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As Cybercrime Becomes More Prevalent, Public Insurance Adjusters Are Finding New Ways To Fight For Their Clients


Though typical hazards like flooding, fires and extreme weather all impact day-to-day business operations, a new threat to businesses across the globe has emerged: cybercrime.

Some of the world’s most recognizable companies including Uber, Meta and have fallen victim to cyberattacks in recent years. Whether it's third parties infecting computers with ransomware or hackers compromising users’ private information, companies of all shapes and sizes can be susceptible to cyberthreats.

What many business owners may not realize is they may be able to recoup some of their cybercrime-related losses through their insurance policies. However, this can be a difficult process to navigate. That’s why hiring public insurance adjusters to properly assess the digital damage and examine your insurance coverages is a vital step toward getting owners the compensation they’re entitled to receive. 

"Having the ability to safeguard important or confidential information is crucial," said Harvey Goodman, president and CEO at Goodman-Gable-Gould/Adjusters International. "Policyholders can purchase cyber policies through their insurance providers that cover first- and third-party costs, including ransomware, data recovery costs, breach response and business income loss."

Goodman-Gable-Gould/AI is a team of public insurance claim adjusters that works with policyholders to help them comply with all policy requirements and assist in loss measurement. The firm’s public adjusters have helped settle several billion dollars in claims for their clients.

Goodman said the first step by the insurer in handling a cyber claim is retaining claims counsel to work alongside the insurer's adjuster. This is much less common in multi-peril property claims such as fire losses or water damage claims. Additionally, loss mitigation and ransom payment are routinely made through insurer vendors who are sometimes affiliated with the insurance company. Often, an insurer already has vendors more familiar with the workings of the client's network than an outside vendor will be, which allows more efficiency in getting rapidly restored.

"Cyber policies are a hybrid form of insurance as they often cover both first- and third-party losses, meaning they cover the insured’s own losses in the form of hardware, software and business income as well as damages to others in the form of liabilities for releasing personal information of others," Goodman said.

Proof of loss filing requirements for cyber claims go through a different process than multi-peril policies, he said. Cyber policies are unique in that the insurer may have to approve many expenses including data breach response, which is only compensated with insurer-approved vendors or pre-approval of the insured's own vendors.

In the past, some cyber claims were covered under a company’s multi-peril policy, but this is becoming less common due to a surge of claims in the last five years. Goodman mentioned an example of a time when the firm was able to recover cybercrime losses for a company by going through the kidnap and ransom coverage their insurance offered. 

In pursuit of helping businesses recover from cyberattacks, Goodman-Gable-Gould/AI was recently tasked with aiding a national soft goods distributor who was hacked during the Christmas holiday while it was short-staffed, Goodman said. 

Along with shutting down the company’s entire network, hackers also incapacitated its phone system. The company was temporarily unable to process orders or make payments to vendors. The ransom, software, hardware and business income loss ran into eight figures. He said that after the team hired GGG/AI, the loss was settled in under eight months.

This client isn't a rare example. Though more companies are prioritizing ways to secure data, more than 80% of firms surveyed by Cyber Security Magazine reported a rise in cyberattacks in 2020. 

"Goodman-Gable-Gould/AI works on behalf of businesses and individuals, both mitigating the losses and securing the benefits due from the insurance company," Goodman said. "As cyberattacks become more frequent, we remain agile in helping our clients receive the money they're entitled to when disaster strikes."

This article was produced in collaboration between the Goodman-Gable-Gould and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

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