15Jun

5 Ways Cyber Insurance Will Change Cybersecurity

2020 changed the course of cybersecurity and the way we look at cyber insurance. Increased online interactions in both personal and business facets have highlighted possible points of attack on data which can lead to significant loss and security threats.

1. Increased scrutiny on claims and security in phone apps and software

There will be a greater emphasis on explicit details about cybersecurity measures such as employee online security awareness training, dark web monitoring, and verified back-ups (or how a provider stores and secures backup data).

Businesses can also expect cyber insurance providers to conduct network scans to see and experience how secure an app or software appears. Having these basic security measures in place will help cyber insurance providers determine the cost of premiums for a business.

2. Some industries may have a harder time finding insurance cover

Some of these industries are:

– SMBs with a high record count (e.g. medium-scale medical practices)
– Companies that move large amounts of money like manufacturers
– Organizations with historically poor security (e.g. local government units)

This does not mean cybersecurity will be completely inaccessible to these types of industries. It does imply that these groups will have to pay more or will need more effort to find a cover for them.

3. Specific features may be amended or taken out

Many cybersecurity insurers are making changes to help cover areas that may be more prone to risks or they may recommend add-ons for new security requirements.

Check the value of ransomware payments if it matches your business’ needs. Policy limits may be lowered so double-checking this feature is a must.

4. Higher premiums are inevitable but will be a NEED

The end of finding the cheapest cyber insurance came early this year when there was a global shift in how businesses should be looking at cybersecurity and the huge impact of hacking. Acting too late this 2021 will result in higher premiums in the future.

Most companies only think about cyber insurance after falling victim to an attack. Remember that your history as a business plays a significant factor in how much your premium will cost in the end.

Of course, there will still be good deals, especially from the venture capital side.

5. Validation of increased expenses in cybersecurity

This means is companies will have to really look at their liability insurance policies and include cyber insurance as an essential. Zero dollar deductible policies or cheap policies won’t cut it anymore.

Increased budget for the IT department will certainly become a trend with an emphasis on tools for better security measures as well as company training for online safety awareness.

This increased expense is a positive change for both business and consumer in the long run.

We will continue to see more shifts in the cybersecurity and cyber insurance space now that businesses have seriously considered pivoting to hybrid work set-ups. Stay tuned to see our analyses.

Need help finding cybersecurity insurance for your business in Hong Kong? Get in touch with us today.

 

6Jun

Infographic: Health & Mental Impacts of Remote Work

A survey by the Royal Society for Public health has some insightful findings on the effects of remote work on employees’ overall health.

These information can be viewed as opportunities for employers to revisit their business pivot strategies as more and more organizations move towards a more remote setting.

20Apr

COVID-19 Common Liability Concerns for Businesses

While the vaccine rollout in Hong Kong is ongoing, COVID-19 still raises several liability concerns for customers or employees who may become sick due to alleged negligence by an organization.

For these types of concerns, it’s necessary to take the following insurance considerations into account:

– Commercial liability insurance— protects your business from financial loss should you be found liable for personal harm (like a customer getting sick) caused by your product or services, or due to business operations in the case of employees. This general liability insurance can cover costs correlated with bodily injuries, damage to third-party property, personal injuries, medical expenses, litigation and more.

In the time of COVID, commercial liability insurance should provide coverage and allow organizations to defend claims. For a claim to be valid, the claimant would have to claim that the virus was contracted due to the organization’s or business’ oversight and detail how, when and where they got sick—all of which may be difficult to prove.

– Directors and officers (D&O) insurance— Shareholders can sue a business in case there’s a failure to respond competently to COVID-19 concerns. Specifically, shareholders may dispute that Directors and Officers failed to plan for adequate contingency plans or detail how the pandemic could affect the company’s finances.

Here’s a recent blog we published with examples of D&O Claims.

It should be noted that most D&O insurance excludes cover for bodily harm but may offer some protection depending on specific accusations. That said, it’s important for businesses to examine the scope of their D&O insurance to verify that they are covered in the event of such events.

EMPLOYEE’S COMPENSATION INSURANCE

In events when an employee makes a claim that they contracted COVID-19 at work, a number of employee compensation factors come into play. For workplace illnesses, most policies only pay out benefits if the disease in question is occupational in nature. This may imply that communicable diseases are generally excluded from most employee compensation policies.

