All posts by MWV Chamber

The Secrets of Skiing at Attitash

By Kathy Bennett
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

Looking forward to skiing in Mt. Washington Valley this upcoming February vacation week? Join the club! You’ll have lots of company as you hit the slopes but we’d like to share some tips on how you can ski like a local, spending more time on snow and less time in lift lines.

  1. Buy Online in Advance – It’s vacation week, so don’t expect big savings at the ticket window. But if you plan ahead and buy online in advance, you can score some savings at www.attitash.com. Buy multi-day tickets and mix and match with their sister mountain, Wildcat, just up the road.
  2. Park at Bear Peak – Skip the Attitash parking lot and continue on Route 302 until you see the sign for the Grand Summit Hotel and Bear Peak.  This big flat lot doesn’t fill up as fast as the one closer to the main lodge and doesn’t require crossing the highway or trudging gear through the tunnel. On a warm day, consider booting up in the car and skip the lodge all together!
  3. Arrive Early – Find out when the bullwheel starts turning and plan on arriving at least 30 minutes prior to lifts opening. Not only will you get first tracks, you can get in lots of runs before many folks roll out of bed at the ski house or condo.
  4. Avoid the Lodge at Noon – Not only should you get there early, take an early (or late) lunch. Whether you are brown bagging it or grabbing a burger at the cafeteria, you’ll have a better chance of finding a seat if you get there before 12pm or after 1pm.
  5. Explore Lesser Known Lift Pods – We all do it. You arrive at a resort and head right to the main lift, which at Attitash consists of the Summit Triple and the Bear Peak Express Quad. You obviously will want to spend some time on these lifts early, but as the lift mazes fill up, check out other lifts that may take you to new territory. I spent much of last weekend riding the Abenaki Quad. No lift line and lots of nice expert and intermediate terrain was available.
  6. Hit the Glades – Under that Abenaki Chair you will find wide-open glades with little to no skier traffic. The masses remain on-piste. Don’t be like them. This week brought up to a foot of snow in the mountains so you’ll find a nice snowpack in the trees.

  7. Apres at the Bear’s Den – Sure, everyone knows that Ptarmigan’s Pub in the Attitash base lodge is the place to go to hear a live band and enjoy the big apres ski scene in all its loud glory. But a smaller and just as fun scene can be found at the Bear Peak Lodge at the Bear’s Den. They feature music by solo artists every weekend and a full bar and snacks from the adjacent cafeteria.
  8. Party Like a Local – Want to capture the true local spirit of apres ski at Attitash? Head across the street from the main base lodge and enter the world of Matty B’s. Live music, great pub food and the local flavor the Valley is famous for.

Winter started early here, with ski areas opening and snow falling in October! We are having a great ski season. Check out lodging, restaurants and more at www.mtwashingtonvalley.org.

 

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10 Cyber Security Resolutions to Reduce Your Data Exposures

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

Cybersecurity threats and trends can change year over year as technology continues to advance. As such, it’s critical for organizations to reassess their data protection practices at the start of each new year and make achievable cybersecurity resolutions to help protect themselves from costly breaches.

The following are resolutions your company can implement to avoid becoming the victim of a cybercrime:

