How Technology is impacting the Insurance Industry

The Insurance Industry has been Slow to Adapt to Technology

Many people within the insurance industry say the industry has not evolved since the Industrial Revolution. In some ways that is a true statement. With the introduction of several different forms of technology the insurance industry is advancing into the twenty first century. Technology has and will play a large part of the insurance industry for the foreseeable future. The insurance industry has been slow to adapt, but there the best companies are now using technology to gain a competitive advantage in both personal and commercial insurance.

Human Brain, Technology, Artificial Intelligence

Types of Technology Impacting the Insurance Industry

Wearables

Wearables have evolved far beyond wristwatches and clip-on GPS trackers. Some companies are adding smart vests and even boot inserts to monitor employees. What businesses are monitoring include heart rate, body temperature, and even the sweat rate. This helps businesses prevent employees from suffering from heat stroke or hypothermia. Motion sensors are being used to detect when a worker has fallen or in some instances when an employee has not moved for a period of time. These wearable technologies can alert supervisors or nearby colleagues of a potential danger.

Drone Technology

Insurance companies are using drones in a number of ways. One of the best ways carriers are using drones is to speed up the claims process in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Carriers will send an underwriter to an area and inspect multiple damaged properties with the drone saving an enormous amount of time in the claims process. In some instances, the underwriter can begin to process a claim even before the owner of the property is allowed back in to the area. In the future, many within the industry think the industry could use drones to view a property periodically throughout the year to record the condition of a property prior to a claim. Like most things with technology and the insurance industry, this will create new types of risks and privacy issues.

Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles bring many different issues to the insurance industry. As autonomous vehicles work now, the insurance is held by the owner of the car. In the future, as autonomous vehicles move into other areas of the economy, the insurance industry will have to develop ways to deal with new types of risks. When a company like Uber or Lyft begin offering rides in unmanned vehicles, the liability insurance required will  change. When a company like Amazon begins using unmanned vehicles for deliveries; the insurance industry, along with the states and federal government, will have to adjust how the liability involved in these vehicles develops.

Computer Technology

How is Technology Impacting the Insurance Industry

Underwriting and Claims are quicker and more efficient

Insurance is a very specific product to sell. The price for one business is dramatically different than another business for a number of reasons. Insurance agents need a lot of information about a business before they can offer a quote on premium. There are a number of reasons for this and it is a frustration for both agents, underwriters, and business owners looking for coverage. Technology is helping to streamline this process.

Technology adoption is helping to better identify fraud and other crimes

There are numerous ways insurance companies are using technology to improve the insurance process for all policyholders. No where is that more evident than when it comes to policing fraud. Wearables and smart home devices are helping insurance companies determine when someone is committing arson or when someone is lying about a crime. A good example of how technology is being used to cover up a crime is in Arkansas in 2015, man was suspected of murder. Using the Amazon Echo and the smart water heater, prosecutors found that a large amount of water was used in the early hours of the morning on the night of the murder. The prosecutors used this as circumstantial evidence to show the man was covering up the crime.

Technology

Technology Requires New Types of Coverage

Cyber Insurance 

Cyber insurance is a necessary coverage for most business need in 2019. There are three types of policies that businesses may need. Cyber Liability and Data Breach Coverage are the two policies most businesses need and they are almost exclusively sold in tandem. The additional coverage some businesses need related to cyber insurance is Technology Errors and Omissions.

Data Breach Insurance deals with the first party damages to you and your business. Cyber liability deals with the third party liability a business faces to other people damaged by a data breach. Technology Errors and Omissions deals with businesses that provide or sell technology services and products. Thus far, carriers have had trouble understanding the risk factors related to cyber. For most policies, the carriers have years of historical loss information to determine the probability of claims. Most businesses have been operating over the internet for less than 10 years and a majority of that time they did not carry cyber insurance. Because of this lack of data, most insurance carriers either do not have a strong appetite for this coverage or they keep premium relatively high.

 

10 Types of Liability Insurance Every Small Business Should Consider

Liability Insurance is the Bedrock of a Small Businesses Shield of Protection

Liability Insurance is a way businesses can go about protecting itself from liabilities the business faces that are beyond the funds the business has on hand to cover. General Liability is required by law for most businesses in most states, but this is usually not the only type of liability insurance coverage a business should secure. Partnering with an experienced insurance professional with whom you trust is the first step to properly protecting a small business. This professional can help advise a business owner just what types of risks they face and just what types of insurance policies they should secure. Here are 10 types of liability insurance coverage every small business owner should consider securing.

