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First-party cyber insurance

First-party cyber liability insurance protects small businesses against the financial impact of data breaches and cyberattacks.

What is first-party cyber liability insurance?

First-party cyber insurance provides financial assistance to mitigate the impact of data breaches and cyberattacks at your small business. It covers the costs of:

  • Communicating with affected customers
  • Providing credit monitoring
  • Executing PR and reputation management campaigns
  • Other recovery activities

This policy is crucial for businesses that store sensitive client or customer information online, such as credit card numbers or Social Security numbers.

What is the difference between first-party vs. third-party cyber insurance?

First-party coverage is designed to lessen the financial impact on the company that bought the insurance (the insured). It covers data breaches and cyberattacks at your own business.

Third-party cyber liability insurance provides liability protection in case the insured company makes a mistake that results in a client suffering a data breach or cyberattack. It's a key policy for tech companies and IT consultants that could be blamed for errors that led to a breach.

Another way of viewing this distinction:

  • First-party coverage is like commercial property insurance. It covers a company’s own damages from covered cyber losses.
  • Third-party coverage is like general liability insurance. It covers legal expenses that result from a firm being blamed for causing another firm’s cyber losses.

What are some common claim scenarios for first-party cyber liability insurance?

First-party cyber insurance can cover a variety of insurable events, including:

  • Someone maliciously destroys your data.
  • A hacker launches a denial of service (DoS) attack against you.
  • Someone plants a virus, malware, or spyware on your computer hard drive.
  • An employee accidentally destroys a database.
  • A power surge wipes out your business server.
  • Your computer hardware is damaged in a storm.
  • Someone holds your computer data for ransom.

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Updated: April 29, 2022
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