Protection from cyber liability

Frantically running through the airport to get home from a business conference, your best employee accidentally leaves a briefcase behind. What a hassle! It had their work laptop, smart phone, and countless documents from the busy work week. The next few days will be frantic: Getting a new phone and laptop, replacing contact information, and retrieving duplicate copies of work documents. However the issue is not totally over.

Imagine that your equipment and documents held private information on employees, customers, and passwords for your business? While the equipment can be replaced by normal insurance coverage, the losses incurred by someone having personal and private information can be a much bigger issue. Cyber liability insurance can cover the claims that your normal commercial policy will not. Cyber liability protects businesses from the loss, accidental release, or theft of Personally Identifiable Information. The financial exposure from this breach of information can be substantial. A cyber liability policy can protect you in many ways:

You will have to notify your clients and employees of the breach. The fees associated with the notification will be covered.

To help regain your trust in the community you may have to hire a public relations firm. These fees will be paid as well.

Most likely you will be sued by someone. The legal fees incurred and any damages awarded can be paid by this policy.

With today’s online shopping craze, possibly you have lost sales from the website being hacked and shut down. The lost income will be covered as well.

This is not a coverage just for large businesses. Small businesses need this coverage as well, sometimes even more than a large corporation. First and foremost the coverage is more affordable then you think. Premiums can start around $1,000 annually with $1 million limits depending on the size and type of business. The coverage will provide necessary cash flow to a business that would otherwise be crippled by the potential uncovered claims.

Also provided from the carrier is help with risk-management. While larger corporations have divisions within the company to strictly stop people from hacking into their system, smaller companies do not have this luxury. Carriers can set up safeguards in areas like social media and firewall protocols. These services can be provided at a minimal or no cost at all. Preventing potential claims saves everyone money in the long run, and carriers want to protect their profits just like any other business.

All businesses are susceptible to cyber liability claims. The best advice is to meet with your insurance professional and analyze your specific risk in depth with them. Simply taking the time to assess your vulnerability and fill out an application will allow your agent to get a quote. Then you can determine if paying additional premium for coverage is in your best interests versus self-insuring potential claims. You never want to be the one reacting to an uncovered loss instead of protecting your business prior to the incident.

Dave Kulikowski is managing sales executive Altus Insurance Group. Contact him at 775-828-7420 or


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