Home insurance cyber protection helps defend against attacks, cyber bullying

The wonders of modern technology help us stay better connected to loved ones and the wider world. But these benefits also bring new risks. That’s why more Americans are turning to cyber protection insurance.

About one-third of U.S. consumers have been notified that their data was breached. One in five has been the victim of identity theft.

Now, a type of insurance promises to protect you from these threats financially. Personal cyber protection insurance reimburses policyholders for damages associated with a cyber-attack. A select number of insurers offer this coverage as part of home insurance and renters insurance policies.

Cyber-attacks can happen via a personal computer, smartphone, tablet or other Internet-connected devices. The insurance kicks in after a cyber incident.  There are many points of entry that cyber criminals can use to access private, personal information that may cause significant financial and emotional harm. Which is why it's so important for homeowners to be prepared and protect their families.

What does cyber insurance cover?

Personal cyber protection insurance goes by many names, including home cyber security and home cyber protection. Coverage can be valuable for anyone who spends time online.

A cyber-attack could be as simple as the insured person opening an attachment, they received by email that affected their computer.  Such an attack can cause damage that forces you to hire an expert to reformat the hard drive, reinstall the operating system, and restore data from the backup.

This can sometimes cost upward of a thousand dollars.

Cyber insurance covers costs associated with:

·         Removing a virus from personal computers and tablets

·         Responding to and paying for a ransomware attack

·         Reimbursing financial losses connected to identity theft or phishing schemes

·         Supporting an individual who suffers a cyberbullying attack, including paying legal expenses, temporary relocation expenses or private tutoring

Coverage limits vary by provider. Many insurance carriers offer coverage levels of either $25,000 or $50,000, and some up to $250,000 in cyber financial loss coverage.

Finding the right policy

If personal cyber protection insurance sounds right for you, make sure to shop around and get the policy that is the best fit.

Some policies offer additional types of coverage. For example, one option may be a "cyber vulnerabilities assessment" in which experts will make sure the right cyber security measures are in place.  Another offers protection if a family member is a cyber bullying victim.

A recent Pew Research Center survey found that 59 percent of teens report having been bullied or harassed online. In this situation, a child who is the victim of cyber bullying might require temporary private tutoring if parents take the child out of a school because of the cyber bullying. Some carriers may cover those costs.  Another hypothetical example could be harassment from a significant other's ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.

In such situations, an ex could make threats via social media or other online activity. Home cyber protection insurance can cover the cost of hiring a lawyer to fight back.  These carriers provide policyholders with access to cyber claim specialists and technical experts, "who will help guide families through the attack and put them on the path to recovery."

Cyber protection insurance is an example of how home insurance does more than protect you if your house catches fire. Home insurance plans offer riders and endorsements that go beyond the normal insurance claims. Whether cyber protection insurance is right for you depends on your risk and whether you believe the added cost is worth the extra protection.                                                                          #DIA

Posted 1:00 PM

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