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The Crucial Need for Stand-alone Cyber Insurance Policies for Small Businesses

In the digital age, the threat of cyberattacks on small businesses is not just a possibility, it’s an alarming reality. Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated, leveraging complex tactics to exploit vulnerabilities in small business networks. This emerging threat landscape necessitates a reevaluation of how small businesses approach cyber insurance. Many small businesses currently rely on cyber coverage that is merely an extension or an endorsement of other insurance policies. However, this approach is proving to be grossly inadequate in the face of evolving cyber threats.

The need for stand-alone cyber policies becomes apparent when we delve into recent statistics and claim reports. A striking 54% of all cyber claims are categorized as either Funds Transfer Fraud (FTF) or some form of Business Email Compromise (BEC). These types of cybercrimes have shown to be particularly devastating for small businesses, which often lack the robust security infrastructure of larger corporations.

The financial implications of these attacks are staggering. In 2022, the average initial amount lost in Funds Transfer Fraud cases, before any recoveries, was approximately $309,000. This figure is far beyond what most small businesses can bear without severe financial consequences. Such a significant financial loss can cripple a small business, leading to long-term operational disruptions, loss of customer trust, and in severe cases, closure of the business.

Stand-alone cyber insurance policies are designed to address these specific risks. Unlike add-ons or endorsements in general business policies, stand-alone cyber insurance offers more comprehensive coverage. These policies are tailored to protect against a range of cyber threats, including data breaches, ransomware attacks, business email compromise, and funds transfer fraud. They also often provide access to critical post-incident services, such as IT forensics, public relations support, and legal advice, which are essential in mitigating the impact of a cyber incident.

Moreover, stand-alone cyber policies typically offer higher coverage limits compared to packaged endorsements. This is crucial given the high costs associated with cyber incidents, including legal fees, ransom payments, data recovery expenses, and compensations for affected customers. For small businesses, these policies provide a safety net, ensuring that a single cyber incident does not escalate into a financial catastrophe.

It’s also important for small business owners to understand that cyber insurance is not just about financial compensation. These policies often come with resources to help prevent cyber incidents in the first place. Insurers may offer risk assessment tools, employee training modules on cyber hygiene, and updates on emerging cyber threats, helping businesses to stay one step ahead of cyber criminals.

The increasing sophistication and frequency of cyberattacks against small businesses underscore the inadequacy of relying solely on cyber coverage as part of a general business insurance policy. Stand-alone cyber insurance policies provide a more robust and comprehensive solution. They not only offer better financial protection against cyber threats but also equip businesses with the tools and resources necessary to prevent and respond to cyber incidents effectively. For small business owners, investing in a stand-alone cyber policy is not just a prudent financial decision; it’s a critical safeguard for the future of their business in an increasingly digital world.

 

Cyber Insurance Vs. Crime Insurance, What Are The Differences?

Crime insurance and cyber insurance are two types of insurance policies that provide coverage for different risks, but there can be some areas of overlap between them. Here’s a breakdown of what each type of insurance covers and where they may overlap:

Crime Insurance

Crime insurance, also known as fidelity insurance or employee dishonesty insurance, is designed to protect businesses against financial losses resulting from criminal acts committed by employees or third parties. It typically covers the following:

  • Employee dishonesty: Losses due to theft, embezzlement, or fraudulent activities by employees.
  • Forgery or alteration: Losses resulting from forged or altered financial instruments.
  • Computer fraud: Losses caused by fraudulent computer-related activities, such as hacking or funds transfer fraud.
  • Funds transfer fraud: Losses arising from unauthorized electronic funds transfers.
  • Counterfeit money: Losses due to the acceptance of counterfeit currency.

Cyber Insurance

Cyber insurance, also referred to as cybersecurity insurance or data breach insurance, is designed to protect businesses against losses resulting from cyber threats and data breaches. It typically covers the following:

  • Data breaches: Costs associated with data breaches, including forensic investigations, customer notification, credit monitoring, and potential legal liabilities.
  • Cyber extortion: Coverage for expenses related to ransomware attacks or other forms of cyber extortion.
  • Business interruption: Losses resulting from system disruptions or downtime caused by cyber incidents.
  • Privacy liability: Legal costs and damages resulting from violations of privacy regulations or laws.
  • Network security liability: Coverage for legal costs and damages arising from third-party claims related to network security failures.

Overlap and Differences

While there can be some overlap between crime insurance and cyber insurance, they primarily cover different types of risks. Crime insurance focuses on financial losses resulting from criminal acts, both by employees and external parties. It includes coverage for employee dishonesty, fraud, forgery, and other forms of traditional criminal activities.

On the other hand, cyber insurance specifically addresses risks related to cyber threats, data breaches, and other cyber incidents. It covers costs associated with data breaches, cyber extortion, business interruption, and liabilities arising from privacy or network security failures.

However, there can be scenarios where the two types of insurance overlap. For example, if a cyber incident involves employee fraud or embezzlement, both crime insurance and cyber insurance may come into play to cover different aspects of the loss. In such cases, it’s essential for businesses to carefully review their insurance policies and consult with their insurance providers to understand the extent of coverage and any potential gaps.

Business Need Both Kinds of Coverage

These two types of risks are the largest overlap between the two types of insurance policy because both risks involve criminal activity and direct losses but also occur in cyberspace and incur indirect losses.

Outside of instances where the policies overlap, the clearest way to delineate what event will trigger which type of coverage is to define if the loss was direct or indirect, tangible or intangible. But even that isn’t 100% accurate.

That’s why having both types of coverage is essential. With both policies, an organization has the broadest protection possible. In some instances, double coverage will provide additional protection for those instances of overlap, like with social engineering and FTF.

It’s worth noting that the specific coverage and terms of insurance policies can vary widely depending on the insurance provider and the policy itself. Therefore, it’s crucial to review the policy documents and consult with an insurance professional to understand the precise coverage offered by each type of insurance and any potential areas of overlap.

Cyber Liability Insurance

Cyber liability refers to the potential legal and financial consequences that a business or organization may face as a result of a cyber incident or data breach. This can include the costs of responding to the incident, such as hiring a cybersecurity firm to investigate and repair the damage, as well as legal fees and damages that may be awarded to individuals or businesses affected by the incident.

 

It’s important for businesses and organizations to have adequate cyber liability insurance to protect against the financial consequences of a cyber incident. This insurance can help cover the costs of responding to the incident and provide legal defense if the business is sued as a result of the incident.

 

In addition to having insurance, there are several steps businesses and organizations can take to reduce their risk of a cyber incident and mitigate the potential consequences:

  1. Implement strong cybersecurity measures, such as firewalls, antivirus software, and two-factor authentication.
  2. Regularly update software and systems to ensure that they are secure and patch any vulnerabilities.
  3. Train employees on how to identify and report potential cyber threats.
  4. Develop a plan for responding to a cyber incident, including procedures for reporting the incident and communicating with affected parties.
  5. Regularly review and update policies and procedures related to data security.

While the massive national agencies spend millions on television ads and offer barebones policies, they do not know you. When your needs change or your situation complicates, you don’t want an automated phone tree or cold cyber-agent. You want to talk to compassionate, honest insurance experts, close to home, right here in Beavercreek, OH – that’s our team. You shouldn’t have to spend hours researching and comparing policies. Let the specialists at Reichley guide you through the complex insurance industry.

Call today to alleviate the worry and get covered – (937) 429-0655.