Small Business Liability Insurance Coverage

General Liability Insurance Coverage

General Liability Insurance is required by law in most states and protects a business from lawsuits, bodily injury, property damage, personal injury and completed work. Two components are included in general liability insurance. Those two components are public and product liability. Public liability protects a business from third-parties filing suit against a business. The suit can be for something as simple as the third party slipped and fell in your store. No matter how trivial the suit is, it can amount to an enormous legal bill to protect the reputation of a business. Product liability protects a business for products or completed work. When a business makes or sells a product, the business is responsible for what happens with those products. It is important to remember product liability does not provide coverage for claims of defective or faulty design alone unless that defect causes injury or damage.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance Coverage is also frequently referred to as Errors and Omissions, E&O, or Medical Malpractice. Professional Liability covers a business for financial losses suffered by third-parties due to professional advice given by the insured. The types of professionals who need this type of coverage include: Accountants, Attorneys, Real Estate Brokers, Consultants, Physicians, Architects, and Engineers. A Professional Liability Insurance Policy does not cover bodily injury or property damage, these claims are usually covered by a general liability policy.

Cyber Liability Insurance Coverage

Cyber Liability Insurance is a type of liability that protects a business from the liability the business faces to third parties for a data breach that occurs within the organization. Cyber Liability Insurance covers the costs associated with the liability of a claim or suit related to a data breach, but it does not cover the first party damages to the business.

Dram Shop Liability Insurance

Dram Shop Insurance Coverage applies to businesses that sell and serve alcohol. A Dram Shop Liability Insurance covers a business for personal injury caused by an intoxicated customer. Dram Shop Liability grew from laws passed dealing with the actions of intoxicated patrons who were served when the business knew the patron was severely intoxicated. According to Vernet v. Serrano-Torres, 566 F.3d 254 (1st Cir. P.R. 2009), it was held that the theory of dram-shop liability has been described as one where a bar or tavern may be liable for the wrongful or injurious actions of a patron, if it served alcohol to that patron after it knew, or should have known, that the patron was already intoxicated.

Directors and Officers Liability Insurance is a type of liability insurance that is paid out to the officers and directors of a company or organization, as reimbursement for losses or advancement for defense costs in the event an insured faces a lawsuit as a result of alleged wrongful acts in the officers or directors capacity as a leader of the organization. Directors and Officers of a corporation or a non-profit may be liable for damages if they damage the organization in breach of their legal duty, if they mix personal and business assets, or if they fail to disclose any and all conflicts of interest.

Employer Liability Insurance Coverage

Employer Liability Insurance is an extremely important part of every businesses workers compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation pays a workers medical costs and some lost wages if they are hurt while on the job. If an employee feels their workers compensation benefit has not provided them enough, they can sue a business for damages. Some of those damages and the legal fees associated with those suits are covered under an employer liability insurance policy.

Product Liability Insurance

Product Liability Insurance Coverage protects a business from lawsuits that result from injuries, illnesses, or property damage linked to a product made by a business. These damages include manufacturing error, faulty design, malfunctions, and even misuse. This applies to manufactured products no matter if they are simple or complex.

Umbrella Liability Insurance Coverage

An Umbrella Insurance Policy is a type of coverage that sits on top of other existing policies. When there is a covered loss and the limits of that policy are met, the Umbrella Policy kicks in to cover additional costs up to the limits of the Umbrella Policy. They key part of this policy to understand is that the claim causing the loss has to be a covered loss. An Umbrella Insurance Policy does not cover additional losses that are not covered. The policy only kicks in when the limits of an existing policy are met.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) can protect a business in the event the business faces a lawsuits related to hiring, employing, and terminating employees. EPLI can protect a business when someone files a claim due to misconduct or violation of labor laws. These lawsuits could include claims of employee discrimination, wrongful termination, discrimination (age, racial, gender), breach of contract, sexual harrassment, or emotional distress.

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)

Businesses can package all of the necessary liability policies in to a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP). A BOP includes several different policies.  They are usually designed for a specific industry because a carriers uses historical claims data to know which types of claims are common for businesses within a particular industry. BOP’s can be altered to meet the needs of a business and the level of risk a business owner is willing to take and most times carriers will offer a discount for buying multiple policies in one package.