  1. Provide security training—Employees are your first line of defense when it comes to cyber threats. Even the most robust and expensive data protection solutions can be compromised should an employee click a malicious link or download fraudulent software. As such, it’s critical for organizations to thoroughly train personnel on common cyber threats and how to respond. Employees should understand the dangers of visiting harmful websites, leaving their devices unattended and oversharing personal information on social media. Your employees should also know your cybersecurity policies and know how to report suspicious activity.
  2. Install strong anti-virus software and keep it updated—Outside of training your employees on the dangers of poor cybersecurity practices, strong anti-virus software is one of the best ways to protect your data. Organizations should conduct thorough research to choose software that’s best for their needs. Once installed, anti-virus programs should be kept up to date.
  3. Instill safe web browsing practices—Deceptive and malicious websites can easily infect your network, often leading to more serious cyber-attacks. To protect your organization, employees should be trained on proper web usage and instructed to only interact with secured websites. For further protection, companies should consider blocking known threats and potentially malicious web pages outright.
  4. Create strong password policies—Ongoing password management can help prevent unauthorized attackers from compromising your organization’s password-protected information. Effective password management protects the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of an organization’s passwords. Above all, you’ll want to create a password policy that specifies all of the organization’s requirements related to password management. This policy should require employees to change their password on a regular basis, avoid using the same password for multiple accounts and use special characters in their password.
  5. Use multi-factor authentication—While complex passwords can help deter cybercriminals, they can still be cracked. To further prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to employee accounts, multi-factor authentication is key. Multi-factor authentication adds a layer of security that allows companies to protect against compromised credentials. Through this method, users must confirm their identity by providing extra information (e.g., a phone number, unique security code) when attempting to access corporate applications, networks, and servers.
  6. Get vulnerability assessments—The best way to evaluate your company’s data exposures is through a vulnerability assessment. Using a system of simulated attacks and stress tests, vulnerability assessments can help you uncover entry points into your system. Following these tests, security experts compile their findings and provide recommendations for improving network and data safety.
  7. Patch systems regularly and keep them updated—A common way cybercriminals gain entry into your system is by exploiting software vulnerabilities. To prevent this, it’s critical that you update applications, operating systems, security software, and firmware on a regular basis.
  8. Back up your data—In the event that your system is compromised, it’s important to keep backup files. Failing to do so can result in the loss of critical business or proprietary data.
  9. Understand phishing threats and how to respond—In broad terms, phishing is a method cybercriminals use to gather personal information. In these scams, phishers send an email or direct users to fraudulent websites, asking victims to provide sensitive information. These emails and websites are designed to look legitimate and trick individuals into providing credit card numbers, account numbers, passwords, usernames or other sensitive information. Phishing is becoming more sophisticated by the day, and it’s more important than ever to understand the different types of attacks, how to identify them and preventive measures you can implement to keep your organization safe. As such, it’s critical to train employees on common phishing scams and other cybersecurity concerns. Provide real-world examples during training to help them better understand what to look for.
  10. Create an incident response plan—Most organizations have some form of data protection in place. While these protections are critical for minimizing the damages caused by a breach, they don’t provide clear action steps following an attack. That’s where cyber incident response plans can help. While cybersecurity programs help secure an organization’s digital assets, cyber incident response plans provide clear steps for companies to follow when a cyber event occurs. Response plans allow organizations to notify impacted customers and partners quickly and efficiently, limiting financial and reputational damages. This can be costly but cyber insurance can help.

Talk to your Chalmers account manager for more information about cyber 800-360-3000.

Check out Great American Ski Renting Company

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

Looking for equipment on the quick, but also looking for quality? Stop by Great American Ski Renting Company, on Main Street in North Conway. They rent retail-level high-quality products for all ages and all levels of skill, all for what the mountain charges, if not less. They rent anything you could need for the winter – coats, helmets, poles, downhill skis, cross country skis, snowshoes, fat bikes, snowboards.

Even better, they offer a rare personal touch by renting custom-fitted boots. To quote the owner, “If you come in here in a t-shirt and jeans, we can get you ready for skiing.”

It opens weekends at 7:30, weekdays at 8, so there’s plenty of time to stop by and hit the slopes before they get skied off. For more information visit >

 

Ski North Conway, New Hampshire

By Kathy Bennett
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

What ski areas are in North Conway? Where can I ski in North Conway? Why was North Conway voted the best ski town in North America? These are the questions skiers are searching for online and we’re glad to share the good news – North Conway is the place to go with plenty of ski deals, ski shops, ski condo rentals, ski packages and more!

First, a bit of clarification. The Mt Washington Chamber of Commerce represents dozens of towns in and around the greater Mt Washington Valley region including northern Carroll County and western Maine, with North Conway at its heart. But thanks to our strong reputation with North Conway recently voted the best ski town in North America, some people refer to the region as just “North Conway.” That’s OK – but let me share with you my week on skis so you can see how much further the skiing extends.

