As people try to build their nest eggs in our current economic environment, cybercriminals are eyeballing their bank accounts more than ever. Here’s how to protect your customers.
Since the pandemic began, people throughout the world have amplified their online presence. At the same time, inflation and supply chain interruptions have sent the cost of living through the roof. The conflation of these events has resulted in an increased desire to save and protect one's earnings as well as a massive uptick in cybercriminals looking to steal that money away.
The FBI's 2021 Internet Crime Report indicated that cybercrime complaints continue to rise and billions of dollars have been lost as a result. Even in the earliest stages of the pandemic, the FBI reported that cybersecurity complaints had increased by 400%. These statistics emphasize the importance of cyber insurance for individuals, families and small business owners.
Position Yourself as an Advisor
According to the World Economic Forum's 2022 Global Risks Report, 95% of cybersecurity issues can be traced back to human error. Thus, there is clearly a strong need for trusted advisors who can provide information and practical solutions toward preventing and responding to cybercrime. And independent agents should be equipped with the knowledge to fill that role.
It's important to brush up on cyber protection to the best of your ability, because this is a problem that isn't going away — and many people are simply not yet equipped to navigate through cybercrime themselves. You can offer a lot of essential assistance if you're storied on the subject. Customers may get overwhelmed by the amount of information that comes with learning about potential risks. For this reason, it's important to look for ways to make the risk real and provide clients with direct examples of how this coverage can protect them.
For small business owners, it's good to get a sense of the customer's specific exposures. What sensitive information do they store? And where do they store it? Some carriers—including Liberty Mutual—also offer cybersecurity training for employees as part of their cyber protection packages. When your customers have a better understanding about potential threats, they'll be in a position where they can aptly protect themselves and their assets.
Know How to Compare Cyber Products
Though cyber protection is available for both personal lines and business lines from many carriers, there are differences between the two that are important for both agents and customers to understand. This is especially true for people who work from home and may have coverage gaps they're unaware of if they only have one or the other. In many situations, it may be important to recommend a business policy for individuals or a home policy for small business owners.
Most cyber losses that are incurred while doing business are going to be covered by a business lines policy; that usually includes employees working from home or using personal devices for work. However, sometimes the lines are blurrier. If, for instance, an employee loses the personal device they use for work, the data on their device and any liability that arises may be covered by a business policy while the device itself is generally not covered by a business policy. To prepare for situations like these, it may be useful to recommend a personal lines policy for anyone who works with sensitive data on their personal devices. Just remember — a personal lines policy typically offers first-party coverage only. So while the lost device and the lost data may be covered, a personal lines policy typically wouldn't provide coverage for business liability attributed to the lost data. Similarly, a personal lines policy usually won't cover the usage of a personal device when actively being used for business, because it is considered a business asset while in use.
Encourage Clients to be Proactive
Ultimately, customers don't need to know the intricacies of every possible risk—it would be too much to take in all at once! But equipping customers with a bit of education on how to avoid phishing scams and other particularly common cybercrimes goes a long way. It's even better if you can provide something like Safeco's proactive monitoring service, which scans the deep web for sensitive customer information that may be posted for sale, checks for possible identity theft and monitors credit as well.
Anything that can help mitigate or prevent a cyber loss will be extremely beneficial to your customer, and they will appreciate you for it. Services like these can lead to greater retention, simply because the benefit is more tangible to the customer and it offers customers a way to interact with their insurance policy. By providing the appropriate coverage and useful information to your customers, you can ensure that they feel protected in all of their digital interactions.