3 Types of Liability Insurance Every Technology Company Should Have?

General, Professional, and Cyber Liability Insurance

Technology Companies have enormous risks. Those risks depend upon whether the business sells or services technology products. Some businesses store data about the businesses customers. Other businesses create technology that other businesses use to store the data of those customers. No matter what type of risk a business faces, there are three types of liability insurance all technology companies should secure. Those policies are General, Professional, and Cyber Liability Insurance.

Technology Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance for Small Business is the most important type of insurance policy a company can secure.  General Liability Insurance helps policyholders from the third party risks associated with lawsuits and other types of claims. Those claims include bodily injury and property damage that is caused by direct or indirect actions of the insured. For most businesses a general liability claim can be for something as simple as a customer slipping on wet floors inside a restaurant or when when a product sold breaks and causes an injury. For technology companies, General Liability Insurance will cover legal expenses when a business is sued for customer injuries, property damage, and slander. For many within the insurance industry, general liability insurance is referred to as the first line of defense for a business. It should not be the only coverage a business secures.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance is also referred to as Errors and Omissions Insurance. Professional Liability Insurance is coverage for professional businesses that give expert advice or provide technology services for a fee. The coverage prevents businesses from bearing the full cost of defending against a negligence claim made by a client, and damages awarded in a civil lawsuit.

Here are five types of claims that are commonly covered by a Professional Liability Insurance Policy:

  • Breach of Contract: Breach of Contract that occurs when one or both parties do not live up to a contract that was previously agreed upon.
  • Fraud: Fraud occurs when one party intentionally lies or deceives for financial or personal gain.
  • Negligence: Negligence occurs when one party fails to use reasonable care that results in damage or harm to another person, business, or organization.
  • Breach of Warranty: Breach of Promise occurs when a person or business promises something to a customer in a warranty, and the business is unable to keep the promise made by the product or contract.
  • Misrepresentation: Misrepresentation occurs when a person or business makes a false claim to convince another person or party into a contract.

Cyber Liability Insurance

Cyber Liability Insurance covers the insureds liability for damages that result from a data breach. It does not cover immediate response costs that a business faces after a data breach. A Cyber Liability Insurance Policy is a type of insurance that protects businesses that sell and service technology. A data breach can result from something as small as an employees laptop being stolen while going to the bathroom at a coffee shop, but it can also result from an employee clicking on a phishing email. Data breaches are no longer just a problem for bug businesses. Both the Target and Home Depot Data Breaches started by hackers first accessing the computer systems of a small business who were partners with the bigger business. As most enterprise level business take cyber security more seriously, this is becoming a much more common way for businesses to become victims of a data breach.

3 Types of Cyber Insurance Every Business Should Have

What if my business does not deal with computers.  Does that mean I really don’t need Cyber Liability Insurance?  What if I am the only person in my business who uses a computer.  Doesn’t that mean I don’t face all that much risk?  Let’s say I might need Cyber Insurance, but what kind and how much?

Do any of these statements sound familiar? If so, you definitely need Cyber Liability Insurance. The term Cyber Liability Insurance is used pretty generally because cyber security is such a young sector and the data about the risks are changing very rapidly.  Business owners and insurance companies are still having trouble determining who is at risk and how much risk those businesses actually face. Just because this is a new type of insurance coverage does not diminish the importance it can have for protecting your business.

Cyber Liability Insurance

Many business owners think a data breach can only occur to a big multi-national corporation. For the big data breaches that make the news, this is certainly true, but the truth is most data breach first start out with small mom and pop businesses. These mom and pop businesses are first hacked with the hackers intention of gaining access to a much larger database.  This usually occurs through carious types of vendor partnerships. In the case of Target and Home Depot both of these breaches were first accessed by a much smaller business partner, who was hacked.  For this reason it is immensely important for you to talk with an experienced independent insurance agent about all the risks your business faces.

The three main types of Cyber Liability Insurance Coverage are Cyber Security, Cyber Liability and Technology Errors and Omissions Insurance. The first two deal with risks relating to a Data Breach. The third deals with companies that provide technology services and products.