Wednesday, I took part in Mountain Meisters at Cranmore Mountain which is, indeed, in North Conway proper. Mountain Meisters is the country’s largest recreational ski race league. Every Wednesday, literally hundreds of skiers take to the NASTAR course and take timed turns. Meisters are known for being great apres skiers as well. Many locals either arrange their schedule to take Wednesdays off, while others take their runs on their lunch break (as I did). That my friends is the benefit of living and working in a ski town. Don’t live here? No worries. You can be part of the Meister scene in Zip’s Pub. It would be inaccurate to say it’s apres ski because the party is all day, indoors and out. As the days get longer and warmer, many take to the back deck to sun worship. Learn firsthand why Cranmore is known as “Tanmore.”

The glades were open at Cranmore this week!


Are skinny skis more your style? North Conway is also known for its xc ski centers. The biggest in North America is
Jackson Ski Touring just north of North Conway. My husband and I stopped at the Old Village Bakery in North Conway Village and loaded our backpack with snacks, then went to the Touring Center to wax our skis. As it was a cold and fast kind of day, we applied Klister with a coating of hard wax over it. It did the trick with just the right combination of kick and glide. Jackson has a full-service ski shop in its lodge – stop by Gorham Bike & Ski and ask for advice on waxing. We took to the Ellis River Trail to the Coco Cabin where we enjoyed our baked goods by the outdoor fire pit. Perfect!

The Coco Cabin
Ever dream of skiing through a covered bridge?


As an outdoor fresh air junkie,  I wasn’t satisfied with a few hours cross country skiing, so I tried night skiing at
King Pine Purity Springs Resort once the sun set. My 21-year-old got out of work at 4:30pm so we were able to spend a few hours of quality time on the slopes together. Night skiing at King Pine is very economical, only $29 to ski ‘til 9pm. Grab a rental for only $25 and you can get your gear and a ticket for less than the cost of a lift ticket alone. Such a deal!

Sunday was a day for alpine skiing. Another way to ski North Conway is to go to Bartlett, NH and ski Attitash. Attitash has two peaks and a slopeside hotel.  I got a great deal on lift tickets with a 40% discount when I bought online in advance. Check out their site for what specials they have online now. Remember that their tickets are interchangeable with Wildcat. Ski conditions have held up nicely after snow started accumulating here in October!

So if you are making plans for your February ski vacation, remember that there is more to North Conway skiing than North Conway! From Madison to Jackson, from Bretton Woods to Conway, we have dozens of ski areas to keep you busy all winter long! Look for your North Conway snow reports at SkiNorthConwayNH.com and ski and stay packages at MtWashingtonValley.org

Personal Automobiles for Business Use

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 240 million registered motor vehicles in the United States, and an estimated one-fourth of those are used for business in some way. If you have employees who use personal vehicles for business use, you could be exposing your business to a significant liability risk.

Even if your employees have Personal Auto Policies (PAPs) for their personal vehicles, in the event of a serious accident that occurs during business use, your business could be sued to collect additional damages.

Hands on the wheel

What is “Business Use”?

Activities that constitute general business use include visiting customers, picking up supplies, attending conferences, and commuting to and from work. For activities like this, the general business use of a personal vehicle is usually covered by a PAP. This is because a policy purchased for a specific vehicle is considered the primary insurance, which covers damages before any other policy takes effect.

An exception to general business use is livery, or carrying goods or people for a fee. Livery includes the delivery of items such as food, flowers, or wholesale or retail items to customers, as well as chauffeur services. Carpooling or ridesharing is not considered livery and is covered under a PAP.

Employees that work from home can still pose a risk if they use personal vehicles for business use. It may be more difficult to ascertain the driving habits of employees that work from home or the operational status of their vehicles. Communicate regularly with these employees concerning your company’s policy for the use of personal vehicles.

