How Prepared Is Your Business For A Cyber Attack?

Only 36% of public companies purchased cyber liability insurance in 2012, and only 6% of private companies had cyber liability insurance in 2010.

Why don’t more companies purchase cyber insurance?

Chubb Insurance asked nonbuyers this question, and the #1 response—from 47% of private company respondents and 37% of public company respondents—was “low risk/no exposure.”*

FBI Director Robert Mueller might have had corporate denial in mind when he told a conference of security professionals earlier this year: “There are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked, and those that will be. Even that is merging into one category: those that have been hacked and will be again.” (Source: CNNMoney)

Facts are well-known

A well-publicized Ponemon Institute study** reported that the typical data breach in 2011 resulted in:

  • 28,349 breached records.
  • Total costs of $194 per record (including notification, call centers, forensics and other direct expenses).
  • $561,495 in notification costs.
  • $5.5 million in total organizational costs.

Furthermore, 46 states have enacted legislation requiring companies to notify customers if their personal information may have been compromised.

Cyber risks—and awareness—are growing

Cyber exposures are growing, and awareness of those risks seems to be growing, as well, as indicated by the fact that purchase rates of cyber insurance are slowly rising. More companies are realizing that they may be vulnerable to potentially costly cyber exposures, including cyber liability and cyber crime expense.

The same maybe true for directors and officers (D&O) liability, thanks in part to the October 2011 SEC guidance that companies must consider information security when disclosing risks to investors. As attorney Kevin LeCroix, executive vice president, RT ProExec, said in his blog, The D&O Diary (September 24, 2012), “With increasing scrutiny on companies’ cybersecurity preparedness and disclosure comes the increasing possibility that companies experiencing cybersecurity incidents-and their directors and officers-may face claims from shareholders and other constituencies that they failed to implement appropriate cybersecurity measures or made misrepresentations about their cybersecurity preparedness.”

Although most companies aren’t yet buying cyber insurance, a majority of public companies are at least taking notice, according to Chubb’s survey:

  • Public company decision makers cited cyber risk as their #1 concern from a list of exposures, with 63% expressing some level of concern.
  • 71% of the public companies have an incident response plan (IRP) for an electronic security breach.***
  • 52% of the companies are allocating more financial or human resources toward mitigating the risk of a cyber breach than they did a year ago. Only 3% are allocating fewer resources for this purpose.
  • 24% of respondents said it was likely the company would experience a cyber event sometime in the next 12 months.

ACBI can help you protect your business from this debilitating threat.  We have options for public and private companies, large businesses or small, professional services and non-profits.  Contact us today to find out how we can help.

Christmas Trees

Each year, U.S. fire departments respond to more than 250 home fires that began with Christmas trees. According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical failures or malfunctions were involved in one-third of the home fires that started with Christmas trees, and one in five occurred because a heat source was too close to the tree.

Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, such as fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights. Use only lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory and make sure to know whether they are designed for indoor or outdoor use. Those displaying an artificial tree should make sure it is labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.

A moist tree is less likely to catch fire than a dry one, so when choosing a fresh tree, make sure the green needles don’t fall off when touched, which will indicate the tree is dry. To keep the tree moist during the holidays, cut 1-2 inches from the base of the trunk and add water to the tree stand. Continue to water the tree daily.

Reposted from, by Scott Spencer.

Paid Sick Leave Equals Fewer Workers’ Comp Injuries

Employers looking to cut their workers’ comp costs may want to offer or expand their paid sick leave benefits. New research indicates workers who took paid time off when they were sick performed better and had fewer workplace injuries.

“Workers with access to paid sick leave were 28 percent less likely overall to suffer nonfatal occupational injuries than workers without access to paid sick leave,” reported the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. “Workers in high-risk occupations and industry sectors, such as construction, manufacturing, agriculture, and health care and social assistance, appeared to benefit most from paid sick leave.”

The study, Paid Sick Leave and Nonfatal Occupational Injuries, is published in the American Journal of Public Health. The authors surmised that safer operations and fewer injuries may result from fewer people working while sick. It also prevents the spread of contagious diseases.

The study examined information from the National Health Interview Survey of more than 38,000 working adults from 2005 to 2008. Those in the sample were asked whether they had access to paid sick leave through their main job or business and whether they had suffered any injury or poisoning that required medical consultation during the three months prior to the survey.

