Cyber Attacks - hype or stark reality?
Cyber security has become a key risk to businesses of all sizes. With almost 3 in 4 small businesses in the UK having experienced a security breach in the last 12 months, cyber attacks have become headline news.
In today’s business environment, virtually all companies (regardless of their size) collect and store personal information about customers, employees and others. With this increased level of data, follows a higher rate of data breaches - the theft, loss or mistaken release of private information - is on the rise.
Don’t be fooled in thinking that these data breaches are just a big business problem; small and medium-sized businesses with fewer data security resources are particularly vulnerable.
Why do businesses need cyber insurance?
With the average cost to a small business of the worst security breaches between £75-£311,000, having specific insurance coverage in place to mitigate these risks can reduce the financial impact.
Key considerations for businesses when choosing cyber insurance are whether the policy provides:
– Cover for the costs of dealing with data breaches
– Cover for the costs of dealing with cyber liability claims
– Cover for business losses from a cyber event
– Cover that helps businesses deal with the impact of cyber crime
– Cover for hardware and data corruption
– Access to expert advice and support e.g. IT, legal, forensic and media relations when an incident occurs.
How can businesses protect themselves?
The best advice to start with is to speak to an insurance expert. By trying to purchase this cover on-line or over the telephone, you risk there being gaps in your cover (see above) or simply not getting the cover that is tailored to your business.
At Cass Stephens, we are able to access specialist policies that are designed to meet the demand of businesses faced with this modern-day threat to their survival.
One insurer with whom we deal can offer cover that would deal with the following scenarios:
Example claims covered under the HSB Cyber Insurance policy
Data corruption and extra costs
Ex-employee hacked computer system. Data restoration and recreation required.
Property management firm’s email system became corrupted. IT investigation needed to confirm a virus was the cause. Former customers sued for damages after being infected by email. Claim: £31,261
Accountant’s laptop stolen containing 800 customer tax records. Cost to replace laptop, notify clients and investigate loss. Claim: £35,000
How many times have you witnessed a laptop or tablet being left unattended on a train whilst the owner visits the buffet carriage for instance?
Please feel free to get in touch if you have a specific enquiry or would simply like to talk through your options.
Andrew Long Cert CII
Commercial Account Executive
Cass Stephens Insurances Ltd
Employer’s Liability Insurance – what you need to know.
Many people in business assume that if you have Public Liability insurance in place then all is fine and you comply with the law. Wrong.
With the possible exception of a swimming pool operator, it is not a legal requirement to have Public Liability. It is however compulsory to have Employer’s Liability insurance in place when you employ staff – whether this is on a casual, temporary, part-time or full-time basis.
A couple of notable exceptions exist – for instance when the business only employs say a husband and wife, then this situation would be exempt.
What every business who employs staff should know is that there are substantial legal and financial implications if you don’t maintain a valid Employer’s Liability insurance policy.
Currently the Government agency HSE is able to impose DAILY fines of up to £2,500 if you fail to provide evidence of suitable Employer’s Liability insurance. Additional fines of up to £1,000 can be imposed too if you fail to correctly display your current Certificate of Employer’s Liability insurance.
Can you and your business afford to meet these costs, which within days can spiral into a five figure sum?
To obtain Employer’s Liability insurance, you would normally purchase this in conjunction with a Public and Products Liability policy, and more typically for Small to Medium Sized businesses, this is included within a Package Policy or a Business Combined insurance policy, which incorporates a number of covers.
For further information and advice, please contact Andrew Long, Commercial Account Executive at Cass Stephens Insurances Ltd.
Insurance Act 2015 – Reforms
In 2006 the Law Commission and Scottish Law Commission began a joint review to reform insurance contract law for consumer, non-consumer and marine insurance.
This review was conducted in stages, with the first stage culminating in the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012. This Act relates to one distinct area of consumer insurance law and applies to policies issued or renewed on or after 6th April 2013. The 2012 Act replaced the consumer’s duty to volunteer information with a duty to answer the insurance company’s questions honestly and reasonably.
Last week, on the 12th February 2015, Parliament passed the second piece of legislation, which is known as the Insurance Act 2015. This Act reforms post contractual issues for consumer and non-consumer insurance contracts alike and pre-contractual obligations on commercial policyholders to make a fair presentation of the risk. These latest reforms represent the largest overhaul to insurance contract law in England, Scotland and Wales in over a century. They are intended to bring the market into the twenty first century by rebalancing rights and remedies when things go wrong.
Insurers have the option to opt out of these changes or embrace them by August 2016. Given the pressure within the industry, it is likely that most insurers will adopt the measures, and in some cases make more radical changes.
The key provisions relate to Disclosure, Warranties, Conditions and Fraud, as follows:
Duty of Disclosure and Representation
The duty of disclosure is retained for business insurance, as part of a wider ‘duty to make a fair presentation of the risk’. The duty is satisfied if either all material circumstances are disclosed by the business, or sufficient information is provided to put the insurer on notice to make further enquiries.
Remedy for Failing to Make a Fair Presentation of the Risk
If a business fails to make such disclosure, the insurer‘s remedies must be proportionate (other than where non-disclosure is fraudulent or reckless), based on what the insurer would have done if it had received a fair presentation of the risk.
Basis of Contract clauses (Warranties)
Basis of contract clauses are abolished for all classes of insurance. These are clauses which incorporate all statements made in the proposal form as warranties in to the insurance policy.
