How Do Cyber Policies Stand-Up in a Pandemic?

By Joshua Motta | May 18, 2020

We are in unprecedented times. If you’re like us, you suddenly found yourself and your company operating entirely remotely and have remained working this way for quite some time. Such an abrupt change can be a challenge for any organization, and especially for those employees who have never worked remotely before. But as with any crisis, there are opportunities to emerge even stronger — and, in this case, to make your organization even more productive, resilient, and secure.

During a crisis, we often hear of an increase in fraud. Criminals prey upon those who are vulnerable. This is especially true with cyber criminals who are coming up with novel ways to exploit individuals and companies that are navigating this period of change.

As a broker, it is now more important than ever to make sure your clients have the right cyber insurance that protects them in this time of change. From remote working to an increased use of personal devices, everything about how companies work is evolving with COVID-19. Check your clients’ insurance policies to make sure you both understand the ins and outs of what is covered. Here’s what you should be looking for in cyber insurance right now:

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Now that many companies are going remote and employees are staying home, workers are resorting to using their own personal laptops or tablets instead of the usual company devices at the office. Check policies to see if ANY device used by ANY of your employees (this includes interns, volunteers and temp workers, if applicable), personal and company-owned, is covered. Many cyber insurance policies only cover devices owned or leased by the organization or a specific person.

As a broker, it is now more important than ever to make sure your clients have the right cyber insurance that protects them in this time of change.

Location-Specific or Activity-Specific

With employees working at home, they are no longer performing work functions just at work. Likewise, they are also not using their computers for just work, perhaps using them to stream movies or video chat with friends. Some policies in other lines (i.e. property and auto) are specific about where incidents must occur and what activities were being performed in order for it to be covered. Check to see if your cyber policy specifies any stipulations about the location of the claim or if it only covers activities that are directly related to employee’s jobs. If the claim needs to happen at the office address, then you may need to look into updating the policy.

New Software and Services

Since companies are utilizing new technology that allows them to perform office functions outside of the office (i.e. videoconferencing, collaboration tech, messaging apps), there are bound to be new applications and software that you need to download and update. We recommend checking to see if policies contain any clauses about changes in software, services, or applications. Some policies might require that you notify the insurance company about any changes, and there might be coverage conditions such as backing up or encrypting computer systems.

Even in the best conditions, these coverage considerations are critical. As companies begin to transition back to the office, it is clear that many employees will continue to work remotely. The future of work is here. Make sure that your insurance policy accounts for this new norm.

About Joshua Motta

Motta is co-founder and CEO of Coalition.

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Insurance Journal West May 18, 2020
May 18, 2020
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