Tech Insurance Terms to Know
Technology companies own valuable intangible assets, such as sensitive data, software and intellectual property, which a general liability policy doesn’t account for. General liability provides protection in the event of bodily injury or property damage. Technology insurance coverage is designed to protect against the significant risk of economic loss related to intellectual property, network liability and network and cyber property security.
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A comprehensive risk management plan needs to guard against the unique exposures that technology operations present. Specialized technology insurance is relatively new and the terminology is still evolving as more claims are handled and new exposures are discovered. As a result, the terminology can be confusing and hard to understand. The following terms are some of the most common you will need to know to best understand your technology insurance protections:
- Cyber liability:
A cyber liability insurance policy is a coverage that protects against damage from cyber-attacks, data breaches and other basic risks that result from using electronic communications and data storage. They often cover the cost of recreating damaged or lost data or systems, but do not include the costs that stem from the loss or damage, including legal expenses and data notification costs. Sometimes the term cyber liability is used broadly to describe technology related risks and technology specific insurance in general.
- Data breach notification laws:
These state laws dictate the requirements for notification if an organization were to suffer a data breach that compromised personal data, such as social security numbers and financial and health information. Each state law varies on the time period that individuals need to be notified of the breach and what situations are exempt from the requirement.
- Cyber property:
The intangible property your company owns. This can include websites, data and networks. These intangible assets can all be damaged. To protect your cyber property you may need to broaden the property enhancements on your existing policy. Also, check if you have any coverage that would protect if your company or an employee caused damage to another organization’s cyber property.
- Technology E&O:
Technology errors & omissions (E&O) coverage protects against claims by a client that suffered a loss due to mistakes by your company. These mistakes must be due to error or oversight in a product such as a software program or web service.
- Media and intellectual property liability:
All content on the Internet is considered to be published, meaning it is subject to copyrights and infringement. Negative content about a person or company can be considered libelous. Take caution when publishing or posting anything to websites, forums or social networking sites.
The exposures and threats of technology business operations will continue to grow as the technology industry does. GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. can help you keep your business protected against these specialized risks.
Technology Professional Liability: Errors and Omissions Coverage
Every business has unique risks that can seriously harm an organization’s operations if not properly protected against. As a business utilizing technology to produce and deliver products and/or services, it’s important to recognize and take precautions against risks that your commercial general liability (CGL) coverage doesn’t include. Technology professional liability coverage, also referred to as tech errors and omissions insurance (E&O), is essential for companies using technology because it addresses a lack of protection in CGL policies, which typically do not cover claims of third-party financial harm.
Who needs Technology E&O Insurance Coverage?
Not only technology industry businesses have technology-related risks. Most companies today utilize technology in some part of providing a service or product and need to take the necessary precautions. To ensure your company is covering all bases, a full risk management assessment is needed.
What does Tech E&O cover?
Tech E&O manages risks, resulting from providing a product or service to a third party that are not covered by a CGL policy. Specifically, tech E&O protects your business in the event that a third party suffers a financial loss due to your product or service not performing as it was intended or expected, including the event of an error or omission committed by your company. These policies also cover defense costs in the event of litigation.
Tech E&O coverage would apply in the following situations:
- A mistake was made and an error in the code of a website or program your company produced isn’t found before it is implemented. A third party depends on this product or service to operate its business and its operations are stalled due to the error, causing them a financial loss.
- A part your company produces is installed in a piece of equipment. After a short amount of time, the component simply stops working, causing the equipment to fail to work, but otherwise not damaging anything or hurting anyone. The third party that relies on this equipment for its business has to stop operations and suffers a financial loss.
- An employee of your company recommends that a client make an adjustment to its network. The client follows the advice and its network crashes as a result, causing a time and financial loss for its operations.
In all of these cases, Commercial General Liability insurance coverage would not cover a claim or any costs of litigation because of the presence of an error and the lack of resulting physical damage to the third party’s property. It should be noted that tech E&O policies usually exclude product recall, but some will accept damages for loss of use of a failed product.
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