“Employers may benefit from improved productivity if paid sick leave helps reduce absenteeism, or unscheduled leave, and ‘presenteeism,’ or the problem of sick workers continuing to work while not fully productive,” the study says. “Sick or stressed workers who continue to work are likely to take medications, experience sleep problems or be fatigued. These factors can impair their ability to concentrate or make sound decisions, which can in turn increase their probability of suffering an additional illness or sustaining a workplace injury.”

Previous research has indicated paid sick leave is associated with shorter recovery times and reduced complications from minor health problems. Nevertheless, 43 percent of private sector workers in the U.S. reported having no access to paid sick leave, according to the study. While the Family and Medical Leave Act requires companies to provide up to 12 weeks of leave to eligible workers, that leave can be paid or unpaid. Only California and New Jersey have systems that provide workers with partial wage replacement, according to the study.

“We hope that our study along with previous research that supports our findings and conclusions will encourage policy makers and employers to consider the overall wellbeing of workers when making policy or funding decisions,” the report states. “Such a holistic approach would lead to more integrated development of programs that both prevent occupational injury and illness and improve other aspects of worker health.”

If you have questions about your Workers Comp Coverage and would like a no obligation analysis of your program, please contact ACBI at (203)259-7580.  With our unique Mod tool, we can help you understand what the mod is, how your loss history affects the mod and how the mod impacts your bottom line.  We are able to identify and analyze problem areas and develop targeted solutions to improve problem areas and reduce  premium and claims costs. 

From Risk & Insurance, Copyright 2012© LRP Publications

6 Tips to Avoid Post Storm Repair Scams

In the aftermath of every natural disaster comes a wave of man-made misfortune. Con artists flock to ravaged areas to take advantage of vulnerable people.

As cleanup after Superstorm Sandy gets under way, beware of people out to make a quick buck through bogus repair scams.

 Here are tips to avoid getting duped:

 1. Beware of unsolicited repair offers and other red flags.   As soon as the clouds lift, “storm chasers” descend on hard-hit neighborhoods, going door to door offering their services.

 “We use the slogan, ‘If you didn’t request it, reject it,'” says Frank Scafidi, a spokesman for the National Insurance Crime Bureau. “If someone comes knocking on your door, they could be legitimate, but they could be very illegitimate, too.”

Shady, unlicensed repair people do shoddy work, use inferior materials or collect money and leave without finishing the work. Don’t let the sense of urgency to start repairs tempt you to hire someone on the spot. Get a list of recommended licensed contractors from people you trust.

 Other red flags:

  • Contractors who claim to work for the government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency doesn’t endorse contractors or loan companies.
  • Repair people who don’t have a company street address, only a post office box, and don’t have business cards and company literature.
  • People who offer to inspect your property before you’ve checked them out. Some bogus contractors inflict or invent damage to make more money.
  • Contractors who have rundown equipment and an unprofessional appearance.
  • People who try to rush you into a decision.

2. Contact your home insurance company.  Don’t let a contractor elbow his way in between you and your insurance company, advises the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. Distrust contractors who say they’ll work on your behalf with your insurance company to get more money for the claim or to pay the deductible.

Work directly with ACBI, or your own insurance agent, to handle the claim. Besides helping you understand your coverage, the insurance company can point you toward reputable contractors.

3. Get at least three estimates for repair work.  Compare the bids, and check whether complaints have been filed against the contractors with the Better Business Bureau, the PCI says.

4. Check contractor licensing, insurance and references.  Verify that the contractor is properly insured and licensed. Contact your state or local licensing agencies. Ask the contractor for a list of references, and call them.

5. Get everything in writing.  A contract for the work should state everything the contractor will do, including labor and materials prices, scheduling and cleanup procedures, the PCI says. Don’t sign anything with blank spaces, which a shady contractor could fill in later.

6. Never pay for a lot of work upfront.  Most contractors will want a reasonable down payment, the PCI says, but don’t pay in full until the work is completed and inspected, and don’t hand over any money until the contract has been signed. AARP New York says deposits or upfront fees should not total more than 25% of the estimate, and you should pay them only after materials reach your home and work begins.

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