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Cyber liability insurance for pet care professionals

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Cyber liability insurance

Cyber liability insurance, also called cyber security insurance, protects small businesses from the high costs of a data breach or malicious software attack. It covers expenses such as customer notification, credit monitoring, legal fees, and fines.

Cyber liability insurance provides financial protection against data breaches

When your business stores customer credit card numbers, or even email addresses, it opens itself to risk. A hacker could illegally access the data and make purchases using someone else's credit card. They could also send phishing emails to your customers in an attempt to get them to reveal financial information.

Data breaches also happen by accident. For example, your website's digital certificate could expire, which makes online transactions insecure.

In the event of a data breach, your business is responsible for notifying all affected customers and taking on other responsibilities, depending on the data breach laws in your state. The costs of responding to a data breach can add up quickly, which is why you need cyber liability insurance.

Which cyber liability policy do pet care professionals need?

There are a couple kinds of cyber insurance, but most pet care businesses only need one. Data breach insurance, also called first-party cyber liability insurance, protects against the financial costs of a data breach at your business.

This policy helps pay for:

  • Notifying customers whose personal information was exposed
  • Credit monitoring services for affected clients
  • Cyber extortion demands
  • Data breach investigations

When you buy insurance, ask your agent if you can bundle this coverage with errors and omissions insurance (E&O). An errors and omissions policy helps cover legal costs related to your work performance, and bundling policies is a common way to save money on insurance.

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What coverage can cyber liability provide for pet care businesses?

Cyber liability insurance helps pet care businesses recover quickly when someone outside your company gains access to sensitive information, or might have gained access.

Here are a few examples of incidents where cyber insurance would cover costs:

  • Accidental data breaches
  • Ransomware attacks
  • Phishing

Accidental data breaches

Accidental data breaches are among the biggest cyber risks for small businesses. Misconfigured software settings can result in vulnerabilities that leave personal information unencrypted, or an employee could misplace a laptop with sensitive data on it.

When a data breach exposes personal information, cyber liability insurance will help pay for the cost of notifying affected customers and conducting an investigation to find out what caused the breach.

Ransomware attacks

Ransomware is a type of malware that takes your files hostage in return for a ransom. It's a big problem for small businesses, since they typically have weaker security.

If your pet care business is hit with a ransomware attack, your cyber liability policy can help pay the ransom so you can get your data back. It'll also cover the cost of figuring out how the attack happened, so you can prevent future cyberattacks.

Phishing

Phishing emails sent to employees or customers are a way of tricking people into revealing personal information, such as passwords to online accounts. They often mimic a trusted entity – such as your business, a manager, or a popular website.

If one of your employees clicks on a link in a phishing email, or downloads an attachment from an unknown source, the security of your system could be compromised. Cyber insurance will help your business pay any resulting costs, but the best method is to educate your employees to prevent these incidents from happening in the first place.

Other policies for pet professionals to consider

Cyber liability insurance covers your cyber risks, but it won't cover injuries, theft, and other common risks. Other pet care insurance policies to consider include:

General liability insurance: This policy covers legal costs related to common accidents and lawsuits, including customer injuries and property damage.

Business owner’s policy (BOP): This policy combines general liability coverage with commercial property insurance, usually at a lower rate than if the policies were purchased separately.

Errors and omissions insurance (E&O): This policy helps pay for lawsuits related to your work performance. It's sometimes referred to as professional liability insurance.

Workers’ compensation insurance: Workers’ comp covers medical costs for work-related injuries. Most states require this coverage for pet care businesses that have employees.

Commercial auto insurance: This policy can help pay for medical bills, legal costs, and property repairs after an accident involving your business vehicle.

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