Employee PAP Coverage

For employees using their personal vehicles, the primary insurance on the vehicles will likely be their PAPs. You should know how your employees are covered for the business use of their vehicles. Encourage your employees to speak with their PAP carriers to be sure of their coverage and to make it clear to the insurance agents what business activities the vehicles may be used for.

Some PAPs appear to exclude coverage for business use, but they may include broad exceptions for a private passenger automobile, or pickup trucks and vans. However, some policies may be stricter depending on the circumstances. Clarification may prevent complications if a claim must be filed.

Four Ways to Reduce Risk

Though employees’ use of personal automobiles may pose a risk to your business, there are steps you can take to help protect both your employees and your business from liability.

  1. Review driving records and create an approved-driver list: All employees that use a vehicle for business use should be cleared to drive by a manager. This process should include reviewing motor vehicle records and PAP coverages regularly and maintaining records to help reduce risk exposure.
  2. Establish standards for personal vehicles: Even employees without any incidents on their motor vehicle records can be a risk to your business if they are driving personal vehicles that are not properly maintained. Establish company guidelines for maintaining personal vehicles. If employees are compensated for time spent driving or if they routinely use their personal vehicles for business, consider regularly collecting maintenance reports to gauge the reliability of personal vehicles.
  3. Make the company policy clear: After you create guidelines for the use of personal vehicles at your business, be sure to communicate them to your employees in a clear and timely manner. Although it is common to have policies against the use of intoxicating substances or mobile devices while driving, reminding employees of all of your company policies is an effective way to mitigate risk.
  4. Establish rental vehicle policies: The use of rental vehicles for business also presents exposure to risk. It may be beneficial to establish a relationship with a particular rental vehicle agency to determine which vehicles best suit the needs of your business and employees while traveling. You should also give your employees guidelines on which rental vehicle insurance coverages to accept during the rental process.

Obtaining Appropriate Liability Insurance

Additional coverage may be needed if any potential risks from personal auto use threaten your business. A standard Business Auto Policy (BAP) will protect your business from any additional liability after an employee’s PAP has paid for damages related to personal auto use.

Although employees who have personal vehicles should be required to have PAPs, obtaining liability insurance should be a priority to protect your business. In the event of a serious accident, your employees’ PAP coverage may not be adequate to pay for all the damages. Be sure to prepare a list of vehicles that may be used by employees and the type of business they may be used for, and contact Chalmers Insurance Group 800-360-3000 in order to discuss your coverage options.

Visit Tuckerman Brewing Company for music, friends and beer!

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

Just recently we visited Tuckerman Brewing Company to enjoy the  band Dark Train Express. The atmosphere is very comfortable with picnic tables, cornhole games and, of course, their great local beer. Personally, we really like the Rockpile IPA.

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Starting in 2015 Tuckerman Brewing Company has hosted a concert series and each summer they have some of the top regional acts entertaining the crowd outside under the tent in warm weather. And every Saturday they feature great local musicians in their Tasting Room.

Check out their event calendar for future tasting room and concert events. The brewery is also available for private parties, rehearsal dinners and birthday parties.

Next up – 21st Birthday Bash! The brewery turns legal!
January 19th, 2019
Doors open at 7:00
This is a 21+ show (legal ID required)

Photo Credit – Shem Roose

Band: Kat Wright Band plays from 8-10pm
Cover Charge: $15
Food Provided by: Magic Foods Catering

Limited tickets are available online or can be purchased in the Tasting Room during regular business hours.

For more information >

 

Ice climbers love North Conway NH and the White Mountains

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

We hung out and watched a group of ice climbers learn safety techniques at Cathedral Ledge. Led by an outfit from Maine this group learned safety procedures, how to use ice axes, finding the best handholds, and proper climbing stance.

And, if you didn’t know already, the White Mountains are a mecca for ice climbers and renowned for climbing in general!

Ice climbing isn’t scary, and there are lots of opportunities all around us. If you want to try this unique sport, don’t hesitate! Find an instructor and enjoy it while you can. So check out one of our local outfitters at IME, EMS and Northeast Mountaineering. >>

Pet Insurance Coverage Basics and Costs

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

Unfortunately, just like humans, pets can have medical problems that may yield expensive veterinary bills. Fortunately, pet insurance is available to combat those risks.