Cyber Security

Cyber Security Insurance is also known as Privacy Notification and Crisis Management Expense Insurance.  This coverage includes coverage for first party damage to you and your business. This coverage does not protect your business from damage done to third parties. Cyber Security Insurance deals specifically with the immediate response costs associated with a data breach. In many cases it is required by law to find out how the breach occurred, notify those affected and provide credit monitoring services for one year.

Examples of costs included in Cyber Security Coverage include:

  • hiring a forensics expert to determine the cause of the breach, suggest measures to secure the site and prevent future breaches

  • hiring a public relations agency to assist in dealing with the crisis

  • setting up a post-breach call center

  • notifying affected individuals whose personally identifiable information (PII) has been compromised

  • monitoring these individuals’ credit (usually for 1 year)

  • paying the costs to “restore” stolen identities as a result of a data breach (e.g., expenses of notifying banks and credit card companies)

Cyber Liability

Cyber Liability Insurance, also termed Information Security and Privacy Insurance, covers the insured’s liability for damages resulting from a data breach. It does not cover expenses that deal with the immediate response cost. This type of insurance protects businesses which sell products and services directly on the internet.  Also, it protects businesses which collect data within its internal electronic network. The most common forms of data breach involve personal or financial information like credit card numbers, bank account information, social security numbers, health information, trade secrets or intellectual property.

The types of situations where this information are accessed include:

  • An employee’s car is broken into and a business laptop is stolen.

  • An email containing sensitive customer information is sent to the wrong person.

  • Important paperwork, like a credit application, is taken during a break-in.

  • Failure to timely disclose a data breach.

Technology Errors and Omissions

Technology Errors and Omissions Insurance, also referred to as Professional Liability or E&O, is a form of liability coverage that protects businesses who provide or sell technology services and products. This coverage prevents businesses from bearing the full cost of defending against a negligence claim made by a client, and damages awarded in a civil lawsuit. This can include business who sell and service computer products, but it can also include graphic designers and advertising agencies who create digital content that can harm a company’s reputation. It covers computer programmers who may create faulty code for a website that causes that business to mail products to the wrong addresses.

Cyber Liability Insurance is a new and emerging part of the insurance industry and it is not going anywhere. These risks are only going to become stronger as more and more business operate online. Before too long Cyber Security Insurance will be a normal part of businesses insurance policy just like workers compensation Insurance and general liability Insurance are today. Now is the time to consider if and how much cyber insurance your business needs.

5 businesses that need Data Breach Insurance

Insurance to protect a business in the instance it has a data breach is becoming much more common.  This risk is only going to grow stronger as more and more information is stored digitally.  There are three main policies a company can secure, Cyber Security, Cyber Liability and Technology Errors and Omissions Insurance.  The first two coverages are typically sold together and the third is sold to specialized technology companies. Not all small businesses will need Technology Errors and Omissions Insurance.

Data Breach Insurance

Cyber Security Insurance

Cyber Security Insurance is also known as Privacy Notification and Crisis Management Expense Insurance.  Cybersecurity insurance is designed to protect eh damages to you and your business.  It can mitigate losses from a variety of cyber incidents, including data breaches, business interruption, and network damage. A robust cybersecurity insurance market could help reduce the number of successful cyber attacks

Cyber Liability Coverage

Also termed, Information Security and Privacy Insurance, Cyber Liability Insurance covers the insured’s liability for damages to third parties resulting from a data breach. It does not cover expenses that deal with the immediate response.  This type of insurance protects businesses which sell products and services directly on the internet.  Also, it protects businesses which collect data within its internal electronic network.

Technology Errors and Omissions Coverage

Technology Errors and Omissions Insurance (also known as Professional Liability Insurance or E&O) is a form of liability insurance that helps protect businesses providing all types of technology services and products.  This coverage prevents businesses from bearing the full cost of defending against a negligence claim made by a client, and damages awarded in a civil lawsuit.

Consider the impact to your business if:

  • A software glitch causes a client to lose important data.
  • A flawed program installation keeps a client from receiving orders.
  • Missing code prevents a customer from booking reservations.

Costly mistakes can happen, even to people with the best training and years of experience. It’s human nature. That’s why Technology Errors and Omissions Insurance is essential to protect your business.  Agents at Technology Insurance Shop.com have the industry insight to help tailor coverage to your individualized needs.

