PII and Cybersecurity cover

19/11/2019

Insurers do not require firms to obtain separate cybersecurity cover as a prerequisite to quoting or providing cover.

It has come to the Society’s attention that some firms have been informed by their broker that insurers require an additional cybersecurity insurance product be purchased together with professional indemnity insurance (“PII”). Please note that the Society is not aware of any insurer that requires a separate cybersecurity product be purchased as a pre-requisite to providing a quote or providing cover. If your broker claims that insurers require an additional cybersecurity product be in place, please draw their attention to this note and ask them to contact the Society.

With regard to cybersecurity coverage, the existing minimum terms and conditions (“MTC”) for normal PII cover are sufficient broad to provide coverage for a loss suffered by a law firm in circumstances such as fraud or cybercrime for loss of monies from the client account.  Cybercrime coverage under the MTCs solely refers to deficits on the client account. . Deficits on client accounts caused by fraud or dishonesty of the solicitor as the insured are not covered, as provided for in MTC exclusions.

If non-client monies are misappropriated from a non-client account, this is not a covered event under the MTCs. Consequential first party expenses such as PR and client notification costs are also not covered. Firms should obtain separate cyber-cover should they wish to insure against such events, but such cover is not mandatory and not a requirement from insurers for normal PII coverage.

If your broker is unwilling to provide quotes unless additional insurance products are purchased, it is open to firms to speak to another broker about placing cover. Please keep in mind that insurance is provided by participating insurers, and not the broker. A list of insurers, the brokers that they work with, and information about dealing with insurers and brokers can be found in the Society’s PII Guide to Renewal 2019/2020. There is further general information on PII on the PII page.

If you require further information or assistance, please contact the Society’s PII helpline Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm, by phoning +353 1 879 8707 or emailing piihelpline@lawsociety.ie.