What is Pet Insurance?

Most pet owners consider their animals to be members of their family; therefore, their pet’s quality of life and health is extremely important. By purchasing pet insurance, pet owners are not burdened with veterinary bills and can focus on making sure their pets get and stay healthy.

Coverage Basics

Here are the details of a typical pet insurance policy:

  • Policies allow the pet owner to select a coverage percentage or monthly premium that will work best for them.
  • Pets must have an annual exam and owners must adhere to the recommendations of their veterinarians to remain covered.
  • Coverage is not extended to existing conditions and injuries.
  • Policy covers expenses relating to the following:
    • Some vaccinations
    • Lab work
    • Accidents, injuries and illnesses
    • Prescriptions
    • X-rays
    • Surgeries, including spay/neuter
    • Hospitalization
    • Dental work

Steep Costs

Medical costs for your pets can add up quickly. Here are some of the most common veterinary treatments and typical average costs:

  • Benign skin mass: $1000
  • Torn ACL or cartilage: $2600
  • Tooth extraction: $900

We’re Here to Help

Don’t take the chance of not being able to afford medical care for your furry family members. Call Chalmers Insurance Group today at 800-360-3000 to learn more about all of our insurance solutions.

For an immediate quote and our Strategic Partner Discount, please visit our trusted carrier partner FIGO using this link https://figopetinsurance.com/?p=9H8i8m7z1r5

Memorial Hospital Supports Ski Helmet Safety for Local Children

Memorial Hospital once again has ensured that every child in its community that wants a ski helmet, gets one, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. It’s all part of a helmet safety initiative to ensure that local school children have appropriate helmets for their participation in elementary ski programs including the Eastern Slope Ski Club’s (ESSC) Junior Ski Program in the Conway School District and, new this year, the Fryeburg Junior Ski Program.

Memorial Hospital Foundation created the Roger C. Clapp Memorial Ski Helmet Fund to help put “a lid on every kid.” Clapp, who passed away in 2013, was a hospital trustee for many years and a passionate lifelong skier. Family and friends make memorial donations to the fund and continue to encourage contributions to it. Special thanks this year go to former hospital trustee Phil Davies, who served alongside Roger Clapp for many years and this year made a generous gift to ensure that the program continue again this year. Additional contributors to the program include many employees who give through a special employee giving program.

The National Ski Areas Association reports on their website that while skiing or boarding responsibly is the first priority for safety, helmets are an important second line of defense. The group reports that wearing helmets can decrease the risk of head injury by 10 to 50 percent. It can also mean the difference between a major head injury and a minor head injury, or between a minor head injury and no injury at all.

Conway Elementary School students Mattie Macomber, Cami Newton and Jillian Howland pose at Cranmore Mountain with Jessica Stewart, Athletic Trainer at Orthopedics at Memorial Hospital. The students are wearing helmets received through the Roger C. Clapp Ski Helmet Program.

“Memorial Hospital provides many healthcare services to help injured skiers and snowboarders, from fixing broken bones to physical therapy, athletic training and concussion care, but our preference is to help skiers and riders to prevent injuries in the first place,” said Jessica Stewart, Athletic Trainer at Orthopedics at Memorial Hospital. “We are lucky that we have the Roger C. Clapp Helmet program to help local children prevent head injuries.”

Many families face difficult financial situations at home which can make it hard for them to find the funds for equipment. As families may struggle to pay for basic necessities, things like skiing equipment may not be a part of their budget. That’s what makes this program so important for students who may not be able to afford it on their own.

This year, over 200 helmets were distributed to students in December, prior to the start of the youth ski program season. To qualify for a free helmet, students must be enrolled in the school’s free/reduced rate meals program while others have the opportunity to purchase helmets at a significant discount.

Anyone wishing to donate to the Roger Ski Clapp Helmet Fund may find more information at www.memorialhospitalnh.org/ways-to-give/make-a-donation or call 603-356-5461, x2269.

