I’m often asked about the difference between someone like me, a cyber liability attorney, and a cyber insurance agent. It’s a fair question. On the surface, we both can help with cyber insurance. Here are six reasons why it is particularly important to have a cyber liability attorney review your cyber insurance.
1. Lawyers have ethical duties to clients.
Lawyers have a fiduciary duty to clients. We are bound by a code of ethics and must represent a client’s interests. By having a cyber liability attorney review your insurance policy, you can rest assured that the policy is being analyzed by someone who is truly on your side.
2. Interpret the legalese in the policy.
A lawyer can interpret the legalese in the insurance policy and help you understand how it interacts with your business. This is an important step when considering cyber insurance because these types of policies are commonly misunderstood. A cyber insurance policy might interact with your business in a way that is either helpful or useless.
3. Evaluate how new laws apply to your business & affect cyber insurance.
There are many reasons why people misunderstand cyber insurance. Part of the problem is that many people don’t quite comprehend the risks and sources of liability in the first place. Much of the liability comes from legal obligations associated with using data and technology. Such legal obligations are currently being developed by lawmakers. A cyber liability attorney can keep up with the new laws and evaluate whether your cyber policy adequately covers new liabilities impacting your business.
4. Understand how courts interpret the words in the policy.
Another reason to consult a cyber liability attorney is because a cyber attorney can identify language in the policy that has failed to provide coverage in the past. For example, a policy provision can appear to say “yes, there is coverage for the precise risk you are concerned about”. However, one tiny word or phrase such as “direct cause” could drastically change the reality of things. A cyber liability attorney can help you identify the not-so-obvious limitations and exclusions so you know if you are getting the coverage you expect.
5. Incorporate the policy into your company’s procedures.
A cyber liability attorney can incorporate your cyber insurance policy into your company’s processes and procedures. For example, your cyber liability attorney can work with your security architect to design policies and processes to protect data. If an insurance underwriter thinks that you use encrypted email, then you better be using it. This is important because a discrepancy between disclosures made during underwriting and actual processes could result in a denial of coverage. A cyber liability attorney can assist in designing internal policies and procedures that incorporates requirements in your cyber policy.
6. Data breach response.
In the event of a data breach, or even a suspected data breach, it is extremely important to comply with the provisions of your cyber insurance policy. A failure to follow steps in the policy can result in denied coverage. A cyber liability attorney can help you avoid this disaster by incorporating the cyber insurance policy into an incident response plan. When a data breach occurs, the incident response plan will help the company react appropriately.