The internet connects you and your business to the world. Unfortunately, without internet liability insurance, this connection also exposes you to a world of risk. These legal hazards are typically not covered by the standard errors and omissions policy in your business liability insurance. Not only e-commerce sites are at risk – any business-related internet activity can present a liability, even simply using e-mail. The more your business utilizes an online presence to prosper and expand, the more you have to lose when operating without internet liability insurance.
Internet Liability and Intellectual Property Insurance
The ideas you come up with are known as your intellectual property. Internet liability insurance, could reduce the threat of claims against your company that you have stolen someone else’s ideas. It may also help protect your business against lawsuits if you unwittingly transmit a virus, which can be accidentally sent through malicious emails. Intellectual property insurance is designed to make it easier for businesses to maintain control of their copyrights, patents, and trademarks.
Benefits of Coverage
To date, there is still some disagreement about what constitutes as a violation of intellectual property on the internet. Therefore, many websites may be inadvertently using images or text without formal clearance from the creators or owners of the content. Regardless of whether this unauthorized use is intentional or not, use of copyrighted material can expose your business to legal headaches up to and including substantial financial penalties.
Cyber insurance may help mitigate the financial liabilities that arise when hackers attack a company. If part of your coverage, cyber insurance could also help counter expensive slander lawsuits that may arise when your own employees post online in forums or social media, or even send emails that may offend other people. Lastly, data breach insurance may reduce the consequences when viruses hit your site or when any of your customer information is jeopardized.
Protecting Your Customers
Your customers’ personal and financial information is critical to your business, and even more important for the person providing it. It must be protected every bit as aggressively as cash assets. Many states are now passing legislation to standardize what minimum steps must be taken to protect customer data and what action a company is legally required to take if that data is stolen, exposed, or in any way compromised. Lawsuits resulting from these new laws have already been filed, resulting in judgments in the millions. Companies that suffer data breaches may be innocent parties to an illegal act. Nevertheless, the company’s level of liability could still be disastrous. Internet liability insurance could help absorb some of the financial impact of data loss liability, allowing your business to survive the event.
Protecting Your Business
Cybercrime is no longer limited to the lone hacker at a remote keyboard. It is now a highly specialized and profitable branch of organized crime. Cyber attacks are multiplying, and one 2011 survey reported that 40 percent of small businesses have experienced some effect of this criminal activity. These criminals may hack your security and exploit your business website or network for a bevy of illegal activities including data theft and fraud without your knowledge. Cyber vandals can utilize your online presence to spread criminal or simply malicious viruses, as well. In addition to staying current with ever-changing online security measures, protection in the form of internet liability insurance is critical for doing business as usual in the online world.