IT & Web Professionals
Looking for the Right
Coverage to Help Protect
Your Technology Business?
Here’s What You Need to Know
Technology businesses run ahead of the curve. While forward thinking often leads to great success, it can also expose your business to higher levels of risk. Learn about the insurance coverage technology businesses like yours typically need and most often purchase from The Hartford.
Business Owner’s Policy
At a minimum, most tech businesses have a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP). Why? Because it helps protect your business in much the same way that a homeowner’s policy protects your home and personal possessions.
By combining some of the most important coverages small business owners need including Business Liability, Business Property and Business Income, a BOP can save you money while helping to safeguard what you’ve worked hard to build. It also provides an easy way to purchase optional, additional coverage tailored to your type of business.
In addition to Business Property and Liability coverage, a BOP may include Business Income coverage (also referred to as Business Interruption coverage). This helps cover loss of income when you can’t run your business because of covered property damage caused by an unexpected event. For example, a fire causes your business to close for 3 days while repairs are made. Business Income coverage can help you meet ongoing financial obligations from such an event, like rent and payroll.
These days, even the most careful business owners can be sued. And, even if the outcome is in your favor, the legal costs can be staggering. Business Liability coverage helps protect your business from claims for damages caused by your employees, products and some services. It also helps cover the cost of your defense. So, how much coverage do you need? That depends on the type of services your technology company provides or the products it manufactures. An insurance agent – or a representative from The Hartford – could help answer your questions.
The place where you do business – whether you own or lease it -- is vital to your day-to-day operations. And, no matter how careful you are, unexpected events, such as fire or vandalism, can and do happen. Having property coverage could mean the difference between complete catastrophe and a minor blip. In the event of a loss, you should consider property insurance that not only covers damage to your buildings and furniture, but also your computers and the other things you need to keep your business up and running.
Optional Coverages Businesses Like Yours Often Buy
Have you ever made a mistake at work? It’s almost impossible to find anyone who’s never made one. And the complexities of working with evolving technology could make errors more likely. Consider the impact if:
- A software glitch causes a client to lose important data.
- A flawed program installation keeps a client from receiving orders.
- A denial or disruption of service presents a customer from booking online reservations.
You can be sued for damages and expenses resulting from the professional services you provide – or the failure of your services or products to perform as intended. And be aware: you don’t need to do something wrong to be sued. That’s why you should consider purchasing Professional Liability insurance, which provides financial protection that can help keep business assets from becoming vulnerable in the event of a lawsuit. It also helps cover the cost of your defense.
Technology companies depend on computers and data to run their businesses -- from maintaining employee and customer files to scheduling client appointments and service calls to maintaining accounts receivable records.
What would happen if an employee mistakenly opens an email attachment that contains a virus and the virus crashes your network and corrupts your electronic files?
Computers and Media coverage will help pay to research and replace the lost data so you can get back to running your business.
Tech companies often store information about their employees or customers, including social security, bank account and debit/credit card numbers. And if that information is lost or stolen, it could leave your business vulnerable to regulatory fines, penalties and a damaged reputation.
And, contrary to popular belief, the risk of a data breach is not just a big business problem and hacking isn’t the only way a breach can occur. Consider what could happen if:
- An employee’s car is broken into and a laptop containing sensitive customer information is stolen.
- An email containing sensitive employee or customer information is sent to the wrong person.
- Important customer records, such as credit applications, are taken during a break-in.
Many business owners aren’t aware of the costs associated with a data breach – or the actions they may need to take to address the liabilities they face – if their paper or virtual records are lost or stolen. If you collect or store any personally identifiable information on employees or clients, you should consider data breach coverage.
The Hartford’s data breach program offers coverage to help pay for costs associated with notifying impacted individuals, public relations, good faith advertising and legal liability expenses. Customers also have access to services that can help reduce the likelihood of a breach and assistance to help navigate a breach if one occurs.
More and more technology businesses are engaged in international commerce, which means you could be:
- Sending employees to foreign countries for business or for temporary assignments,
- Traveling to see vendors or customers, or
- Participating in international exhibitions, trade shows or conferences.
Consider what could happen if:
- An employee is injured and requires medical attention while attending a trade show in a foreign country, or
- You rent a car while visiting a vendor overseas and are involved in an auto accident.
You may think that because you have no overseas employees or physical properties, losses that occur and claims that are made in foreign countries are covered by your U.S. general liability, workers’ compensation or business auto policies. This is often not the case.
Purchasing The Hartford’s International Choice coverage can help reduce coverage gaps to help protect your business when you do business overseas.
Employees are central to the success of a tech business. And the benefits you provide to your employees help keep them engaged and motivated to do great work.
However, errors in administering your employee benefits could be costly. Have you thought about what could happen if your benefits administrator fails to enroll an eligible employee in your group health plan, and the employee is later denied coverage for a pre-existing condition? You, the employer, could be held responsible for the employee’s healthcare costs – and maybe more.
Employee Benefits Liability coverage helps protect your business if you are sued for an error or omission related to the administration of your employee benefits program, including your group health insurance.