Get the best answers to Cyber Security Insurance questions at MyInsuranceQuestion.com

 

Medical/Dental Offices

Medical Dental Offices store just about every bit of a client’s personal sensitive information.  This can include the customers date of birth or social security number, their credit card and bank account numbers, or even their sensitive medical information.  Protecting your business from the potential of this falling in to the wrong hands is extremely important for the long term success of any business.

Law Offices

Lawyers have a legal obligation to keep every bit of information they receive confidential.  When and if this information is made public it can have extremely drastic effects to the clients a law firm is representing.  Cyber security, cyber liability are needed for all law firms and depending upon the scope of the business, some law firms may also need technology errors and omissions coverage.  Speaking long and honestly with a trusted independent insurance agent can help determine the risks your law firm faces and what type of coverage you need.

Accounting Firms

Accounting Firms store clients most sensitive financial information. The information that they have is some of the most valuable information a cyber-criminal can get access to.  For this reason, it is extremely important to protect your accounting firm with cyber security and cyber liability insurance coverage.

Architecture and Engineering Firms

Architecture and Engineering Firms have access to the plans of new and existing businesses. If this information falls in to the hands of cyber criminals or the client’s competitors, the impact can be extreme.  These firms are one of the few businesses that need all three types of insurance related to data breaches. Cyber liability will cover your liability to third parties, cyber security will help with the damages to you and your business and technology errors and omissions coverage will help protect you from problems with technology expertise and advice your business may give.

Retail Businesses

Retail businesses are one of the most common places for cyber criminals to access a victim’s sensitive financial information.  As more and more purchases are made with a card instead of with cold-hard cash, retail establishments are a prime target for cyber criminals. Criminals use techniques as simple as a skimming machine at an atm or a gas station pay at the pump location.  Once the information is accessed it is commonly sold on the black market for other criminals to create fake debit and credit cards for access to the victims hacked accounts.

5 Insurance Policies you might not realize your Small Business needs.

Once a year every small business owners takes on the daunting task of purchasing insurance for their business. Most start with the bare minimum coverage. In most states it is legally required to have workers’ compensation and general liability coverage in place before you open your doors. This is just the bare minimum coverage a business needs to protect it from the risk the business faces. A few other coverages, like commercial property or auto coverage, are obvious to most business owners.  There are several other risks business owners may face that they may not realize. Here are 5 such coverages business owners may not realize they could benefit from.

 

Inland Marine

Inland marine coverage is a specialized form of property insurance for equipment your business owns that is not a piece of property nor a vehicle. It is frequently referred to as ‘floaters’ coverage. This is because the equipment covered is meant to be in transit.  A prime example of a company who needs this coverage is a landscaping company who has trailers and lawnmowers that they transport away from their premises on a regular basis.

Hired and Non-owned Auto

Many small businesses think if they do not own vehicles they do not need any form of auto coverage. That may be right, but in many instances this is not correct. If you have employees who run simple errands like running to the post office or to the bank to make change for the register than your business is liable for injuries that happen as a part of that business activity.  Another common time this coverage comes in hand is when you have employees who travel and use a rental car as part of their trip. In most instances the coverage you buy from a rental car coverage will cover the car you are driving, but not other liability risks related to the business. Hired and Non-owned Coverage take help protect your business from those risks.

Cyber/Data Breach Coverage

Cyber insurance consists of two coverages that are almost always sold in tandem. One covers first party damage to you and your business and the other covers third party liability to third parties who may be damaged by your business as the result of a data breach.

EPLI

Employment Practices Liability Insurance is a specialized type of liability coverage for wrongful acts the may arise from the employment process. This coverage includes claims that include wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation.  Depending upon the carrier and the particular policy you secure it can extend to cover claims like inappropriate workplace conduct, defamation, invasion of privacy, failure to promote, deprivation of a career opportunity, and negligent evaluation.  Lawsuits of this type have been on a steady increase for two decades.  If you stay in business long enough it is a matter of when, not if, you face an EPLI Claim.

Owners and Officers Coverage

This type of insurance coverage is specifically designed to cover defense costs and damages arising out of wrongful act lawsuits brought against an organizations board of directors or officers.  It is crucially important to have this coverage in place for growing small businesses and especially Non-profits.  Officers can provide very beneficial guidance to these types of organizations and one claim, whether founded or not, can result in huge losses for the organization.

5 coverages every Non-profit business should have.

