These days, most would be hard-pressed to name a business or industry that does not rely on computers and mobile devices. From contractors, to engineers, to teachers, people in every industry use computers every day to buy and sell products, collaborate on projects, and develop relationships with contacts, managers, and customers. While online, people are vulnerable, and because of the risks associated with sending emails, visiting webpages, and downloading programs, business owners should make sure that their company is protected. They need commercial insurance coverage that includes cyber liability insurance in case of an internet-related claim against their organization. An experienced independent business insurance agent can guide them in choosing coverage.
Employees and business owners are increasingly using mobile devices and cloud computing, which can subject them to additional risks from cyber criminals. Many companies are expanding beyond their IT department to implement departmental, or business-wide modes of approaching online security concerns, and cyber risk management, such as routinely checking or encrypting employee emails, writing policies on internet and email use at work, and training workers on these procedures. Information security is a central issue for businesses, and an independent commercial insurance agent understands the potential risks that come from working in cyberspace. In conjunction with the internal efforts of a company, an independent insurance agent will guide business owners in selecting adequate cyber liability insurance to keep their organization, and its officers and employees, covered.
Within a business, issues like lost or stolen data, infringement of intellectual property, social media abuses, and violation of privacy laws can lead to cyber liability exposure. Claims of defamation, libel, and loss of trade secrets can also stem from internet security issues. Having cyber insurance coverage can help businesses cover defense costs in case of litigation.
Some of the other issues that an independent commercial insurance agent, familiar with businesses’ cyber liability concerns, may want to discuss with owners include things like a “malware counteroffensive,” in which malware detecting software is compromised by developers of malicious programs. Manipulation of search engine algorithms, co-opting of cloud-based infrastructures, and infection of smartphone devices by hackers are other cyber risks. An independent business insurance agent will guide business owners and officers in understanding how to adequately manage their business’ cyber liability risk by reviewing things like best practices in information security, and primary risks to a particular company based on its structure, computing practices, and data usage and storage techniques.
A seasoned independent commercial insurance agent can explain how cyber liability insurance may cover claims for money, or non-monetary damages, and expenses resulting from business interruption. Also, she may mention that some insurance companies offer coverage for damages to third parties harmed as a result of a network security breach, and that most policies have coverage for loss of digital assets, cyber extortion, expenses from a security event, and even cyber terrorism. An independent agent might discuss coverage for network security and privacy liability, electronic media liability, and employee privacy liability, and also for operational or administrative mistakes as a cause of loss. She may even note that depending on the insurer, some policies provide coverage for the costs of public relations related to a claim, or for notice to consumers about a breach.
In case an employee sends an incriminating email or text, client records are lost when a cloud computing system crashes, or malware infects a business’ entire database, company owners may have to brace for a claim. With cyber liability insurance coverage through an independent commercial insurance agent, they can rest assured that even in the event of litigation, their business’ assets can remain secure, operations can continue, and officers and employees can be covered.
Certain specialized IT firms design and build storage solutions for their customers. Sometimes they use a business’s existing infrastructure to do this, but in other instances, they build new technologies to deal with a storage or data retention issue. Owners of these businesses should reach out to an independent insurance agent to learn about the value of having data storage consulting insurance coverage.
When hired by a client, data storage consultants may perform a storage audit, during which they determine the status of data storage, along with the processes used, and how information is documented, backed-up, and archived by an organization. Likewise, consultants often provide data analysis to identify duplicate or obsolete files taking up space on a client’s database, or those that are not related to an organization. They provide guidance about managing data, and developing and controlling data retention practices. And, consultants frequently suggest solutions like the creation or improvement of a company’s SAN (storage area network), NAS (network attached storage), or procedures like Dedupe-ing (data deduplication). Implementing these and other practices means that IT consulting company owners need adequate data storage consulting insurance coverage as a part of their business insurance policy.
They may provide guidance and IT solutions to companies, sell storage protection services, or offer phone consultations in real time, but no matter how skilled or careful consultants are in giving accurate information and using up-to-date techniques, data storage consulting business owners and their employees face various exposures. If a problem with a consultant’s advice, performance, or data management leads to a claim, data storage consulting companies will need the right insurance coverage to keep their business and its employees shielded from potential legal or financial liability.
