Cyber Liability Insurance
for Allied Health, Fitness, Mental Health and Medical Professionals
As an allied health professional, you offer essential healthcare services to your clients and patients — whether you are a physician who saves lives today, a physical therapist who rehabilitates yesterday's injuries, or a health education instructor preventing the ailments of tomorrow.
Like most small-business owners today, you probably use a computer system to keep track of appointments and patient information, which puts you at risk for cyber attacks and other kinds of data breaches.
Whenever you electronically story and transmit sensitive client or patient information, you bear the burden of substantial liability. You may not always be able to prevent data loss or theft, but Cyber Liability Insurance can help you address the repercussions, should an incident befall your office.
Before we delve into the myriad ways Cyber Liability Insurance protects your practice, let's get on the same page about how the policy works. This policy comes in two forms:
- First-party Cyber Liability. This policy covers the expenses related to responding to a data breach, such as notifying patients about the breach (required by HIPAA regulations) and paying HIPAA fines. Most allied health professionals can benefit from this type of coverage.
- Third-party Cyber Liability. This policy is designed for businesses that build and maintain technological systems that store and manage health data. If your business has a hand in creating or managing health record software, you can be held liable when that system is breached and sensitive information is exposed.
Read on to learn more about why Cyber Liability Insurance is one of the most valuable policies for healthcare providers in the digital age.
First-Party Cyber Liability
Allied Health Professionals: How First-Party Cyber Liability Insurance Protects You
Many allied health professionals operate such low-profile offices, practices, and programs that it can be difficult to view yourself as a target for cyber attack or data theft. After all, wouldn't a large laboratory or huge, high-profile hospital have greater stores of patient information and thus be a potentially bigger boon for cyber criminals?
But cyber thieves know that big businesses probably have more robust data protection plans and systems than the local chiropractor's office, for example, can afford. Like most people, hackers and other cyber criminals don't want to put in any more effort than they have to, and a smaller office or practice often seems like an easy target.
Data theft rarely affects only one client or patient. Once someone gains unauthorized access to your system, all the information is quickly compromised, which can lead to investigations, fines, high-dollar debts, and a severely bruised reputation that might affect the fiscal health of your business for years to come.
This is where first-party Cyber Liability Insurance steps in. After a data breach, your Cyber Liability coverage can help you pay for…
- Cyber extortion expenses. Sometimes hackers and other cyber criminals hold your information hostage until you pay them the amount they demand.
- Notifying customers. After a data breach, many allied health professionals are required by HIPAA to notify clients and patients. Your Cyber Liability Insurance can help you pay for this expense.
- Credit-monitoring services. In order to help you restore your client's faith in your business, Cyber Liability Insurance allows you to finance the services necessary to monitor their financial accounts.
- Good-faith advertising. Because you can't un-expose data after a breach, most of the benefits associated with Cyber Liability Insurance revolve around damage control. This coverage helps you pay for marketing and advertising campaigns to help you rebuild your business's good image.
- HIPAA fines. When a data breach exposes your patients' healthcare records, the government may fine your business. Some Cyber Liability policies can cover these fines up to a certain limit.
As you can see, the costs associated with a data breach can quickly exceed what most small-business owners can bear. An effective Cyber Liability Insurance policy makes it easier for your office, practice, or organization to get on its feet after a cyber attack.
Third-Party Cyber Liability
How Third-Party Cyber Liability Insurance Protects Medical Billing and Health Record Storage Businesses
If your business manages healthcare records or medical billing information for other businesses, you have some unique exposures. For example, if a data breach occurs, your business can be sued for negligence. Plus, the government can levy fines against your business for violating HIPAA regulations. (It's worth mentioning that HITECH makes the fines for these violations even steeper.)
If you're sued over a data breach on the technological system you manage or helped create, a third-party Cyber Liability policy can pay for…
- Legal blowback. Litigation is expensive. Even if you end up settling, you may still have to go to court. At the very least, you'll have to hire a lawyer to provide legal counsel.
- Judgments or settlements. Damages can be expensive, not only because you deal with highly sensitive personal and medical information, but because many clients or patients can be affected at once. The average cost of a data breach in 2012 was $188 per record, according to the Ponemon Institute [PDF] . Multiply that by the number of records exposed by a hacker, and you'll see how quickly the price tag can grow.
If you've taken a look at the headlines in the past year, you know that data breaches are no small thing to contain. That's why it's in your best interest to be fully prepared when your databases are compromised.
Need to Know
What Healthcare Professionals Need to Know About Cyber Liability Insurance
As a healthcare professional, you already know the importance of investing in Malpractice and General Liability Insurance, so adding a Cyber Liability policy to your business insurance plan might seem an unnecessary expense.
But in the insurance world, Cyber Liability coverage is a rather new idea, which means premiums and deductibles tend to vary greatly from carrier to carrier. This means there's potential for good deals and room for negotiation.
Keep these questions in mind when deciding on a policy.
- Are you in compliance with HIPAA? The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) requires most allied health professionals to follow certain rules, regulations, and guidelines in order to protect their clients' and patients' privacy and medical information. For example, you must notify your patients after a data breach and you must maintain certain administrative, physical, and technological security standards. To learn more about your security obligations, visit the HIPAA government website .
- Is Cyber Liability covered under you General Liability policy? Cyber Liability is never automatically included in your General Liability policy, nor is it covered in your Malpractice policy. In some cases, Cyber Liability coverage can be integrated in with your General Liability coverage, but it's often wise to purchase a separate policy.
Get A Quote
Allied Health Professionals: Get A Cyber Liability Insurance Quote
Are you ready to secure a Cyber Liability Insurance policy for your office or practice? First you'll need a quote! You can either contact an insureon agent who specializes in finding coverage for allied health professionals, or you can fill out an electronic application to have your quotes sent to your inbox.