However, a policy may be triggered if the illness came about during the course of employment. Generally, these scenarios are reviewed on a case-by-case basis but could include instances for:

> Healthcare workers who contract COVID-19 at the hospital where they work.

> An airline employee contracts COVID-19 from a passenger.

> A hospitality employee gets COVID-19 that can be linked to a large event at their place of work.

Poor insurance cover or the lack of any type of cover that specifically addresses your business’ liability with COVID will deter you from making meaningful recovery this year. Although there is some positive outlook on financial recovery in Asia, this should not be the time to loosen one’s sense of cautiousness.

Need to update your company’s liability insurance? Get in touch with us today.

18Apr

What You Should Know About the Revised Compensation Items Under the Employee’s Compensation Ordinance in Hong Kong

A Resolution was passed at the Legislative Council meeting last March 17th, 2021 to change the levels of compensation of nine (9) compensation articles under the Employee’s Compensation Ordinance. This is a compulsory provision and all employers must comply.

Employers will have additional liability starting April 15, 2021.

What you should know:

> Your insurance provider will have to charge an additional premium estimated at around 2% of the initial cost up to the end of your Employee Compensation Insurance policy.

> Additional gross premium will be acquired.

> Additional gross premium less than HK$200 will be waived

> Employees’ Compensation Insurance Levies & Premium Levy (if applicable) will be charged on top of additional gross premium

Items under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance

The increased levels of compensation will enhance the protection for employees injured at work or sufferers of occupational diseases as well as family members of deceased employees or persons who die of work injuries or occupational diseases.

For more information about how the new ordinance will affect your current policies, get in touch with us today.

25Mar

Infographic: The Cybersecurity Shortage

The projected loss from cyber attacks worldwide is forecasted to be in the trillions in 2021. With many companies shifting to virtual offices – some even permanently – malware, phising, and other forms of data breaches will most likely increase. However, data shows that there’s an alarming gap between the need for tighter cybersecurity and the number of organizations that understand its importance.

The infographic below provides impactful statistics and proposals to shorten the gap.

Sources:

https://www.varonis.com/blog/cybersecurity-skills-shortage/

https://www.protectwise.com/post/survey-suggests-younger-generations-including-females-may-fill-the-cybersecurity-talent-gap/

https://www.varonis.com/blog/cybersecurity-statistics/

4Mar

Understanding Professional Indemnity Insurance with Examples

Let’s first define what professional indemnity (PI) insurance is.

This is a type of insurance cover that protects a company from incurring legal costs and expenses in their defence, as well as any damages or costs that may be awarded if they have been alleged to have rendered inadequate advice, services or designs that caused a client to lose profit.

It’s also often referred to as professional liability insurance.

In Hong Kong, it is compulsory for some businesses to take out liability or professional indemnity insurance before they can operate.

Here are some examples of professional indemnity insurance claims you may find useful:

Case Study 1

Government Statutory Board | 6 Staff members | HKD5.5M turnover

Background: 
A claim was made against the Insured by one of its former clients. The claim alleged that the Insured failed to protect the claimant’s medical conditions whilst acting for the claimant in court, resulting in the claimant’s identity being easily searched online and discriminated against.

Outcome:
The Insured appointed panel solicitors to assist with managing the dispute. The Insured incurred defence costs of HKD280,800 which were indemnified by the Policy.

Payment: HKD280,800

Case Study 2

Insurance Broker | 5 Staff Members | HKD3.9M turnover

Background: 
A claim was made against the Insured by their client, a recreation club. The client alleged that the Insured misrepresented that their Directors and Officers Policy would cover the club’s own rights which were, in fact, incorrect when a claim was presented to the insurer and was declined. The claimant further alleged that the Insured failed to exercise reasonable skill and care whilst advising and obtaining adequate insurance.

Outcome:
The Insured appointed panel solicitors to assist in defending the matter against them. The claim was settled at mediation. The Policy paid a total for settlement costs of HKD1,482,000 and defence costs of HKD351,000

Payment: HKD1,482,000 plus HKD351,000 in defence costs.

