Personal Cyber Security Insurance has finally arrived.

Picture your household, how many devices would you say are connected to the Internet at any given time? Two, three, more? If you’re like most connected homes these days you may have up to ten devices linked to the web at any given time. Cell phones, laptops, tablets, thermostats, printers, and alarm systems are all examples of devices that we commonly connect within our homes. We have all become accustomed to the convenience and the accessibility these devices provide, but these wonderful benefits may also come with a compromise. The vulnerability lies with the interconnectivity to personal networks and to the outside grid. All these devices become access points which could be exploited and become entry point for cyber criminals to perpetrate a malicious attack.

Simple solutions to protect your personal network by using updated passwords, mindful web surfing and avoidance of email attachments from unknown senders, aren’t always enough to prevent an attack. For years now the increasing threat of cyber fraud has become more sophisticated, challenging our desire to use the Internet for social communication and monetary transactions. The mounting toll of monetary loss has come to the forefront, thus opening the door for cyber fraud insurance to become a reality to help mitigate the damage of loss from such instances.

Until now, these types of insurance products were only available for businesses and organizations. Today there are three such companies that now offer cyber fraud insurance to protect the individual or household. AIG, Chubb, and Pure offer varying coverage limits from $50 thousand up to $1 million, and such offerings are considered add-ons to your homeowner’s policies.

Below are examples of what cyber insurance policies can cover:

•Cost to reinstall damaged software, remove malicious code, and replace lost or corrupted data.
•Cyber extortion coverage – money paid to hackers using ransomware to prevent the damage or distribution of content and restore the functionality of the device.
•Theft from financial accounts –unwarranted electronic money transfers and/or wires.
•Cost to restore your reputation after a defamation of character, libel, or slander incident.

Oftentimes, additional services are offered with your policy to assess your home network vulnerabilities and make security recommendations to prevent future attacks.

The insurance landscape will continue to evolve as the threat of a possible loss exists. Whether you want to cover this risk on your own or through insurance, I encourage you to check with your homeowner’s insurance provider to see what kind of cyber fraud policies may be available to you.

Senior Financial Advisor