Insurance Blog | Wadsworth | The O'Neill Group

Picture of Pat O'Neill
Oct 30, 2018

How To Apply For Cyber Liability Insurance in Ohio

Every insurance policy begins with an application.

Cyber liability insurance is no different.

While the underwriting process may be a bit more streamlined with other insurance coverages, that’s not necessarily the case for cyber insurance.

Currently, cyber insurance application forms are not standard and can be confusing - often consisting of a number of pages.

But that’s not to deter you from securing cyber insurance.

In fact, we can take the brunt of the work off you … click here to fill out a 5-question form and we’ll help get the process started.

Cyber Insurance Quote

Regardless of the application process, cyber liability insurance is a vital risk-transfer tool for companies of all sizes. And to ensure your company secures the right level of cyber insurance, it’s important that you work with a trusted risk advisor who can help you prepare the application correctly.

What Type of Information Do Underwriter’s Review for Cyber Insurance?

An underwriter’s job is to assess the risk and determine limits and pricing.

In other words, the details provided on the cyber insurance application are critical, and any vagueness or incorrect information can create issues if and when you file a claim.

In order to properly determine your company’s cyber risks, underwriters will review information related to the following:

  1. The Basics. Insurers will want to know what industry your company operates in, as well as how much and what type of information your company stores, processes and transmits. In addition, underwriters will look to see how you manage cyber security and who’s in charge of overseeing cyber threats.

  2. Information Security. When it comes to on-site security, underwriters want to know if you’ve had a formal program in place to test and audit security controls. In addition, underwriters typically look to see if you have basic controls in place, including firewall technology, anti-virus software and intrusion detection software.

  3. Breach History. During the application process, underwriters will take a closer look at your breach history. In general, they want to know if your data is vulnerable and how effective your cyber security techniques are.

  4. Data Backup. Knowing how your company handles data backup helps underwriters better understand your level of data loss risk. Underwriters want to know if you back-up all of your valuable data on a regular basis, if you utilize a redundant network and if you have a disaster recovery plan in place.

  5. Company Policies and Procedures. Communication is important when it comes to reducing your company’s cyber risk. That’s why, during the underwriting process, underwriters want to know what types of cyber security and incident response policies you have in place. In addition, they’ll likely ask you how you handle password updates, the use of personal devices and revoking network access to former employees.

  6. Compliance With Legal and Industry Standards. Failing to comply with cyber-related legislation can be incredibly costly, and underwriters want to know how you handle compliance. Specifically, they’ll review whether you’re compliant with applicable regulatory frameworks, are members of any outside security or privacy groups, or utilize out-of-date software or hardware.

All of this to say, the more detailed and specific your company can be during an initial underwriter review, the more likely it is that your company will receive the proper amount of coverage and good terms.

5 Tips When Applying For Cyber Insurance

For cyber liability insurance to be effective, it requires a high level of due diligence on part of prospective policyholders. To get the most out of your policy, you will want to consider the following best practices when applying for cyber insurance:

  1. Gather Accurate Data. Before the application process, speak with your IT specialist and any vendors you utilize to quantify the data on your network. Above all, get a solid estimate on how much personally identifiable information you have, including employee data.

  2. Be Honest. To complete the cyber liability insurance application process properly and get the best possible policy, honesty is important. When working with your insurer, be clear about your organizational setup, security protocols and breach history. Not only will this help in securing adequate coverage, it’ll also reduce the risk of your policy being voided if your insurance company finds out you were dishonest during the underwriting process.

  3. Don’t Wait! Even if your company hasn’t taken the appropriate steps to reduce its cyber risk, going through the cyber insurance application process can help identify your risk exposures. We can work with you to get the best coverage possible, leaving room to negotiate down the line when your data security methods are stronger.

  4. Involve the Right People. The application process for cyber insurance can be complicated, and it’s important to have key personnel help you. In order to complete a cyber liability insurance application, your company may need to work with your risk managers, IT professionals, HR department, financial officers, board of directors, executives, privacy officers, marketing team and legal professionals.

  5. Work with an Experienced Insurance Advisor. Because cyber insurance is still fairly new, some agents are more experienced in the underwriting process than others. To get the most out of your cyber insurance policy, work with an insurance agent and carrier who can accurately assess your exposures and offer your company the very best protection. More experienced insurance advisors can even provide details on how similar companies in your industry handle cyber security.

By using the five tips listed above, you will not only be prepared for the cyber insurance underwriting process, but it will help you improve data security up front.

Don’t Apply For Cyber Insurance Unprepared

The process of applying for cyber insurance may feel cumbersome and exhausting. We help to alleviate that feeling by supporting you in filling out the cyber insurance application. Ultimately, you’re looking to build a more cyber secure base, and have the coverage in place if you were faced with a cyber incident.

Download our FREE Cyber Security Planning Guide

In addition to the tips and strategies above, download our FREE Cyber Security Planning Guide. The guide is designed to help you protect your business, information and customers from growing cyber threats.

It’s no secret that the rise of cyber risk is growing.

By understanding the risks your company faces, and implementing the actionable steps in this article to reduce the risk of a cyber attack, you’re one step ahead in protecting your company against cyber crime.

Cyber Security Planning Guide

Need Cyber Liability Coverage?

I’m Pat O’Neill, a risk advisor at The O’Neill Group, and I’d be happy to help you identify the cyber risks you face, and secure for you a cyber insurance quote. Call me at (330) 334-1561, email me at ptoneill@oneillinsurance.com or click here to schedule a time on my calendar that’s convenient for you to discuss cyber insurance.

Next Step - Cyber Insurance Quote