The Non-profit Industry is a very wide industry that encompasses a large amount of different types of organizations.  Some businesses simply operate a soup kitchen and only offer meals to those in need. Others offer medical coverage and still others offer construction services for those in need of housing. Each type of mission brings its own unique risks.  That is why it is important for non-profit managers to partner with insurance agents who have knowledge in many different industries and agents who partner with a large amount of carriers. This can help the agent find the non-profit quotes from numerous carriers and will allow them to get your nonprofit more complete coverage and usually at lower rates on premium.

non-profit workers compensation insuranceA lot of insurance carriers have restricted coverage for non-profit and charitable organizations due to a large amount of historical claims and their potential exposure from volunteers serving these organizations. A few carriers have taken a different approach to non-profits and created programs designed specifically to the unique needs of these businesses.  Below is a list of six coverages most non-profits will need.

General Liability

General Liability Insurance covers you and your organization from damages done to third parties as a result of the actions of your organization. These can be bodily injury claims and property damage to anyone who is not you or your employee.

Workers’ Compensation

non-profit-workers-compWorkers’ comp differs from General Liability because it protects your business from being liable to injuries that occur to your employees. It is frequently referred to as the ‘Exclusive Remedy”. That is because it will pay for employee medical costs, disabilities, and lost wages related to on-the-job injuries and accidents. Your organization will benefit from this policy by having the security that you will not be sued by your employees for accidents that occur as a part of your normal operations.

Commercial Auto

Commercial auto insurance for your vehicles is an important aspect of any business insurance program. This coverage provides protection against physical damage and bodily injury resulting from car accidents involving you or your employees. Most coverages also provide some protection from theft and vandalism.  Your organization does not have to own any vehicles to need some form of commercial auto coverage. For example, one of the most often overlooked business insurance coverage is Hired and Non-Owned Auto. Almost every business will occasionally utilize a personal, or non-owned vehicle for work related tasks. For example, your organization has an office staff member make trips to the bank to make a deposit of donations. Another example might be sending an employee to the restaurant to pick up food for volunteers. Every time someone uses a vehicle not owned by the non-profit to perform a business related function, the organization is at risk.

Cyber Liability

Most non-profit organizations think they are not at risk of a data breach. Many may think, I am a small organization with not much money, why would anyone bother to hack my organization. That is exactly what two small business owners thought when two of the largest data breaches in history occurred. Both the Home Depot and Target data breaches occurred by hackers first accessing a small business and then that small business had a vendor partnership with the larger business and that is how the hackers gained access.  If you store any information about donors or have a partnership with another organization, you could be at risk of a breach. Most cyber insurance plans can be added to a (BOP) at minimal cost to your organization.

Commercial Property

business-property-valuation-for-commercial-insuranceCommercial property is needed if you own property no matter the size of the premise. This will cover all property, including things like desks, chairs and anything physically attached to the building (i.e. shelvings, cabinets, etc.). Property coverage does not cover some specialized equipment like printers, computers or other office equipment. Coverage for this type of property would be covered under and Inland Marine Insurance Policy. These policies can easily be paired together under what is called a Business Owners Package (BOP). It is usually a good idea to ask your agent to quote a BOP because carriers are more likely to give your organization a discount on premium if you are carrying more than one coverage from them.

Owners and Officer’s

Owners and officer’s coverage might be the most important and frequently overlooked coverage for most non-profit organizations. The people who sit on your board are usually giving their time and expertise for free. Most just believe in you or believe in the mission of the organization. The last thing you want is for something to go wrong with your organization and them be liable for the actions of the organization.

liability-insurance-for-small-businesses Owners and Officers Coverage is for defense costs and damages (awards and settlements) arising out of wrongful act allegations and lawsuits brought against an organization’s board of directors and/or officers. Securing this coverage allows your officers to sit on your board and comfortably know they are not going to be liable for the actions of the organization.

Have employees travelling? Do you know what kind of insurance you need?

Many businesses have employees who travel regularly as part of their job.  This is a part of many industries that can open up new markets and help to keep important clients happy. Nothing can replace meeting with someone for a firm handshake and a smile. With this travelling brings on a diverse amount of risk that your business is taking on. Your business should have written policies in place for how to protect company information while employees are travelling. Here are some things to consider:

 

  • Are your employees flying or driving?
  • Is the car being driven an employee owned vehicle, a company vehicle or a rented vehicle?
  • Are the employees taking a company laptop, tablet or other computer device?
  • Are all of your insurance policies still in place when the employee is out of state?
  • Is the employee coming home immediately after business is done. If not, policies need to be clear when they are on company time and when they are off.

