By ALLEN MCQUISTON
The Jemez Agency
For a number of years, businesses have had the option to purchase cyber liability insurance. This type of coverage protects them against threats like malware attacks, cyber extortion, online fraud and data breaches.
In fact, this coverage continues to be one of the most discussed areas of commercial insurance, as business owners realize no matter the size of their business – or the type of business they operate – all business are vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
But what about individuals and families?
Reports show that the average household has more than 10 devices connected to the internet and this number is expected to increase exponentially in the coming years. These devices face the same exposures that businesses do and in many cases, families are more vulnerable because they don’t have the appropriate protections in place to guard against a cyber-attack.
Identity theft insurance coverage for individuals has been available for a while now. However, having your identity stolen is only one item in a laundry list of things that can go wrong as a result of you being connected to the internet. A comprehensive cyber liability insurance policy – such as the ones business owners purchase – guard against much more than identity theft.
The only problem is that individuals couldn’t purchase comprehensive cyber liability insurance to protect their homes, their connected devices within them, and their personal assets… until now.
Central Insurance Companies (a company we represent) is the first organization I have seen in the insurance marketplace to offer Personal Cyber Protection Coverage covering the exposures mentioned above. It even covers cyberbullying.
For a very modest annual premium ($50 for a $25,000 limit or $65 for a $50,000 limit), you’re now able to purchase protection against unwanted attacks, extortion threats, online fraud, and more. The coverage form has a very broad definition of “connected home device” and contemplates items such as smartphones, thermostats, entertainment systems, appliances, and home security monitoring systems.
The Personal Cyber Protection Coverage endorsement provides the type of coverage you would expect from a first-party cyber liability endorsement: data recovery and restoration, cyber extortion, financial loss due to online fraud, and breach of personal data.
However, it also takes things a step further and covers psychiatric counseling services, legal expenses, temporary relocation expenses, and additional expenses related to cyberbullying attacks. This is a terrific feature to include, especially given how serious cyberbullying threats have become.
Needless to say, I’m a big proponent of cyber liability insurance and am thrilled that Central is on the cutting edge of personal insurance by offering this product to their individual and family policyholders.