You likely hear a similar refrain of advice on a frequent basis, either from family and friends or on social media: Don’t click a link in an email from an address you don’t recognize. Be careful about what sites you shop from. Avoid logging into your bank or financial service sites on public WiFi.
Where does all this advice come from? Is everyone just paranoid? Not at all. This advice is designed to help protect you from cyber crimes — people trying to steal your data and your money. But our despite best efforts, hundreds of thousands of people continue to be the victim of digital crimes every year. That’s why it might be time to consider a personal cyber insurance policy.
Why Personal Cyber Insurance
If you’ve ever experienced the hassle of replacing a credit card that’s been compromised or needing to change every password on every site you visit, you already know the impact of cyber crimes. Anyone who has had their identity stolen knows the pain of undoing the damage. It takes a lot of phone calls and too much time to set everything right again.
Over the years, as our lives become more and more digital, the problem continues to get worse. In 2016, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received nearly 300,000 complaints of cyber crimes at a cost of approximately $1.3 billion, according to a report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers. By 2020 (just four years later), that number jumped to almost 800,000 complaints to a tune of $4.1 billion.
The risk of theft, fraud, and financial loss will only grow from here.
What Does Personal Cyber Insurance Cover?
You might think that identity theft doesn’t happen to the same person (or family) often enough to warrant an entire insurance policy. But a personal cyber insurance policy covers much more than the most common forms of cyber theft.
Cyber Attack Coverage: This form of coverage offers protection both for your home and for you and your family members. You may be financially reimbursed if cyberbullying causes you to lose your job. It can also pay to replace or fix your home security system after a cyber attack locks you out or leaves your security system inaccessible.
Cyber Extortion: We’ve all heard the horror stories of logging into your laptop or computer and seeing a message: All of your files are encrypted. Pay a certain amount of money to get it back. This is a form of extortion. Another increasingly common form is threatening to release sensitive information publicly unless a ransom is paid. This coverage reimburses those payments, helps pay for an investigation, and can help cover the costs to prevent this from happening again.
Fraud Coverage: This type of protection will sound most familiar to many people because this is what helps you if your identity is stolen, your bank account gets cleaned out, or someone fraudulently uses your credit cards or checks. It reimburses you for the financial loss as well as helping you get your identity back.
Personal cyber insurance includes several tools for policyholders to navigate a digital crime and loss:
- Access to fraud specialists to help you figure out what happened and how
- Cyber monitoring of your accounts, credit reports, and other entities to stop further theft or fraud
- Lawsuit protection in case you’re accused of unintentional online invasion of privacy, slander, or libel
- Help to replace or repair your electronic data
- Help retrieving or replacing identification documents, both financial and personal
The right personal cyber insurance policy can help you through every step of the process in getting your identity, information, and/or money back.
How to Purchase Personal Cyber Insurance
As a standalone policy, personal cyber insurance is extremely new and limited. In most cases, you may be able to add it as an endorsement to your existing home insurance or renter’s insurance policy. It’s more widely available for high-value insurance policies — typically for policies with home values of $1 million or more. But even if you don’t have a high-value home, it’s worth asking your independent insurance agent about it.
Want to add a layer of security and protection against the inevitable cyber crime you’ll likely experience? Contact Charlotte Insurance today and ask about a personal cyber insurance policy.