Remedy for breach of Warranty
Significantly, all warranties are made remediable. If a business breaches a warranty, the insurer’s liability is suspended for the duration of the breach. If the breach is remedied before a loss occurs, the insurer has to pay the claim.
Remedy for breach of terms designed to reduce particular types or risk
Where an insured breaches a term of an insurance policy (whether it is a warranty, condition or similar) which is intended to reduce the risk of particular types of loss, the insurer cannot refuse to pay a claim if the insured shows that the breach did not increase the risk of the loss.
Remedy for fraud
The option of avoidance – treating the policy as if it had never existed – has been removed. This means that the insurer is still on risk for claims made before the fraudulent act occurred. The insurer has the option to terminate the policy with effect from the date of the fraudulent act.
The Act also introduced amendments to the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 2010 so that this latter piece of legislation can finally be brought into force. This will allow third parties to bring actions directly against the insurer without first establishing the liability of the insured.
What does this mean for consumers and business policyholders?
The aim of the legislation is to provide a fairer system for the policyholders – by introducing measures that mean an insurer’s response to a breach of the policyholder’s duty of disclosure, as well as breaches of warranties or conditions is proportionate and reasonable.
By implementing these Reforms in full, the customer could see the following changes:-
· Warranty – free policies
· Conditions precedent to liability will only be invoked (applied) if the breach of this condition by the policyholder has contributed to the loss.
· Basis clauses will be removed from policies.
We have seen in the past incidences where a policyholder submits a claim for say storm damage to their premises, and because they did not have the required locks or security measures in place as required by a warranty or condition on their policy, the insurer has exercised their rights to avoid the policy and refuse to deal with the claim.
These reforms are not intended to remover the policyholder’s responsibilities – but ensure that their position is not prejudiced if an innocent breach occurs.
Andrew Long Cert CII
Commercial Account Executive
The Power of Networking – and why it’s not always about passing leads
Earlier today I submitted a request for help in sourcing a suitable placement for my son to undertake work experience locally.
Being specific about the industry (technology) that my son is interested in, I duly drafted an email and sent it to the proprietor of CAP Business Clubs, Paul James just before 11am today.
Within a matter of minutes, my request had been relayed to the three Groups within CAP – the Motivated Monday guys, the Terrific Tuesday group and mine, the Thriving Thursday bunch. I was impressed and grateful in equal measure.
Fast forward just a couple of hours, and I have received three independent offers from local IT related businesses, and further contact from two more Members offering to help – all members of CAP Business Club for which I remain very grateful. After considering the logistics of getting my son to and from the placement of choice for a week, and the nature of work undertaken, we accepted Eric Witheridge and his team’s offer of a place with Module IT for the week.
Without being a member of CAP Business Club and regularly networking as I do, who can say if this would have been possible? I suspect it would have been a case of making a number of cold calls or issuing numerous letters in the hope that an offer is made.
In my view, this experience demonstrates the strength of the relationships that can be developed through pro-active networking, and not simply expecting business from each connection.
February 13th 2015.
The word “care” has many different definitions and even more interpretations. Most people are aware of the Care profession as a result of intense media coverage in recent years of investigations into the failings of different organisations and individuals within this profession. To the majority of the British public, these cases highlighted instances of truly shocking actions undertaken in the name of care.
These scandals which surround those very rare examples of poor delivery of care only serve to overshadow the significant strides made by the profession and its regulators over recent years. With more rigorous scrutiny of the Care Sector than ever before, the regulatory bodies the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England and the Care and Social Services Inspectorate in Wales (CSSIW) have driven up the standards measurably.
Today, before any business or charitable organisation can begin to offer care and support services, there are a number of statutory requirements which must be met. The first step however is to identify the areas within society that the organisation as a care provider wishes to help. The following is a summary of some key groups which form the options available:
1. Children – aged under 16.
2. Young people – aged between 16 and 24.
3. Vulnerable adults – including those with either physical or mental impairments or special needs.
4. Drug , Alcohol and Substance abuse dependents – including the rehabilitation of these individuals
5. Ex-offenders – including those with histories of violence, abuse, or arson.
6. Dementia - to include the entire spectrum of disorders including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.
Once the Organisation has established the sector which they intend to support, their next step would be to decide the level of care and support that they intend to provide. They can elect any one of the following:-
· Care Home – with or without nursing
· Nursing Home
· Supported Living
· Domiciliary Care
Each category has a number of variations in the type of service that can be offered – from offering social support to enable individuals to live almost independently, to those needs are only met by 24/7 care and support within a residential environment.
To enable any care provider to begin offering their service to the general public, there are 28 Essential standards which must be met and a raft of policies which govern the way in which the practice will operate will have to be prepared. The main focus for the CQC and CSSIW are the following 16:-
· Respecting and involving people who use services
· Consent to care and treatment
· Care and welfare of people who use services
· Meeting nutritional needs
· Cooperating with other providers
· Safeguarding people who use services from abuse
· Cleanliness and infection control
· Management of medicines
· Safety and suitability of premises
· Safety, availability and suitability of equipment
· Requirements relating to workers
· Supporting workers
· Assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision
The remaining 12 regulations are concerned with the routine day-to-day management of a service. The CQC or CSSIW will consider all standards which are relevant to the service that they are inspecting.
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