Personal data stolen? Money, too? Here’s why companies are pushing cyberattack insurance

Investigators

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — What happens if you are personally affected by a cyberattack on your own computer system and it affects your online data? Or maybe you’ve suffered financial losses because of a cyberattack.

Recently, some insurance companies are pushing personal cyberattack insurance.

Data breaches and other kinds of cyberattacks are becoming much more common and if your personal computer system is attacked and held for ransom, it ends up being a huge hassle for you.

Sitting somewhere it in cyberspace, a hacker may be getting infect your system with a virus or even hold it hostage for ransomware.

Depending on your circumstances, it could become an expensive propulsion, so some insurance companies say, we’ll pay for that if you have personal cyberattack insurance.

“It’s something gaining momentum for the past couple of years,” said North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey.

For some people, it’s an idea whose time has come.

Hassan Mohammed said he might purchase personal cyberattack insurance.

“I believe I would. I feel like in this day and age, there’s a lot of attacks going on,” Mohammed said.

Personal cyberattack insurance is being offered by a half dozen insurance companies doing business in North Carolina and it’s available as a rider to your standard homeowner’s insurance policy.

Causey said “coverage vary from carrier to carrier. It depends on the amount of coverage you get.”

CBS 17 research indicates coverage can cost anywhere from $25 a year to several hundred dollars or more based on how extensive that protection is.

What do you get with personal cyber insurance? It runs the gamut from: 

  • CYBERATTACK COVERAGE 
  • CYBER BULLYING COVERAGE 
  • CYBER EXTORTION COVERAGE 
  • DATA BREACH COVERAGE 
  • ONLINE FRAUD COVERAGE 

“I don’t use the internet that much, said John Downs. “So, I probably wouldn’t buy it.” 

The insurance commissioner says before you spend money for personal cyberattack insurance, do a self-check. 

“My advice, make sure you have the best security on your computer,” Causey said. “With computers cybersecurity is a big deal.” 

Before you buy cyber insurance, make sure you know what’s covered and not covered and what happens to your premiums if you use the insurance. 

Causey said, “If you make a claim, it’s a claim on your homeowners’ policy.” 

However, Causey says he’s “not sure how it will be treated if you filed a claim like a roof or breaking and entering or something liked that.” 

Right now, it’s considered an emerging market and with more companies wanting to get into the personal-cyber insurance business.  

The state department of insurance has put together a web page to help you understand what available and what kinds of questions you need to ask your insurance agent before you buy.  

Causey says the whole concept of cyber threat insurance needs to be better regulated and he says how best to do that is being discussed by all 50 states during monthly meetings of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners

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