For data storage consulting company owners interested in purchasing a new commercial insurance policy, or in updating their existing coverage, an independent insurance agent will speak to them about business property insurance, commercial general liability coverage, and building insurance, along with other coverage options available from various insurance providers. And, an independent agent will make sure that they know the importance of having data storage consulting insurance coverage as a part of their CGL policy. She will mention business interruption coverage, to prevent a consulting company from having to close its doors in the face of a claim, and she may also suggest that owners consider buying E&O coverage, in case of an employee’s mistake while providing data storage consulting services.
An independent business insurance agent will ask a data storage consultant about the employees working for his company, and she might inquire about whether a business has had any losses in the past few years, and if so, if any have been reserved in excess of $10,000. She may want to know about the clients of a consulting business, including the number of customers at a given time, and whether they tend to be retained for repeat-engagements, or hired on a one-time basis. She will probably ask about the certifications held by employees, and how they retain those certifications, keep updated on developments in the data storage industry, and learn techniques necessary to perform IT services and provide storage advice. Also, an independent agent will probably mention privacy laws and regulations, and will want to know how an owner ensures that employees are in compliance. Certainly, she will want to discuss the methods used by a business to keep customers’ data secure.
Whether they are a large or small operation, data storage consulting companies need to have a commercial insurance policy that includes coverage to safeguard their business if customer data is lost or stolen, files are accidentally misplaced, or an analysis of a client’s network turns out to be inaccurate. An experienced independent insurance agent can guide owners in choosing coverage that includes sufficient data storage consulting insurance.
Computer consultants and IT firms are always on call, whether they are working for a large business, or stopping by a small suburban outfit to address a database issue. Internet consultants develop strategies for businesses. They implement software, create online infrastructure for websites, and help clients develop their online presence. In providing technical services, consultants face liability and damages exposure, which is why they need internet consulting insurance coverage for their firm and its employees.
Besides commercial liability insurance, property coverage, and other business insurance, computer consulting company owners should make sure that their organization has consulting liability insurance because of the risks associated with technology and IT services. An independent commercial insurance agent will assist owners in selecting the proper internet consulting insurance coverage for their business.
In meeting with an experienced independent business insurance agent, internet consultants can expect that he will discuss the available options for coverage. He will mention errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, cyber liability coverage, professional liability insurance, and certificates of liability. Since he has access to policies available from different insurance companies, an independent agent can describe options for coverage offered by a particular insurer, which are suited to a certain internet consulting business’ needs.
An independent insurance agent will probably want to discuss E&O coverage in detail. He will describe how IT consultants could be subject to a lawsuit if a problem resulted from their services to a customer. He will mention that if there is a claim that a consultant or IT firm is liable for negligence, misrepresentation, or another mistake, E&O insurance can provide coverage for the business and its employees. Likewise, professional liability insurance can cover an IT firm, and its owners and consultant-employees, in case of a lawsuit for damages for alleged problems with programming, software failure, or breach of contract. And, if a business works with outside servicers, or consultants, professional liability insurance can also cover those contractors in case of a claim.
Besides E&O and professional liability insurance, an independent business insurance agent can tell IT consultants about cyber liability insurance, which they may wish to purchase with their professional liability insurance policy. This kind of coverage can safeguard internet consulting firms in case of a data breach, alleged privacy law violation, or theft or loss of a client’s information. He may note that most individuals and companies also have their own cyber liability insurance policy, but will likely advise online consulting business owners that it is best to have their own cyber liability coverage in place.
IT consultants may not be familiar with certificates of liability, so an independent insurance professional can explain how many clients, especially corporate customers like banks, merchants, and schools, will request a certificate insurance from an internet consultant to prove that his business has liability coverage for various risks. A certificate typically lists a business’s insurance carrier, coverage amounts, and the effective dates of a policy. If a computer consulting company does not need a certificate of liability immediately, but requires one in the future, an independent insurance agent can help them secure the form through their provider.
In case a consultant makes a mistake in analyzing a customer’s online marketing strategy, selecting hardware components for a business, or giving advice about models and platforms that an organization should use on the internet, they may need consulting insurance coverage. An independent insurance agent, who understands online activities and information technology and the concerns of consultants working in the field, will guide them in choosing a policy. With internet consulting insurance, technicians can help with branding, online sales, and generating graphics without worrying that a small mistake could lead to substantial liability exposure for their business.
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