 

Here is a list of policies to consider when having employees travel as part of their job. It is also always a good idea to consult your agent or insurance professional about the risks you may be taking.

 

Hired and Non-owned Auto Insurance –  Hired and non-owned auto insurance is commonly added as an endorsement onto a commercial auto insurance policy. The endorsement adds additional coverages for the insured for an automobile accident involving a vehicle they don’t directly insure.

 

Commercial Auto –  Commercial auto insurance for company vehicles is an important aspect of any business insurance program. This coverage provides protection against physical damage and injury resulting from car accidents. It should also provide some protection from theft and vandalism.

 

Workers’ Compensation –  Depending on where your employees are travelling to you may need to check with your insurance agent or carrier to make sure your employees are covered underneath your workers’ compensation policy while they are travelling. The Walsh Test is a good measuring stick to determine where jurisdiction will be when a workers compensation occurs involving more than one state.

 

Cyber Liability Insurance –  Cyber Liability Insurance, also known as Data Breach Coverage is coverage for your business from the intentional or accidental release of secure information to an unsecured environment.  A breach is typically a single incident where confidential, or protected information, is either viewed, copied, or stolen by someone not authorized to have access to the data.  You need to have a strict company policy in place for how you will safeguard company and client information while the employee is travelling.

 

4 ways your Small Business can prevent a Data Breach

In today’s day and age, there are many ways businesses take and face risks. Some businesses are in industries where they take risks just in the fact that they are open for business. That can be a roofing company who has employees who climb on top of a house on a daily basis. Other businesses face risks in hiring and firing employees, generating enough revenue to stay afloat and most importantly the risk of becoming victim to a data breach.  Most business owners do not think twice about purchasing commercial property insurance, but many still hesitate to secure small business data breach insurance.  This is a mistake because it does not matter the size nor the scope of your business, every business is a target for being hacked and every business is at risk for a data breach.

Obtain the best information about how to protect your small business from a cyber attack and where to buy small business data breach insurance at myinsurancequestion.com

Two of the largest data breaches in history were Target and Home Depot. Both of those breaches were accessed by first hacking in to a smaller company before gaining access to the larger company. Niether of these businesses had Small Business Data Breach Insurance. In the case of Target, the company was Fazio Mechanical Services and in the case of Home Depot, the company provided credit and debit card processing. These companies had been hacked weeks if not months prior to accessing the system of the larger company.  If your business works for any larger business than you could be at risk of being a target for hackers. If you choose to protect your business with data breach insurance this may not be as damaging.  Even if your business does not partner with larger companies you could still be a target for hackers just to get the information of your customers. This is a costly risk that you are taking without properly insuring your business and without taking precautions to protect your business. According to the Ponemon Institute it costs a business on average $174 per record. Other studies show it costing more. Taking these numbers in to consideration it would cost your business more than $17,000 for just 100 records being compromised. if that were 1,000 records it would cost $174,000. If that is not a cost your business can withstand than you need to have Small Business Data Breach Insurance Coverage and on top of that you need to be taking the proper steps to preventing this from happening. Here are four simple things your business can do to prevent a data breach.

Train your employeesLearn about the needs for Small Business Data Breach Insurance at My Insurance Question.com

The prevention of data breaches starts with your new hire training. If an employee is going to be using a computer they need to be trained on how to protect the company from being at risk. Do not assume employees know how to do this. Many employees may be very capable of doing a job for your business that is necessary. This does not mean they are computer savy and are properly trained to protect your business from intruders. Take the time and effort on the front end to properly prepare your employees to defend your business against hackers and it will provide dividends on the back end.

Help each employee protect their work space

Logging out and locking up your desk when away and over night are crucial. Even if the employee is just stepping away to the restroom it is crucial to lock up their devices. In most business environments, there are customers, vendors and other employees who may gain access to your computer while you are away.  You do not have to create a culture of mistrust to do this. On top of locking down your devices it is also important to not write down passwords on a post it note or some other piece of paper. It may be rare, but if these passwords fall in to the wrong hands it can cost your business immensely.