Insurance For Your Vacation Home

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

Owning a vacation home has many benefits that both you and your family can enjoy for a lifetime. However, many don’t realize that insuring vacation homes is complex and often very different than coverage for primary homes.

In fact, the way you utilize a property and how often it’s occupied has a direct impact on the kinds of insurance you will need. Vacation property insurance is typically provided as a “named perils” policy. This essentially means that coverage for vacation homes is not comprehensive, and owners must secure coverage for specific risks, like fires or explosions.

In order to properly protect their investment, vacation homeowners should consider the following types of coverage:

  • Contents coverage—Typically, standard home insurance policies protect any property that you transport back and forth between homes. Contents coverage fills in the gaps and protects any items that are permanently kept at your vacation home.
  • Replacement cost coverage—This type of insurance works in conjunction with contents coverage and reimburses the cost of repairing or replacing an item.
  • Coverage for detached private structures—Many vacation homes have private structures like boathouses and sheds you’ll need to account for.

Coverage for certain risks, like water damage, sewer backup or vandalism, may be difficult to secure or excluded altogether.

If you rent your home out to others as a Vacation Income Property, business insurance may be needed to protect against varying exposures. This goes for long and short term rentals, Airbnb, HomeAway, and other sharing services.

For example a homeowners policy is designed to protect against risks associated with a homeowner occupied dwelling whereas a landlord policy is protecting against the risks of others living in your property. Those are two very different uses of a property.

As such, it’s important to contact a qualified insurance agent to help assess your needs and build a custom policy for your vacation home. Chalmers offers homeowners, secondary, seasonal, and CVIP – Chalmers Vacation Income Property insurance.

A December to Remember

Snowvember came upon Mt. Washington Valley this year, with last month being one of the snowiest Novembers  in memory! The good news is that the snowpack is still in great shape, and low temperatures have given ski areas many ample opportunities for snowmaking. The skiing this month has made it a December to Remember with all local areas now open – from Black Mountain to Bretton Woods, from King Pine to Great Glen- to everything in between. This sets us up nicely for the upcoming Christmas Vacation Week!

Some Tips for Holiday Skiing

Business has been brisk at Valley ski areas, as news has spread about the amazing conditions and open terrain after several sizeable snowfalls fell through the White Mountains. This is reason to believe the holiday period will also be popular. A few tips to get the most out of your trip to the North Conway area:

  • Book your trip ahead of time and ask your hotel about discount lift tickets. Popular dates will sell out – especially New Year’s weekend. Cranmore Mountain Lodge and Colonial Motel are two nice values. Research lodging at http://www.mtwashingtonvalley.org
  • Beat the crowds – Christmas Day is usually a quiet day on the slopes, so some ski areas close all together, or offer discounted rates. Bretton Woods is open 10am – 4pm on the 25th with $45 lift tickets. That is less than half of the usual holiday rate, as their full day holiday lift tickets are $99 this year. Read about it at http://www.brettonwoods.com

    Wildcat Mountain
    My friend Marina makes her way with the wintery splendor of Mount Washington in the background. Shot 12/16/18.
  • Buy online in advance – Want to avoid paying full retail? Purchase your lift tickets online in advance. The further in advance and the more days you purchase, the better the savings. Attitash and Wildcat ski areas share a lift ticket, so your multi-day ticket purchased online lets you bounce between the areas from day to day. Buy online at www.attitash.com
  • Tune your skis before you go – With increased holiday skier traffic, the conditions can get skied off later in the day. Freshly edged skis will keep you carving up a storm until the last run. The Valley features many ski shops to do a tune, as do most mountains. Find out where to find your closest option for an edge and wax here.
  • Celebrate On the Slopes – Want to know another secret? New Year’s Day is historically a much less busy day than the rest of the holiday week. New Year’s Eve revelers sleep in or pack it up early to head home. Don’t be that person. Greet 2019 by breathing in the brilliantly freezing air from atop a ski lift and know that great things are ahead for the New Year.

