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SME Update – Cybercrime and Business Interruption

Robert Lloyd – Director

It’s been a busy few months for the cyber team here at ASL. Why? Largely because of an increasing number of cybercrime and business interruption claims notified by SMEs, especially in the UK. That trend has undoubtedly been exacerbated by remote working.

Dealing with an SME – whether a victim of a ransomware attack or a social engineering fraud – can present additional challenges because:

  • Emotions are understandably running high. The owners’ livelihoods are on the line and in many cases the attack has left them with significantly depleted cash reserves. Also, they’re under great strain trying to get their business up and running as well as managing the various stakeholders, including their key customers.
  • The owners haven’t previously been through the process. They have little or no experience, for example, of how to calculate a loss of income in line the policy wording. They often expect that the loss recoverable under their policy is significantly more than the wording allows for.
  • Sensitive data may have been compromised and the owners are extremely worried about the consequences.
  • For social engineering frauds, they are concerned about how to recover the stolen monies. What urgent actions should they be taking?

When adjusting these claims it’s vital that these issues don’t escalate and create problems. We find that fully engaging with the SME (and their Broker) right from the start, and following the approach below, helps ensure a satisfactory resolution.

  • Empathy Listen to what the Insured has to say. See things from their perspective and understand that the situation is putting great strain on both their business and the individuals dealing with the fall out.
  • Impartiality Every Insurer that we’ve worked with expects a neutral assessment of the claim to ensure that a correct and equitable outcome is achieved. It’s important to get that message across from the outset in order to gain the Insured’s trust and so it’s clear that the process is a fair and collaborative one.
  • Transparency If, for example, the Insured have presented a calculation for loss of income which is not in line with the policy wording, then it’s important to say so and explain why as soon as possible. Managing expectations is important. It helps Insurers to reach an equitable and amicable settlement down the line.
  • Speed It’s particularly important to be prompt and responsive when dealing with SMEs. They need an answer from Insurers sooner rather than later as their business may depend on the outcome. Also, when dealing with social engineering frauds, it’s crucial that the Insured receive prompt advice about how they can recover the stolen monies as this could significantly limit Insurers’ exposure.

Working to the above mantra means that the SME will have a positive experience of the insurance process. It also gives Insurers comfort that their client is being treated fairly and that service standards are being maintained. Plus, it’s always nice to know that you’ve helped someone in a time of need!

September 2020
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