Case Study 3

Logistics Operator | 8 Staff Members | HKD1.95M turnover

Background: 
The Insured, a logistics operator, was storing vaccines in its Cold Room for their client. A claim was made against the Insured by their client alleging that there had been a fall in temperature in the Cold Room which was a result of a hardware malfunction, which damaged their products. The Insured notified Insurers for their Fire Policy as well as their PI Policy. The Insurers of the Fire Policy indemnified the Insured to the sum of HKD1,287,000 which was insufficient to meet the total replacement cost of the vaccines due to a global shortage in certain of those vaccines. One of the vaccine’s cost had increased from HKD29.02 to HKD519.87 per vial. The Claimant sought further damages of HKD1,950,000.

Outcome:
The Insured appointed panel solicitors to assist with managing the claim against them. The Policy was triggered and paid for defence costs of HKD117,000. The claim was settled at a mediation for HKD319,800 which was also indemnified by the Policy.

Payment: HKD319,800 plus HKD117,000 in defence costs

Need PI Insurance for your business in Hong Kong? We can help find the best insurance covers for expats.

25Feb

Increased Cyber Risks from Remote Work

Working remotely has become the default mode for many businesses since the COVID-19 pandemic. While this allows companies to continue operations while reducing their employees’ chances of getting sick it also opens up the company to new cyber risks.

Working from home requires access to Wi-Fi that may be insecure despite thinking otherwise. In the case of home networks, they are usually set up in default mode that permits devices to connect without passwords.

This even includes Wi-Fi-enabled appliances, monitors, door locks surveillance cameras, speakers and more. Your corporate mobile device may be using this Wi-Fi network also. And even if you are able to use a VPN and private servers, this does not mean your confidential data is not exposed to grave cyber threats.

The multiple variables of all your employees’ home network means that your IT department has to cover more computers. In addition, there will be some employees who don’t completely understand the probability of a data breach with an unsecured network – especially if they access work through public Wi-Fi like coffee shops for instance.

What can companies do to reduce the risk of cyberattacks while working at home? 

> Reinforce the use of VPNs for all remote staff

> Teach employees to scan devices before allowing them to connect with access by unauthorized software or hardware

> Double-check and lock remote devices wherever necessary to help reduce the possibility of cyber attacks without negatively affecting user experience.

> Disable split tunneling for VPN profiles to ensure that virtual employees won’t be able to access Wi-Fi networks directly without going through the corporate network first.

> Companies should also practice scheduled analysis of work-issued devices’ log data to improve detection of cyber incidents.

More importantly, companies should also update their cyber breach response strategies for the entire remote staff and practice plans through exercises with IT and security staff, along with officers and directors.

Many companies in Asia have been able to restructure operations and adapt to virtual offices. They are calling the remote workforce ‘the new normal’. Companies need to anticipate similar incidents like this pandemic – some may even pose more challenges.

For now, what’s needed are immediate measures to tighten online security of remote workers and revisit liability insurance policies that may not yet cover cybercrime-related claims.

17Feb

4 Financial Lessons from Covid 19

This year has challenged businesses and our personal finances. Job loss and diminished profits will affect the next couple of years (maybe more for some) and recovery is crucial. Of course, this is not the first economic downturn we’ve faced but it’s certainly significant because it’s on a global scale. 

Furthermore, the changes brought about by the pandemic not only affected people’s finances but there’s also the factor of lifestyle and the general way of how everyone “normally” went about their lives.

Now that we’ve watched this year play out and its end just around the corner, what can we do to position ourselves in a more crisis-ready strategy for our finances?

Here are the financial lessons we’ve learned from Covid 19:

HAVE A COMPREHENSIVE FINANCIAL PLAN

Have a comprehensive financial goal.

These plans should include:

– Long term and short term financial goals
– Milestones
– Contingency plans

It’s not enough to be able to pay our bills and run a business. Not losing money every month may give the misconception of stability but it’s important to have set goals to work towards a higher level of security.

Be specific about goals such as having both health and life insurance in place before the age of 35 to avoid higher premiums. 

Another example would be finding the solution for events like losing 15%, 30%, or 50% of your income. (Hint: Loss of Income insurance may help)

It’s these specific goals that prevent us from being too anxious about sudden events such as this pandemic. Financial goals provide us with better foresight of where the gaps are so we can fill them as quickly as possible.

HAVE 3 TO 6 MONTHS’ WORTH OF EMERGENCY FUND

Save up 3 to 6 months worth of income

Save up money that’s worth three to six months before paying off debt. Having this safety net allows us to support ourself during uncertain times like job loss or low sales in business.

