By Shannon Boyd, Personal Lines Manager, Altus Private Risk
Even before COVID-19, we relied on the internet to work, learn, shop, exercise and communicate with loved ones. But the more time we spend online, the more at risk we are of a cyberattack. Personal coverage for cybercrimes has become increasingly common to help people stay protected and provide support when an attack does happen.
Here’s what you should know about personal cybersecurity coverage.
Cybersecurity Coverage Basics
Most people have been touched by illegal cyber activity in some way. You may have gotten a phishing email or text message or have been part of a larger data breach. Older folks, in particular, are targeted by phone scams in which they’ll be encouraged to give out their personal information. Cybercriminals have even discovered how to hack into digital home security systems. Carriers have developed individual cybersecurity coverage to help protect against these growing threats.
Coverage will vary a bit depending on your carrier. But, generally speaking, you’ll be covered for malware viruses, which allow hackers to gain access to your private information and may result in cyber extortion, ransom or other financial losses. Your coverage may also include:
- Direct financial loss from online fraud, such as an illegal balance transfer
- Therapist fees if you’re a victim of cyberbullying
- Professional services, such as identity recovery or IT support
Identity Theft Versus Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity coverage may sound similar to traditional identity theft insurance, but there are some key differences that set the two apart. Identity theft insurance will generally cover legal fees and provide access to professional services for credit monitoring and recovery, but won’t necessarily pay for them or any financial losses. On the other hand, cybersecurity insurance can cover these professional services and may also help to recover financial losses.
Here’s an example: Your computer is infected with malware, which leads to a cybercriminal initiating a wire transfer from your bank account. Identity theft insurance will cover the expenses you incur when trying to recover from this incident, such as copies of your credit report, lost wages, attorney fees and credit monitoring services. Cybersecurity coverage will help you recover your direct financial loss as well as help to eliminate malware and recover your identity safely.
Cybercrime is Always Evolving
Online crime has come to the forefront in recent years as we’ve started to see more individuals targeted in attacks. Cybercriminals are more successful in getting what they want through cybercrime and spend less time and effort than if they were to attempt identity theft. It’s more common now to have fraudulent charges on your credit card or money taken from your hacked bank account than it is to have accounts opened with your identity affecting your credit score.
Cybercrime will continue to evolve with new technologies. As you think about ways to protect your assets moving into the future, cyber coverage is something to consider. Have a discussion with your broker to figure out what type of coverage is right for you.