So how are conditions you may ask? Season to date, starting in early November,  I have skied Wildcat, Cranmore, Great Glen, Jackson Ski Touring and Bretton Woods (ah, the benefits of living close to the mountains). Conditions have ranged from powder to packed powder, to today’s machine groomed/variable conditions at Wildcat. Cross Country fans will want to pay close attention to the grooming report and hit the most recently tracked trails as some refreezing has taken place. Overall, I would rate this December among the best for early season turns and tracks, truly one to remember!

Tunnel at Wildcat Mountain
Who doesn’t love tunnels? This one connects the cross over from the Bobcat Triple to the Wild Kitten beginner area at Wildcat. Shot 12/16/18.

 

 

Cyber Liability Insurance

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

As technology becomes increasingly important for successful business operations, the value of a strong cyber liability insurance policy will only continue to grow. The continued rise in the amount of information stored and transferred electronically has resulted in a remarkable increase in the potential exposures facing businesses. In an age where a stolen laptop or hacked account can instantly compromise the personal data of thousands of customers, or an ill-advised post on a social media site can be read by hundreds in a matter of minutes, protecting yourself from cyber liability is just as important as some of the more traditional exposures businesses account for in their general commercial liability policies.

Why Cyber Liability Insurance?

A traditional business liability policy is extremely unlikely to protect against most cyber exposures. Standard commercial policies are written to insure against injury or physical loss and will do little, if anything, to shield you from electronic damages and the associated costs they may incur. Exposures are vast, ranging from the content you put on your website to stored customer data. Awareness of the potential cyber liabilities your company faces is essential to managing risk through proper coverage.

Possible exposures covered by a typical cyber liability policy may include the following:

  • Data breaches: Increased government regulations have placed more responsibility on companies to protect clients’ personal information. In the event of a breach, notification of the affected parties is now required by law. This will add to costs that will also include security fixes, identity theft protection for the affected and protection from possible legal action. While companies operating online are at a heightened risk, even companies that don’t transmit personal data over the internet, but still store it in electronic form, could be susceptible to breaches through data lost to unauthorized employee access or hardware theft.
  • Intellectual property rights: Your company’s online presence, whether it be through a corporate website, blogs or social media, opens you up to some of the same exposures faced by publishers. This can include libel, copyright or trademark infringement and defamation, among other things.
  • Damages to a third-party system: If an email sent from your server has a virus that crashes the system of a customer, or the software your company distributes fails, resulting in a loss for a third party, you could be held liable for the damages.
  • System failure: A natural disaster, malicious activity or fire could all cause physical damages that could result in data or code loss. While the physical damages to your system hardware would be covered under your existing business liability policy, data or code loss due to the incident would not be.
  • Cyber extortion: Hackers can hijack websites, networks and stored data, denying access to you or your customers. They often demand money to restore your systems to working order. This can cause a temporary loss of revenue plus generate costs associated with paying the hacker’s demands or rebuilding if damage is done.
  • Business interruption: If your primary business operations require the use of computer systems, a disaster that cripples your ability to transmit data could cause you, or a third party that depends on your services, to lose potential revenue. From a server failure to a data breach, such an incident can affect your day-to-day operations. Time and resources that normally would have gone elsewhere will need to be directed towards the problem, which could result in further losses. This is especially important as denial of service attacks by hackers have been on the rise. Such attacks block access to certain websites by either rerouting traffic to a different site or overloading an organizations server.

Cyber liability insurance is specifically designed to address the risks that come with using modern technology; risks that other types of business liability coverage simply won’t. The level of coverage your business needs is based on your individual operations and can vary depending on your range of exposure. It is important to work with an agent who can identify your areas of risk so a policy can be tailored to fit your unique situation.

As reliance on technology continues to increase, new exposures continue to emerge. As your business grows, make sure your cyber liability coverage grows with it. Chalmers Insurance Group is here to help you analyze your needs and make the right coverage decisions to protect your operations from unnecessary risk 800-360-3000.