Should You Consider Home Cyber Protection Coverage?

Most people don’t know that protection from cyber crimes is available from many insurance carriers. Better yet? It’s pretty affordable.

Should you consider adding this type of coverage to your homeowner’s policy? First, consider what could happen if you are a victim. There are a host of potential consequences:

  • extortion or bullying,
  • costs to restore a stolen identity,
  • legal fees, and
  • loss of important information.

Let’s look at how this type of coverage could be part of your overall insurance strategy.

How Does Home Cyber Protection Work?

First of all, adding additional coverage to your homeowner’s policy for cyber threats won’t prevent attacks from happening. Therefore your first line of defense still needs to be common sense. This includes safeguarding your personal information when using computers, tablets, phones, and connected home devices.

And don’t forget that protecting yourself offline is also important. Remember, criminals could utilize information from bills, receipts, and financial or medical statements to target you. Here are a few tips to protect yourself offline:

  1. It’s always a good idea to shred important documents. That’s why Heritage Financial is once again offering our popular Shred-It events for clients this spring. If you are a client of ours, you are welcome to bring your sensitive documents to either our Westwood, MA or Woburn, MA offices during our spring events. You can register for either of these events HERE.
  2. The U.S. government provides a list of tips to help you protect yourself against cyber risks. Take a look and make sure you are using best practices.

If a cyberattack does take place, you can file a claim for expenses and losses. This is a process similar to what would occur if you suffered property damage to your home. Home cyber endorsements will have a policy limit and a deductible. Policy limits are typically $25,000 or $50,000 with deductibles of $500 or $1,000.

For the policy to provide benefits, the event must be reported to the insurer in a timely manner. A common requirement is no more than 60 days after you discover what took place. In addition, the insurer will expect that you used best practices to prevent losses. This means keeping your systems updated and backing up electronic data.

What Can It Cover?

Coverage will likely differ from one insurer to the next. But you can generally expect to find some combination of the following items.

  • Cyber Attack: Unauthorized access or use of your computing or connected device, including malware, spyware, and viruses.
  • Cyber Extortion: A demand for money based on a threat to disable your computing device or distribute information from your systems.
  • Online Fraud: Identity theft, unauthorized use of bank or credit information, forgery and other deceptions that cause you to part with something of value.
  • Data Breach: Loss, theft, or accidental publication of personal or sensitive information.
  • Cyberbullying: Harassment, intimidation, defamation, invasion of privacy and similar acts perpetrated wholly or partially using computers, cell phones, tablets, or any similar device.

What to Do Next?

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