Tag Archives: coverage

Active shooter insurance

The McGowan Companies began selling active shooter insurance in 2016.  17 people were killed and a dozen injured on the 14th February 2018 at a Florida high school.

Subsequently, seven South Florida school district has bought $3 million active shooter coverage. Calls are received daily by the broker Paul Marshall of McGowan.

This insurance pays up to $250 000 per shooting victim. Building damage is also covered. It includes office buildings and concert halls. Furthermore, the insurance takes into consideration not only death but serious injuries such as total disability and loss of sight.

Many organisations are vulnerable to active shooters. These include educational, religious institutions, retailers and healthcare facilities. These places are difficult to secure. In addition, a high volume of people is often present every day.
Therefore an armed individual is able to enter unchallenged.

Additional costs include victim lawsuits, legal fees, medical expenses and trauma counselling. Companies hire Media consultants.

Accountants handle charitable contributions.  Buildings as well are reconstructed where bloodshed occurred.

Some desperate families were forced to crowdfunding sites. For instance, Roger Borges is using GoFundMe to raise $1 million for his son Anthony, a Parkland student who has undergone eight surgeries since being shot five times during the massacre.

Anthony has insurance through a government-sponsored program for children, but it is, however, unclear how much it will cover.

Premiums are $1,400 per anum for $1 million coverage for a small private school. A large public school district could be quoted $50,000 to $100,000 per year for a $5 million to $10 million policy.

The building at the Parkland high school where the shooting happened, will be replaced at a cost of $25.3 million. This safety law was signed on 9th March 2018.

According to Church Mutual Insurance Co., customers have called wanting to raise coverage up to $300,000 per victim per violent incident.

The vice president of Special Markets Insurance Consultants also said his firm was considering a name change for its Active Shooter Insurance policy. However, he concluded that these occurrences cannot be sugarcoated as they are what they are.

Cyber Insurance

Cyber insurance protects against hacking into company accounts. Some companies need as much as $1 billion cyber insurance to protect themselves against cyber attacks. In addition there are firms struggling to secure even a tenth of that amount. Therefore if a data breach occurs within a network, the company which suffered the breach could face hundreds of millions of dollars in extra costs. The maximum amount of cyber insurance coverage currently available is $20 million. This is for a Data Storage company.

Researchers at Kaspersky Labs, a Russian cyber security group, uncovered sophisticated spying software in the hard drives of personal computers used in 30 countries, including Iran, Pakistan, Russia and China.

The latest in a long line of whistleblower Edward Snowden’s National Security Agency revelations may be among the most shocking. The NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ, allegedly compromised the networks of Gemalto.  They then pilfered the encryption keys protecting untold millions, potentially billions of SIM cards. A compromise of SIM cards on this scale would therefore call into question the integrity of the entire global cellular communication system.

Gemalto is a global manufacturer of mobile device SIM cards. According to the Economist, they manufacture more SIM cards than any other organisation in the world. (SIM is an acronym for subscriber identification module. A SIM card is a little integrated circuit that plugs into your mobile device. It contains the unique international subscriber identity (IMSI) along with an encrypted authentication key. Together, this key and that number essentially validate that your phone is, in fact, your phone).

Gemalto produces approximately 2 billion SIM cards every year. To put that in context, there are 7, 125 billion humans in the world; an estimated 7, 19 billion mobile devices. Gemalto’s clients include mobile service providers Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and some 450 other organisations. The company furthermore does business in 85 countries and also operates a further 40 manufacturing facilities.

Target, the U. S. Retailer, said that the price tag for the data breach that affected up to 110 million of its customers had reached $248 million. A catastrophic hit such as this on a large bank or power utility has prompted the private sector to work in collaboration with the government sector to find ways to thus boost cyber insurance coverage.

Stephen Catlin, the head of Lloyds of London insurer warned that cyber attacks constituted the biggest most systemic risk he had ever seen.  He thus recommended that it should be covered by governments. He stated that insurer’s balance sheets were not large enough.

Cyber risk management is poor at certain companies. In addition the unpredictability of future attacks is accompanied by the lack of data with which to price risks. Insurance companies are finding the costs too high and instead of growing, coverage has however become more limited. Tougher cyber security standards are being required by Insurers. This is in the hope of reducing the costs of breaches. Insurers have furthermore requested retailers to encrypt data and use other ways of storing information in order to get insurance.

The recent breach at Anthem exposed 80 million Social Security numbers. Anthem is the second largest health insurer in the United States. According to well-known sources they had $150 million in cyber insurance.

Aside from civil litigation and other expenses, $40 million would have to be spent. This was to inform clients according to various state laws and remediation compensation. 13.5 million Californians were affected by the company’s data breach. Federal Health officials and state insurance commissions are investigating whether Anthem took sufficient security measures to safeguard its database.

Home Depot recorded $43 million pre-tax expenses related to a recent data breach. This amount was partially offset by a $15 million receivable for costs the company believes are reimbursable. The cyber insurance coverage for pre-tax net expenses was $28 million.  Those expenses included costs to investigate the data breach, provide identity protection services including credit monitoring to impacted customers, increase call centre staffing, legal and other professional services.

