Business Insurance Center

Business Insurance Q & As

Question 9 of 61 in Basics
Do I need computer and data insurance for my business?

With more and more businesses depending on computers to run the day to day processes of the company, computer insurance coverage and data insurance has become extremely important. If you are running a small business, you need to make sure your computers and data are properly protected and insured.

Evaluate Your Need for Computer and Data Insurance

Most run of the mill business insurance policies provide you with a certain amount of insurance for computers as well as data restoration. But what if your line of business is computers and you need a plan that encompasses not just your run of the mill basic computer insurance but more extensive coverage?

There are companies that offer more robust computer and data insurance for liability due to hackers and other risks. Check with your insurance company to determine if they have the computer insurance coverage you need to manage risk inherent to your business. In order to evaluate your needs, do a simple risk analysis by taking inventory of all of the hardware, software, and data that your business uses and projecting the possible risks that your business faces. Depending on your business, compromised or damaged data could cost you millions. Whatever the case, designing computer insurance coverage that covers you for any losses to your computers or data is vital to preserving your intellectual property and your business. Due to the ever emerging field of technology, insurance companies are forced to keep up with types of computer insurance coverage and data insurance that will change with technology and make them better than competing insurance carriers at providing the best coverages. Arrange to have an annual review of your policy and its coverages every year in order to keep up with this ever changing area of business insurance.

Computer and Data Insurance

Consider the following areas of computer and data insurance coverage that can protect your business from risks:

Computers & Media- Most basic business insurance policies provide coverage for your computers, peripheral devices and media. Coverage is also provided for the costs to research, replace or repair lost or damaged data and software as a result of covered damage to computer equipment, certain power failures or a computer virus. Business Income Coverage, if purchased, also applies to computer equipment, data and software. This means that if you loose income due to a covered loss that is directly related to computer failure or damage, you will have coverage.

Laptop- Most business insurance plans will give coverage for laptops up to $10,000 for laptop computers, PDAs and similar portable computer equipment anywhere in the world, including while in transit. However, if these devices are checked as baggage, there is no coverage. Check your policy for particular limits.

Web Content Liability- This special data insurance may not be available in your basic business property insurance. However, ask your insurance company if they provide a computer insurance that gives you this special coverage. This data insurance protects against copyright, trademark, slander and other suits that might result from information posted on your company's website. It includes web site errors and for such technologies like Meta tags and cookies. The simple use of another company's trademarked names in your site's Meta tags can invite legal action.

Legal liability to Others- This type of computer insurance covers damage done to others as a result of security lapses on your network. For example, if a hacker breaks into your network and uses your servers and routers to launch an attack on another company, claiming it has a bad reputation for poor service, or if someone at your company passes on an email virus to the outside world, this coverage would safeguard you against any resulting lawsuits.

Network Security Property Loss-This coverage is designed to protect against damage, corruption, or theft of data. An example would be a hacker who accesses your system and destroys, changes, or steals crucial data. This crucial data insurance is especially necessary if your business houses critical customer data. Ask your insurance company if it is available to your business insurance plan.

Crisis Communication- During and following an Internet-related crisis, you may need to send communications to customers and shareholders that it's still safe to do business with you. Due to the state of federal laws, you may be required to send millions of letters or emails alerting to a breach of security and a possible compromise of personal data to your customers. Some business insurance plans include crisis communication coverage to defray the expenses of PR agents and attorneys. Ask your agent about this computer insurance coverage.

Risk Management and Computer Insurance

Many data related risks can be greatly reduced with non-insurance steps. For example, a carefully designed program of backing up data frequently and dispersing data processing and records in separated locations can avoid many of the disruptions caused by natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, etc.), electric power failures and even terrorist attacks, averting data disasters that computer insurance is designed to cover. Having backed up data and locations off site should allow your business to recover your operations quickly in most situations.

If you do not have the capability of securing such records and data in a secure off site location, you might consider using the services of outside companies such as cloud computer businesses to store your valuable records in secure, carefully controlled, remote locations. Taking this approach could lower your insurance limits and reduce your premiums or possibly eliminate your need for data insurance all together.

Today's hackers are reaching new heights in breaking internet security, and you need to stay protected. Talk to an agent today to assess your need as well as to develop a business insurance plan around these risks.