When small business owners in Florida are asked if they have cyber insurance the answer is usually met with a chuckle. “Small and large businesses alike face the same cyber exposures. Cyber attacks don’t discriminate, whether small or large,” says Stephanie Ellerbe an Account Executive and Agent with Florida-based insurance agency, Mitchell Insurance.
“These gateways which are essential to any business to reach customers are exploited by even the most novice hackers and the damage can range from disrupting your web presence to destroying your business,” adds Ellerbe.
Websites are not the only platforms exposed to cyber-attacks. Local servers and management systems can really be exploited by ransomware or kidnapping. “Assessing risk and taking steps to incorporate cyber insurance into a protection plan for your business is essential.”
What is cyber insurance and how does it work?
A cyber insurance policy also known as CLIC or cyber liability insurance coverage minimizes risk exposure AND those associated costs in the event that your website is compromised by a cyber-criminal.
“When your site has been attacked the process and time can be costly and time-consuming and involves many steps to get your business back online,” says Ellerbe. The first step involves a forensics investigation to track down exactly what happened and those security breaches. Additionally, a forensics investigation will reveal how to avoid future attacks.
The next step is the main reason why cyber insurance is so important as it covers business losses. The same kind of losses your business would suffer from fire. However, the damages are virtual but could still disrupt operations. “How much money are you losing every time your website is not able to be found by your customers?”, says Ellerbe. Not to mention that your customers’ data was also breached and you will also have the sticky topic of properly notifying those customers as well.
Last but not least, there will also be considered legal costs to mitigate the damage. “These are the main reasons that your business needs a cyber insurance policy.”
How to purchase cyber insurance
Cyber insurance policies became a staple starting back in 2005 and today approximately one-third of businesses have a policy in place. Because of the increased need for this coverage, many insurance carriers offer policies that allow your Florida insurance agent to asses your risk and shop for the best policy at the best price point for your business.
“When gathering quotes we consider several factors for our customers such as whether that policy would be an extension of an existing one or a stand-alone, deductibles, and limits applied to first and third parties,” says Ellerbe.
Because there are so many factors to consider Ellerbe advises Florida business owners of all sizes to work with an insurance agent to get a better understanding of how it works, what coverage you need, your risk and all the pitfalls to avoid when purchasing the right cyber insurance policy.
“We love being able to not only help protect Florida businesses but help educate them on the many insurance policies that are invaluable at the best price point.”