Require long passwords 

Passwords need to have certain requirements to be allowed. The best way to make this easier for your employees is to give them examples of what you want. here are a few examples of how someone can make a password strong and still make them rather easy to remember.

6h1fl,j2Oc49=

This would be an example of a password that is extremely secure.

BaSeBaLl_2345+6789

This would be an example of a password that is a little less secure, but easier to remember.

JoeSmith or password

These are examples of terrible passwords that should not be allowed.

I like using something similar to the middle password because I can change the word Baseball with the time of the year. In the Fall I might use Football or Autumn, in the Winter I might use basketball or Thanksgiving. This allows me to change the password frequently but not having to remember an entirely new password. There should also be a time period for how frequently a password must be changed. Every 90 days is a good rule of thumb, but many businesses have different requirements based on the needs of their organizations.

Shred everythingTo prevent a Small Business Data Breach make sure your employees shred everything that could be used in a cyber attack.

In today’s day and age, there is no reason any personal information should ever be disposed of without first being shred. There are outside businesses that can dispose of the shredded material. Some of these businesses will even recycle this paper, which is something you can share with your employees, customers and vendor partners. If any of these groups are environmentally conscious this can be a bonus to them and will add to your credibility as a business.

 

Data security becoming a bigger issue for hotels

The hotel industry is seeing a rapidly growing trend of data security breaches that are part of the latest trend of industries targeted by cyber criminals. The trend is now reaching the radar of the general public, after Hilton Hotels & Resorts acknowledged hackers stole credit card information from a large number of the franchise locations in November.

According to Barry Kouns, President & Chief Executive Officer at Risk Based Security, there have been 49 reported data breaches from the hospitality industry between 1/1/14 and  11/31/15. Kouns acknowledges that many breaches go unreported by organizations. Of the group of reported breaches, almost 60% exposed client credit card numbers, according to Risk Based Security.

This two-year long trend first received some notice after hotel owner, developer and management company White Lodging acknowledged a cyber hack in the first quarter of 2014. That attack (as has been the case with the Hilton breach and the Mandarin Oriental data breach) targeted point-of-sale devices inside of restaurants, coffee bars and gift shops located within the 14 hotels breached. The White Lodging  cyber attack was where the issue really first came on the radar for the hotel industry.

In fact, that attack prompted John Buchanan to write his article “Sources: Data breach shows industry liability” on Hotel News Now.com. In that report, Buchanan sites an expert who discusses how the industry is being threatened and is seen as a good target for cybercriminals — especially for franchise chains within the industry.

Part of the reason franchises make such an attractive target is because the franchise models typically have a standardized model, even within their computer systems. Because of that standardization, when a security deficiency exists within a specific system, it can be used against the entire franchise.

Former Washington Post reporter Brian Krebs broke both the Hilton and White Lodging breaches on his blog, Krebs on Security. White Lodging confirmed a second data breach in February 2015, attacking the same systems in different hotels.

What can hotels do to protect themselves?

The biggest issue most hotels seem to struggle with centers around their inability to quickly implement security patches in their networks. One of the easiest suggestions Mr. Kouns offers to those in the hospitality industry is for the company to conduct regular network scans and to fix issues.

Another key implementation step is to make sure that anti-virus software and definitions are kept updated. New viruses come out every day and the anti-virus protection software is usually pretty good at staying on top of the new viruses, offering fixes regularly. If a company isn’t updating their anti-virus software, that company is leaving itself exposed for a potentially avoidable hack.

Risk Based Security is one of several companies that offers different solutions to businesses to help them mitigate their risk of a data breach. They offer a subscription service designed to provide clients with the tools, services and resources to stay informed about the latest security threats and have ready access to security expertise while maintaining a continuous improvement posture.

Another key element is providing training to employees regarding cyber security. Many data breaches occur when an employee has either visited a website or clicked on an email that corrupts the computer. Most of the time, the employee is aware that they have made a mistake … but since nothing obvious happens right away the employee is tempted to stay quiet rather than bring up the issue to their IT department and potentially get in trouble.

Some of the most successful companies to avoid data breaches discuss open communication and react in a supportive way when a computer is attacked. That reaction encourages employees to report potential data breaches, which can make the difference between catching an issue quickly, or having your company’s name attached to the next data breach report.