revenue that’s lost or credit monitoring that’s needed after a breach, though.
Thus, most businesses still need a cyber liability policy regardless of whether they have a commercial property policy.
Because there’s a significant amount of variance among cyber liability policies, Massachusetts businesses should contact Garrity Insurance agent who specializes in cyber insurance when shopping for a policy. Our agents are familiar with this particular type of insurance and will know what coverages are available and how to check individual policies’ protections. They’ll also be able to review many insurer’s cyber liability policies since they’re independent.