Did you know you could be sued for bodily injury or property damage caused by a vehicle not owned by your business but used for company business? This can include a rented or hired vehicle.
How could this happen?
- An employee, using her own vehicle, hits a pedestrian in a crosswalk while picking up office supplies or the mail for your company.
- You rent a vehicle to attend a conference and rear-end another car, causing damage to the other vehicle and injuring the driver.
- An employee, using their own car, hits a telephone pole while out on a service call.
The fact is personal auto policies generally don’t provide coverage when a vehicle being used for business purposes is involved in an accident. If you or your employees use your personal vehicles for business, you probably need Non-Owned / Hired Car coverage.
* For businesses without owned or long-term leased vehicles that need to be covered on a Business Auto policy.
We all depend on services such as power and communication in our everyday lives. As a technology business owner, these services help to connect with customers and deliver your services.
Service interruptions are often beyond your control. But think about the impact it could have on your income if you need to shut down because:
- A storm downs power lines and computer service is not available for several days.
- A telecommunications provider accidentally cuts lines and phone or internet service is not available for an extended time.
- Lightning hits a pumping station and shorts out the machinery that pumps water to your town so you can’t open.
Unfortunately, 40% of small businesses forced to close due to a storm will never reopen.* The Hartford’s OPUS coverage helps replace lost income so you can pay ongoing expenses like rent and payroll. And our coverage automatically includes features you won’t find from most other insurance company, including only a 12-hour waiting period before coverage begins.
* Source: Protecting Your Businesses, FEMA, last updated 3/1/2013
Stretching Your Dollar
It doesn’t have to be expensive to get valuable extra coverage for your technology business. It’s possible to stretch your dollar through our Stretch® endorsements. For technology companies, we offer:
- Technology & Software Providers Stretch
- Super Stretch for Technology & Software Providers
- Super Stretch for Business Services
These industry-focused endorsements bundle key coverages for technology companies, providing a cost-effective solution that helps take the guesswork out of selecting the coverage needed to help protect your business.
If you have one or more employees, you probably need workers’ compensation insurance – most states require it. Without it, you may be held personally liable for the cost of your employees’ medical care for a work-related injury or illness. And even their wages while they’re recovering and potentially fines for failing to purchase coverage as may be required by state law.
The laws vary by state, but full-time and part-time employees are generally covered by workers’ comp. In some states, business owners, partners and officers must be covered too. Also keep in mind that the definition of “employee” can vary by state. If you use subcontractors, it’s important to find out whether they’re considered employees. If you’ve issued your sub, or anyone else, a 1099, they may be eligible for coverage under your workers’ comp policy.
Workers’ comp provides benefits to your employees for work-related injuries or illnesses. This includes medical care, wages from lost work time, rehab, disability benefits and survivor or death benefits.* And, if one of your workers gets hurt on the job and their family decides to sue you, workers’ comp can help with legal fees and more.
Providing workers’ comp coverage for more than a century, The Hartford’s program sets the standard for value, innovation and injured worker care.
*Benefits vary by state, according to state law.
For some, a Business Auto policy conjures up images of a fleet of vehicles used to deliver goods or transport equipment and workers to a job site. The truth is you may need a Business Auto policy for vehicles used in the typical operation of your business. This could include vehicles used to:
- Meet with prospective customers at their place of business
- Run errands to pick up the mail, office supplies, lunch for an important client meeting or to make a deposit at the bank
- Make a service call
And, if you or your employees use a personal vehicle for these types of activities, consider that personal auto policies generally don’t provide coverage when a personally-owned vehicle, used for business purposes, is involved in an accident. Not sure if you need a Business Auto policy? An insurance agent – or a representative from The Hartford – can help you decide.
The Hartford’s Business Auto policy includes 19 coverage enhancements, without separate elections or additional premium charges. And, features like our Fender Bender and Accident Forgiveness programs help premiums low.
The examples provided herein are for illustrative purposes only. They do not include all information necessary to make a claim decision.
This document contains only a general description of coverages that may be provided and does not include all of the features, exclusions and conditions of the policies it describes. Please refer to the actual policies for complete details of coverage and exclusions. In the event of a loss, only the terms of an actual issued policy will determine the coverage provided. Coverage may not be available in all states or to all businesses.
Coverage is underwritten by Hartford Fire Insurance Co. and its property and casualty insurance affiliates (CA lic #8701). In TX, this insurance is written by Sentinel Insurance Company, Ltd., Hartford Casualty Insurance Company, Hartford Lloyd’s Insurance Company, Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company, Twin City Fire Insurance Company, Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company and Hartford Fire Insurance Company. In WA, this insurance is written by Hartford Fire Insurance Company, Hartford Casualty Insurance Company, Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company, Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company, Twin City Fire Insurance Company, Sentinel Insurance Company, Ltd. And Hartford Insurance Company of the Midwest.
General vs. Professional Liability
Understanding what’s covered by which policy can be confusing — but this video can help explain the differences.
See how Professional Liability coverage from The Hartford helped one small business owner play on.