Insurance Helper Blog




Cyber Liability Insurance – Is It Time Your Company Understands These Risks?

Almost every business, no matter how small, collects data and information about their customers in order to better serve them as well as to stay in touch with them and help generate repeat business with them.  And with the growth of business applications for smart phones and tablets, this data collection process is now showing up for even the smallest organizations and businesses.  But what can you do to protect this data and by implication, the privacy of your clients?  What are your responsibilities if the data you keep on them is hacked or stolen?  Have you calculated the costs to you and your business if you have to cover the losses and damages from a cyber-intrusion?

Cyber liability risks are increasing for businesses each day.  A breach of privacy or a breach of your network data can result from something as simple as misplacing or losing a laptop computer, smartphone or a tablet computer.  It can all happen in an instant but leave behind long lasting effects which could severely impact your company.  If this all sounds a bit scary and overwhelming, don’t worry, there is an insurance solution that can give you instant peace of mind regarding these risks.    Below is a short list of the top 5 reasons why you should have a cyber liability insurance policy in place.  Don’t just assume that this coverage is included in any of your existing policies.  While it is possible that you have this protection in place, most package policies do not include this coverage and when they do, there are limitations and exclusions that you will want to be familiar with before you forget about this issue and move on to the next problem facing your business.

Here are 5 top reasons why you should purchase a cyber liability insurance policy for your company:

  1.  Breach of Network Security/Privacy  -  A data breach can involve the loss of theft of client data, which is personally identifiable information about your client.  It may also include loss of company data such as proprietary information or the secret sauce as it were to what makes your business unique and successful.  The other area of risk of data loss for you is employee data and third party vendor information.  You have a duty and a responsibility to protect this data on their behalf.
  2. Data Recovery Costs – One of the costs of recovering from a data breach event will be the costs you may incur to protect and recover data that is stolen.  You may have to pay for your clients’ or your employees’ expenses to rehabilitate their financial identity.  This can be a long and expensive process, depending on what damage has been done by the thieves. 
  3. Breach Notification – When you discover a breach of your data, you are required to notify all parties that may be affected by the breach.  The costs of this communication with them can be very expensive and time consuming.
  4. Regulatory Fines/Penalties – There are often state and federal fines and penalties which you may be required to pay after a data breach event.
  5. Your Loss of Income – The time and effort that you spend in recovering from a data breach loss can be crippling to your ongoing business.  Your reputation may be damaged and you may have to spend money and effort trying to convince your clients to return to you after a data breach.  These costs, if not insured, can be so crippling as to force you to shut your doors completely.

There is no doubt that cyber liability losses to businesses are increasing in both frequency and scope.  While this is a relatively new concern for business owners, it is a very real and legitimate one.  I would advise that you sit down with your insurance agent and take some time to make sure that you have the cyber liability coverage in place that you feel is needed by your organization. 

Clinard Insurance Group, located in Winston Salem, NC, insures thousands of small businesses all across North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia.  If you need help with your small business insurance, or if you want to explore cyber liability coverage in more detail, please feel free to call us, toll free, at 877-687-7557.


Dog Bites and Your Home Insurance Policy

I love dogs.  No question about it.  Big ones, little ones, fast ones, slow ones, I just love those guys.  And that makes it easy to forget about the risks that they pose to me as a dog owner and a home owner.  If my dog loses control and bites someone, either in my house or out on the street, then will my homeowners policy protect me?  What steps could I take to reduce the possibility that my dog will hurt someone else?

If your dog bites someone, and you are held responsible, then the liability section of your NC homeowners insurance policy will respond to pay that claim on your behalf.  But after the dust clears on this claim, the insurance company may refuse to renew your policy again unless you remove the dog from your home.  And with the NC home insurance marketplace in its current state of chaos, adding an extra claim on your home insurance could make your next policy very expensive.   So it makes a lot of sense for you to understand some of the facts of dog bite claims as well as to think about things that you can do to keep your loved family pet from hurting someone.

Take a look at a few of the recent dog bite statistics.  Insurance companies paid out an estimated $489 million in dog bite claims in 2012.  The US Postal Service reported that in 2012, 5879 postal workers were bitten or attacked by dogs.  That is an increase of 274 incidents over the 2011 totals.  An even grimmer statistic released by the American Humane Society estimates that unsupervised newborns are 370 times more likely than an adult to be killed by a dog.  And while the number of dog bite insurance claims fell in 2012 over 2011, the average cost of a dog bite insurance claim rose slightly from $29,396 to $29,752 between 2011 and 2012.

So what are some steps that you, as a dog lover and dog owner, can do to reduce the likelihood of your dog biting or attacking someone?  Well, a particular dog’s tendency to bite will depend on a host of factors such as heredity, training, socialization as well as the victim’s behavior.  It is important to keep in mind that under the right circumstances, any dog might bite.  Here are a few tips:

  • A sick or injured dog is more likely to bite.  Regular veterinary care of your dog is essential to regulate your dog’s health and minimize the chance of a bite.
  • If your dog is still a puppy, make an effort to socialize your dog as soon as possible to many different situations with other animals and people.  If your dog feels at ease in a situation, he or she is much less likely to bite.
  • Choose to play non aggressive games with your dog.  A good example is fetch.  Playing tug of war type games can encourage inappropriate behavior that could lead to a bite later.

Taking a bit of care to work with your dog early might save the dog’s life later.  And it could prevent someone from being hurt by your dog.  And all of that prevention just might save your ability to continue to buy insurance for your home.  If you have any questions about your home insurance, please feel free to call us, toll free, at 877-687-7557.