With a continually evolving threat landscape, small- and medium-sized business owners need to take every precaution possible to keep their doors open in the event of a cybersecurity incident. High on that list is making room in the budget for a cyber insurance policy to help mitigate risk and crippling fees. A new report from Cowbell reveals that a whopping 91% of small- and medium-sized businesses with a cyber insurance policy in place said that their provider helped them avoid potential incidents.
Of course, finding the right policy is no easy feat—especially as carriers increase their rates. Before you go shopping around, it’s imperative to understand what you’ll need in order to secure an accurately-priced quote. In no particular order, here are five tips for finding a cyber insurance policy that fits your small business budget:
Know your cyber risk value.
When you have no idea how much your sensitive data is worth, chances are strong insurance carriers won’t know either. Show them right out of the gate that you have a strong handle on how much coverage your business might need by attaching a dollar value to your data. There are tools on the market that can easily calculate the total volume and dollar value of sensitive information across a company’s devices. Having this number in hand helps cut through some of the grunt work carriers would normally need to do before presenting you a quote.
Furthermore, gaining this type of visibility into your company’s sensitive data allows you to quickly pinpoint information that is no longer needed, including duplicate and outdated files. You can then take steps to reduce your risk by eliminating unnecessary or redundant information.
Identify weak spots and consider your specific coverage needs.
Valuable data isn’t the only thing that your policy quote will depend on. When conducting your overall risk factor, look for potential vulnerabilities, including weak security controls and reliance on third-party systems. Carriers will also want to know if your company has experienced any cyber incidents in the past or if any industry-specific risks could impact you in the future. Certain industries, like healthcare, will carry a significantly higher risk than others.
Research cyber insurance providers.
Don’t just go with the first agency that pops up in a Google search. Collect information on several carriers and prioritize those that come closest to aligning with your specific industry needs. Make sure that the providers you choose to meet with have expertise and experience in cybersecurity and are staying ahead of the latest insights on cyber insurance. Take a deep dive into their brand reputation (is it mostly positive sentiment?), financial stability and track record in handling previous cyber claims. Not sure where to start? Ask your business partners, industry peers and professional network for recommendations.
Read and research the policy coverage.
Once you receive a policy quote, the journey has only just begun. Do your homework and review the terms and conditions to ensure they’re aligned with your company’s needs—and that they make sense with your risk profile (which the carrier should have thoroughly investigated). Read through the details on what is and isn’t covered in your policy, as not all cyber incidents fall under the same umbrella. Take heed of things like policy limits, exclusions, deductibles, waiting periods and retroactive dates.
What level of support does the carrier provide in the event of a breach? Will they help cover things like crisis management and brand reputation control? Remember, steep fees aren’t the only thing associated with cybersecurity events.
Compare policies and pick the one that’s right for your business.
If possible, try to get quotes from multiple cyber insurance providers so that you have a baseline for comparison. Don’t just go with the first thing that’s offered unless it also happens to be the best. Pay close attention to the deductibles and make sure that it works with your budget.
Cyber insurance is by no means cheap, but with a little bit of legwork upfront, you can find one that provides the right amount of protection without negatively impacting your small business’s bottom line.