Once you start doing this, it’s also good to add two months each year to get to a total of one year’s worth of emergency savings. That will come as a huge advantage when coupled with unemployment insurance because it can further extend to over a year.

FIND MULTIPLE INCOME SOURCES

This doesn’t necessarily mean having two fulltime jobs. But it can help to explore part-time gigs that will not require too much out of our mental bandwidth. Perhaps a hobby could also become profitable. Having an alternative stream of income can be helpful in case we lose employment.

This pandemic has given rise to plenty of virtual work and it’s an opportunity to find an additional source of money to reach our financial goals much faster. 

Putting money in low or medium-risk investments is also be worth exploring especially if there’s stagnant money in our savings account.

FINANCIAL STABILITY FIRST, DEBT PAYMENT SECOND

Be financially stable first before becoming debt free

Debt can be negotiable because institutions will have mitigation departments to allow debtors to find workarounds when unable to pay. Banks and other lending institutions also want to be paid back so foreclosure would be counter to them in many cases.

This is why gaining stability is more important to achieve first than paying off debts. A more productive way of looking at this is being debt-free is one of the tools in gaining stability. 

One may not have any debts now but if there’s no income coming in, that still puts that person in a stressful position. Having the money to pay for basic living expenses such as food, shelter and clothing are the top priority. 

These four lessons apply even during normal circumstances but more so now that we see how a global crisis highlights our financial blindspots. 

 

Need help with personal or business insurance in Hong Kong? We help expats find comprehensive plans for every need.

 

11Jan

5 Changes in Travel with the Vaccine

Vaccine approval that came in the tail-end of 2020 has left travellers wondering what changes they should expect this year.

And as many countries ramp-up vaccinations, the world is once again left in the dark with the new strain of the virus that led to more shutdowns and closed borders.

Given the current situation, what changes can we expect?

VACCINATION PASSPORTS

Qantas Airlines stated in November that it will require proof of vaccination from their passengers once a vaccine is approved. This serves as an onset of what other airlines will do to ensure health and safety.

Many airlines are currently testing technology to streamline the health documentation process, including mobile health apps like CommonPassICC AOKpass and VeriFLY to ensure travellers can show their health data in a secure, verifiable way.

it is important to note, however, that until the vaccine is widely distributed, rigorous screening and quarantining will remain a key part of the travel experience — before and after travelling.

SOARING TRAVEL COSTS

Depending on the destination, foreign visitors will still be required to quarantine for periods ranging between 14 to 21 days. The new COVID strain has pushed many countries to require extended quarantine which means added cost for food, accommodation and other miscellaneous expenses.

The tourism industry has also adapted to travel bubbles in which a set of tourist destinations agree to accommodate a group of while keeping doors to new visitors closed. As a result, a person or group that’s planning to stay for only five days in a country will have to stay the same number of days with the batch they with whom they arrived. As such, one can incur additional expenses.

REDUCED CAPACITY & SHORTED ITINERARIES FOR CRUISES 

Most cruises will return sailing at a reduced capacity with limited routes. In the US, initial trips will be limited to 7 days, according to C.D.C. guidelines. Masks will be mandatory in all public areas including outdoor decks. Screening and testing will also be mandatory.

Even with intensified safety measures, several cruise lines in Europe and the Caribbean that sailed in recent months were ordered to cut trips short after reporting outbreaks.

BUSINESS TRAVEL UNLIKELY TO PICK-UP IN FIRST PART OF 2021

Travelling for business is not expected to recover soon with many businesses moving operations online. Majority of airline recovery will be from leisure travel during the first half of the year.

Frequent businesses flyers with points have also been assured that they’d still be able to use their points for future flights. What’s more likely to happen is that there will be an increase in value in how flier miles can be used in the first few quarters of 2021.

Finally, in relation to cruises and air travel, agencies and transportation providers are expected to roll out more flexible cancellation policies to last at least through 2022 or longer.

TRAVEL INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

An emphasis on travel insurance with repatriation and Covid-dedicated policies are also anticipated to emerge as Visa requirements. Expect insurance providers to offer new products that cater to these needs in the early part of 2021.

As it stands, there’s still a lot of uncertainty with international travel. Domestic holidays will prove to be the simpler and more cost-effective alternative for the lockdown-weary.

Need help with travel insurance? We help find the best policies for expats in Hong Kong.