As we've established in other recent blogs, data breach insurance is an essential coverage to look into if you're a business owner. There are many cyber threats to your data, and your customers’ data, in an ever changing technological world.
In this blog, we've put together nine questions that you can take to your independent Ohio insurance agent in order to get the coverage you need. An independent agent will be able to guide you through the complex and changing cyber insurance landscape, and ensure that you only get the insurance you really need - no expensive and unnecessary extras. Here are the nine most essential questions to get answered:
- Does this insurer understand my business’ industry and its regulations?
A good place to start when your insurance agent presents you with some policy options is to ask about the various insurance companies on the table, and how much they know about your industry. Ask how many other businesses they cover in your field. Knowing you're with an insurer that knows your specific risks can be a big comfort as you move forward.
- What kinds of incidents am I covered for by this policy?
Since data breach insurance can cover a wide variety of cyber attacks, it's important to not just assume you know what your policy covers. Find out in detail what it is that you will be reimbursed for. If anything is unclear, make sure to have your independent insurance agent explain it to you. It's their job to make sure you're clear on all of this before you purchase the data breach policy.
- What are the reporting requirements?
Often cyber liability insurance policies require you to report an incident within a given window of time in order to get your claim approved. This time period is essential to understand so that you get reimbursed properly. It can sometimes take some time to discover the extent of a cyber breach. This is why it's important to report incidents as soon as you learn about them. Make sure your policy has a reasonable window of time in which you have to make the claim.
- What compliance obligations are required?
Many policies will require ongoing audits in order to maintain your current coverage. Exactly what they require and what your business needs to do to stay within their guidelines is different with every policy. This can be complex at times, so be sure you understand and maintain your obligations so that there are no questions when a claim comes up. On the other hand, make sure your insurance agent helps you determine what obligations are reasonable. You don't want to get into a policy that puts too much burden on you or your business.
- How will a breach impact my premium?
Just like car insurance, premium rates for cyber insurance can go up once you've had a claim. Talk to your agent about this and know whether it's worth making a claim on a small breach if it will increase your premiums. Determining where this line is early on will make you more confident in what to do when certain breaches occur. It will also ensure you're not surprised by changes in your rates in the future. Know what you're getting yourself into.
- Does this policy cover full “third-party” damages?
These are the costs incurred by your customers due to a breach that they hold you accountable for. Various policies differ on how they handle these claims. Examine what your policy offers and look at all of the options. Your agent can help you determine what kind of third-party coverage is best for your business.
- Does this policy have coverage for fines and penalties?
Sometimes fines and penalties are due to the government when a data breach happens. Understand what kinds of circumstances this falls under and see if you need special coverage for this if your business is at risk of such fines.
- Will this policy cover data breaches on unencrypted devices?
If your business uses unencrypted devices, it's important to find out if the policy covers cyber attacks on them. Some policies will exclude breaches on these devices. Often there may be some kind of rule in place that will require you to prove whether or not a device was encrypted at the time of a breach.
- Is there anything else I need to know?
A great way to end your conversation with an insurance agent is to ask if there is anything else you need to know. Ask this before you sign yourself on to a policy. It's the job of your agent to make sure you have all of the information you need to make the most informed and best decision.