According to Brad Gow, Vice President, ACE USA Professional Risk, ACE DigiTech(SM) addresses the evolving and increasingly costly risks of doing business in the digital age, including liability arising out of the abuse of computer networks and the loss of sensitive customer business partner information. Privacy liability coverage extends to both hacker attacks and the unintentional release of information, as the well as the cost of combating post-breach stakeholder fallout. Recognizing that the cost of overcoming loss of consumer and investor confidence can be significant, ACE DigiTech(SM) will also provide a limited identity theft public relations expense fund to cover the insured's legal and public relations consulting expenses and the cost of credit monitoring services for affected customers.
"Today's companies operate in a high-risk business arena, where network and information risks evolve at lightening speed and can hit corporate reputations and balance sheets especially hard. Highly-publicized incidents involving the theft or accidental loss of sensitive consumer data have brought identity theft and the potential for related liability to the forefront. Against this backdrop, companies gain a competitive advantage through prudent network security and information management practices," said Mr. Gow.
The potential for cyber liability risks surrounding the loss of sensitive customer information are growing increasingly complex, unpredictable and widespread. To date, personal and financial data on millions of U.S. citizens has been compromised, including that of 8.9 million people in 2005 alone. The cost of cyber crime continues to rise. According to a joint survey by Javelin Strategy and The Better Business Bureau, the total cost of fraud for consumers and businesses rose from $54.4 billion to $56.6 billion in 2005.(1)
Mr. Gow reports that it can be enormously challenging for companies to safeguard sensitive customer data while maintaining increasingly complex and sophisticated network infrastructures. Recently introduced identity theft legislation targeting companies that compile, store, archive and process sensitive consumer and business data is likely to compound that challenge, he says. As of March, 2006, more than 30 states have passed data breach disclosure laws similar to the first such legislation passed by California in 2003. At the state level, additional client notification bills have been introduced and support is building for federal legislation.(2) "All companies handling large volumes of confidential personal or business data will face increasing levels of risk associated with network security and privacy breeches. We're pleased to make ACE DigiTech(SM) coverage available to all companies with these exposures, whether or not they need comprehensive professional liability coverage or network security insurance protection on a standalone basis," said Mr. Gow.
The ACE DigiTech(SM) network risk insurance program offers the following protection:
-- Technology and Internet Errors and Omissions Liability
-- Electronic Media Activities Liability - includes protection against allegations of libel, slander, invasion of privacy, copyright and trademark infringement.
-- Network Operations Security Liability - includes coverage for viruses, worms, hacker attacks, and denial of service attacks against third-parties.
-- Privacy Liability - includes the failure to properly secure computers, the loss of laptops or backup media, and administrative errors.
-- Identity Theft Public Relations Expense Fund - covers legal expenses, public relations expenses, and the costs to provide credit monitoring services to affected individuals.
-- Miscellaneous Professional Liability - covers non-technology professional services, if required.
* The information provided is for illustrative purposes only and does not amend or alter in any way the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations of the policy delivered. Please consult the policy for exact terms and conditions.
Staffed by a team of innovative underwriters, ACE USA Professional Risk is the operating unit of ACE USA, which distributes management liability, professional liability and surety products through retail brokers throughout the U.S. and Canada. For additional information about digital insurance and other strategies and tactics for managing digital risk, please contact Brad Gow, Vice President, ACE Professional Risk at (215) 640-1949 or visit: www.ace-ina.com.
Editor's note: ACE Professional Risk has produced a podcast audio program featuring Mr. Gow discussing cyber liability risk management issues. To listen to this brief program, please visit www.ace-ina.com
ACE USA is the U.S.-based retail operating division of The ACE Group of Companies, headed by ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE), and is rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company and A+ (Strong) by Standard & Poor's. ACE USA, through its underwriting companies, provides insurance products and services throughout the U.S. Additional information on ACE USA and its products and services can be found at www.ace-ina.com. The ACE Group of Companies provides insurance and reinsurance for a diverse group of clients around the world.
(1) Javelin/Better Business Bureau Survey - January 2006. Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.http://www.privacyrights.org/ar/idtheftsurveys.htm.
(2) "Recent developments in data security law in the United States," by Lynne B. Barr and Jacqueline Klosek. Goodwin Proctor LLP. http://www.goodwinprocter.com/publications/barr_klosek_5_05.pdf