Cyber insurance is relatively new to the insurance market, which can present some challenges for both businesses and insurers. To date, there are no official industry standards for cyber insurance, but there have been major strides made in recent years to establish some regulations.
Due to the breakneck pace of the technological evolution and increasing pressures to digitize data, most businesses are left vulnerable to cyber attacks. The best way to protect yourself and your company is to conduct a risk assessment and identify any gaps in your coverage. Here are a few things worth looking for:
Understand the coverage that you have, and the coverage that you don’t. Many people might make the mistake of assuming that a commercial general liability (CGL) policy covers losses in the event of a cyber attack. However, assumptions like that can be costly, as many CGL policies specifically exclude electronic data. Take the time to review your current coverage and identify any exclusions that might leave you vulnerable.
Understand your company’s specific needs. Companies vary in their use of and dependence on data. For instance, customer data held by financial businesses is comparatively more valuable to criminals. Other companies, like online merchants, may potentially suffer greater losses as the result of an attack that crashes a website or interrupts service. Different policies have different limits, sublimits and exclusions for different kinds of losses, so it’s important to work with an expert who can find exactly where your liabilities lie and what kinds of coverage you need.
Consider retroactive coverage. Unfortunately, cyber breaches often go undetected for a long time. As a result, a policy that only offers coverage to the date of inception might leave you vulnerable to a cyber attack that hasn’t yet been discovered. To mitigate your liability as much as possible, get coverage with the earliest possible retroactive date.
Obtain coverage for third-party vendors. Many businesses outsource their data processing or storage to a third-party vendor. This is a smart move, especially if you aren’t equipped to handle the IT side of your business. Unfortunately, it may leave you liable for damages if the actions of that third party are responsible for a breach. Make sure you have coverage for the actions or omissions of third parties with which you do business.
© 2015 Zywave, Inc.