There are a number of ways to protect your valuable information from hackers:

  • Ensure that your password is complex. Most noteworthy,  do not use the same password or username across various websites. Experienced criminals will use your base password and their sophisticated software to crack your other passwords. Hackers are aware of the fact that most people are lazy.  As soon as they get access to your credentials from one site, they will also try out your credentials at many other sites. A password manager thus provides you with strong, unique passwords for all of your accounts. They are kept  in a secure encrypted vault on your device.
  • Do not recycle user IDs and passwords. Hackers sometimes try stolen IDs and passwords on different sites to gain control of other accounts.

  • Never confirm or provide personal information in response to an email or text. Therefore do not click on links in unexpected messages.
  • If you see charges on your credit card or bank statements that you do not recognise, rather contact the fraud department at your bank or credit card provider immediately to investigate.
  • Check your credit reports – for free – every few months. It is a good way to find out if someone has opened credit in your name. To get your report, visit AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.
  • Use two factor authentication. This also provides an extra layer of protection beyond your password. First you enter your username and password as usual, then a code is sent to your mobile app. Only after you enter that code will you be allowed to access your account.
  • In conclusion two factor authentication therefore combines something you know (your password) with something you have (your phone), hence making access by unauthorised users much more difficult.

Common Insurance Coverage Gaps

Here’s a list of common insurance coverage gaps you might not be aware of, take heed:

NO FLOOD INSURANCE. Only 12 percent of homeowners nationwide carry flood coverage (per the Insurance Information Institute). Homeowners insurance doesn’t typically cover flooding; you’ll need a separate policy. Note that there is usually a waiting period for this kind of insurance, so do look into it well before the onset of particularly inclement weather!

SEWAGE BACKUPS. Did you know that you’re responsible for the sewer line that runs from the main pipeline in the street to your house? Regular home insurance typically doesn’t cover backups in this part of the sewer line. Sewer backup coverage pays for spewed sewage in your house, and is usually less than $50 a year, (per the Insurance Information Institute).

PAYING FOR A STOLEN OR WRECKED CAR. Gap insurance makes up the difference between what your car is worth when it’s taken or destroyed, and how much you still owe on its loan or lease. But beware, it often comes at a cost that might not be worth it.

POST-DISABILITY INCOME.  If you can’t work because of an illness or accident, you need income. Problem is that Social Security disability insurance is available only to people with long-term disabilities lasting at least one year. Only 38 percent of workers have access to short-term disability insurance through their employers (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

EARTHQUAKE INSURANCE. Most homeowners (even in high-risk areas) go without earthquake insurance. Only 10 percent of California residents have earthquake insurance! Standard homeowners insurance won’t pay to fix damage caused by earthquakes. In California insurers are required to provide an add-on option to you to buy it, or you can research separate earthquake insurance. But it won’t be cheap, unfortunately. It can be just as expensive as your regular homeowner’s insurance, and usually has very high deductibles.

Cell Phone Insurance

According to Sprint, one out of every three customers will lose or damage their phone within the first year. According to Asurion, this amounts to approximately 60 million cell phones that are lost or damaged every year in the US alone. Perhaps you are spending more money than you are saving when buying cell phone insurance. Many cell phone carriers offer cell phone insurance at a low monthly rate.

Generally if you have a low-cost budget cell phone, you would not be saving by insuring it. With higher priced phones (and especially smartphones) insurance would be more valuable.

Sprint offers an equipment replacement program for $4 per month with a $50 – $100 non-refundable deductible (depending on the device) per approved claim.

AT&T charges $4.99 per month with a $50 – $125 non-refundable deductible per approved claim, and allows two claims per year with a maximum replaced value of $1, 500 per claim.

The charge for insurance from T-Mobile is $5.99 per month with various non-refundable deductibles.

Verizon Wireless charges $5.99 per month with a $39 deductible for basic phones or $7.99 per month with an $89 deductible for more sophisticated phones.

You cannot just contact Asurion to purchase iPhone insurance. Your mobile phone carrier has to offer it under their coverage plan. When you sign up for insurance with your mobile phone company, Asurion is the company who provides the insurance. Unless you accept insurance from your mobile phone carrier at the time of purchase (or shortly thereafter depending on your cellular provider) you will not be able to get coverage through Asurion. If you do accept mobile phone coverage from your provider, you will be paying the insurance premium on your mobile phone bill each month and Asurion will be the company that is covering you.

While your cellular provider probably will not tell you this, there is more than one way to get insurance for your phone. SquareTrade offers iPhone insurance starting at just $99 and allows you to build a plan that best serves your needs. It is always in your best interest to research all of your insurance options. Asurion is only one of your options.

When comparing Asurion iPhone insurance to other insurance options, always look at the deductible that you will have to pay should something go wrong with your phone. For iPhones, Asurion charges a deductible of $199. SquareTrade charges a deductible of $50. The monthly fee that you will pay for Asurion insurance will likely be less than the price you will pay for insurance with SquareTrade.

Unlike SquareTrade, Asurion charge a monthly fee directly through your cellular provider. The price for this coverage is usually between $5 to $12 per month depending on the type of coverage you select and your specific cellular carrier.

To determine whether or not the insurance is worth it you have to do some math. Let us say you have an iPhone 4G. You pay Asurion $8 per month from the time you buy your phone. Eight months later the phone breaks and you have to file a claim to get a refurbished one, not a new one. You are going to have to pay the $199 deductible. When you add the eight months of service you paid for ($64) plus the deductible, you realise you are paying $263 to replace your iPhone with a refurbished one. If you go to eBay, you can see the same phones are being sold for about $500. In this case, the insurance will definitely save you some money