Editor’s Note: Inside the office, we talk a lot about how our clients are incredible entrepreneurs. They spend at least 8 years in school and then often go on to specialized internships training. On top of this focus and hustle, our clients decide to become practice owners – to take charge of the way they practice dentistry or medicine including all of the human resources, equipment purchasing, and insurance headaches that come with it. Treloar and Heisel, one of Practice Real Estate Group’s insurance partners, break down another insurance domain – data breach insurance. Data breach insurance relates to protecting your own data and privacy as an entrepreneur and is another layer of protection for practice owners to consider. If you’re considering what insurance to purchase, don’t miss our other article on medical malpractice insurance here.
Data Breach Insurance on a Practice Level
In our fast-moving and increasingly technology-based society, most dentists are aware of the need for IT security. Even so, Data breach insurance provides another layer of protection against hackers and ransomware attacks.
- financial data,
- social security numbers, and
- health information.
In addition, ransomware is a risk. Ransomware perpetrators will freeze up a computer and only release it upon payment of some large amount of money – effectively kidnapping your computer’s capabilities until you comply with the ransom request.
Due to the reality of these scenarios, dentists are required by HIPAA to have certain measures in place to ensure the security of patient data. Many Business Owners Policies (BOP) include clauses for data breaches, in addition to riders (add-on clauses) that allow you to amplify your coverage for cyber-attacks.
Data Breach Insurance on a Personal Level
However, the blind spot dentists have is not protecting themselves personally.
In addition to your patients’ security, consider the need for insurance to protect yourself against such attacks. Yes, your home computer, phone, or tablet could just as likely be a target of a security breach.
How are you protected and what would you do in the unfortunate event that you were the victim of this kind of assault?
- Don’t Assume – Check To Make Sure
If you think that cyber insurance is automatically included in some other insurance you have – chances are, it’s not. And if it is, it may not be adequate for your needs. The good news is that insurance companies are offering more ways in which customers can mitigate exposure of their personal data.
- Your Homeowner’s Or Renter’s Policy Can Potentially Save The Day
If you are looking for cyber insurance for your personal protection, this can be added to your renter’s insurance or homeowner’s policy – whether you rent or own your home. Unless you purchased your policy relatively recently, cyber insurance may not have even come up in conversation with your insurance provider. It is a relatively new feature, so it’s good to double-check and make sure you can add it on if you haven’t done so already.
How Does Personal Data Breach Insurance Work?
Let’s say your home computer gets hacked and your data is exposed, or your home computer is subject to a ransomware attack. With coverage from a reputable company, you should be able to get the help of a team of professionals to intervene on your behalf so that you don’t have to do anything. Imagine, in this example, the attacker says they won’t release your computer until you deposit $100,000 worth of Bitcoin into their account. Well, the insurance carrier may advise you to cease all communication with the ransomware attacker, advise you not to pay anything, and take over the case.
Even if ultimately a ransom is paid, or you experience financial (or other) loss because of your data being exposed – cyber insurance provides continued support and long-term protection. With the right coverage, your insurance provider could settle with the attacker and/or pay your claim.
What About Virus Protection Software, Or Other Third-Party Solutions?
If you have virus protection software installed on your computer, that’s great – but it’s not enough if you experience a breach. From our point of view, insurance is something you get when you don’t need it, and “do-it-yourself” is likely to leave you with gaps in coverage. Make sure to work with a qualified financial services professional to identify your risk management strategy – at work, and at home.
About Treloar & Heisel
Treloar & Heisel, An EPIC Company, is a financial services provider to dental and medical professionals across the country. Their insurance and wealth management divisions assist thousands of clients from residency through retirement. Treloar & Heisel strives to deliver the highest level of service with custom-tailored advice and a strong national network. To learn more, visit us at www.treloaronline.com.