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Friday, 4 January 2013

Questions to ask your insurance provider about data protection


The age that we live in is increasingly abstract; that is to say, many of the things we use and produce are “virtual” goods. Take, for example, email: in all likelihood, the only copies of your correspondences exist either on your email server, or in archived folders on your computer if you're really organized. It is highly improbable that you have printed copies of every email you've ever sent, neatly filed into a binder with tabs for easy sorting—that just wouldn't be practical. Truly, the age of virtual items is an age of convenience. However, the virtualization of our goods comes with a disadvantage: we forget that these things are, indeed, things, and that they need to be protected. We are far more likely to remember the value of the vehicles we drive that we are to bear in mind the value of various files and documents that are of the utmost importance. If you are unsure of what your insurance coverage provides in terms of protecting your data, make it a point to speak with your provider in order to clarify this. Good questions to ask are not limited to, but may include, some of the following:

What am I currently not covered for? While home, business, and contents insurance plans can be quite comprehensive, they may not cover everything of value to you...and you may not know what is not covered. Often we don't recognize the need to protect certain items of ours until we lose them. Specifically asking your agent what you are not covered for helps to highlight any such omissions so that you can quickly and effectively determine how you will protect your goods.

Do I have sufficient coverage for my computer? Asking your broker to help you determine whether or not the coverage you have for your computer is adequate will broaden your understanding of the various scenarios that may result in information loss (which you may not have thought of), and the different degrees of coverage to protect against such loss. Whether or not you agree with your broker's opinion of the adequacy of your coverage, hearing their reasons for this opinion will help you gauge what's at stake, and how you would like to proceed in light of that.

Am I insured for loss of business? Aside from the actual value of the information and equipment (ie computer) itself, there are potential costs associated with damage or loss to this information. If you rely on this data to make a living, your earnings will be compromised in the face of disaster. As such, you may want to ensure that you take the necessary precautions to ensure that you are compensated if and when that happens.

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