Your Data Could be the Victim of a Kidnapping!

Just like people, your data can be the victim of a kidnapping. These things are real, and they are happening to small and large businesses all across the country.

An increasingly common form of cyber-crime is to infiltrate your company’s data and hold it for ransom. As all of us become more dependent on the Internet for day to day operations, so too do the cyber-criminals looking to take advantage.

Being the victim of data breaches and other security attacks can damage your reputation, but more importantly, your bottom line. One such threat, ransomware, can be particularly harmful and leave your company at high risk if not addressed. Addressing these risks is not expensive.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a form of malicious software which can infect your computer. These attacks often take the form of a message demanding money be paid in return for access to your own systems or sensitive customer information. When faced with a ransomware attack, you may be uncertain whether or not to make the payment. There are solid arguments both for and against doing so.

Why would you consider paying the ransom?

● Payment is sometimes the least costly option available
● Payment may be in best interest for stakeholders
● Payment will avoid fines for loss of important data
● Payment avoids loss of confidential information
● Payment can avoid a publicized security breach

Why would you consider not paying the ransom?

● Payment does not guarantee access back to your system
● Payment funds the attacker and encourages them to strike again
● Payment may cause damage to a corporate brand
● Payment is often an unregulated exchange and can put the organization at risk

Whether you choose to make a payment or not, ransomware attacks can cause both tangible and intangible damage to your organization and others who depend on you.

● Damages from a compromised system can negatively affect those you have a fiduciary responsibility to protect.
● A release of sensitive customer information harms your current customers and your reputation.
● An attack on your suppliers may initiate a counterattack leaving your company with negative supplier relationships.
● Ransomware attacks often leave executives and Boards of Directors embarrassed and with the cost of fixing the damage done to the brand.
● If the attack is large and made public, it can be detrimental to the public trust you’ve worked hard to build.

How to protect your company against Ransomware attacks and their negative consequences

As with most things in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For this reason, your business should – and perhaps does – practice good information security hygiene. But, what do you do if, despite your best efforts, an attack occurs?

Cyber Liability Insurance can help minimize the negative impacts of a security breach or malicious attack on your company. Specifically, this coverage can:

1. Manage the cost of some if not all, of the ransom demands
2. Help pay for legal fees to prosecute the attacker
3. Assist with the costs of repairing your damaged reputation

In their Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime Study, Accenture predicts the global cost of cybercrime to reach or exceed $5.2 trillion over the next five years. In comparison, the cost to insure your risk is insignificant! It’s no longer enough to consider purchasing this specialized coverage; the time has come to act.

While the potential for loss due to cybercrimes is huge, traditional business package policies exclude cyber attacks, just like they exclude COVID-19 and other specific claims. Without a Cyber Liability policy, your business is left exposed in the case of an attack that harms you financially and in other less tangible ways.

At UWIB we help companies, large and small protect their interests with cyber security insurance policies, D&O insurance, employment practices liability insurance, fiduciary liability responsibility insurance as well as all forms of Employee Benefits coverage. Contact us now to talk more about how we can put solutions in place for you.

Five Ways to Reduce Your Workers’ Compensation Costs Through Oversight

Written By Eric Schirding

Worker’s Compensation Insurance is something almost every business owner has to deal with, though few would say they enjoy it. The process should be straightforward: you pay premiums to cover replacement wages and medical treatment if an employee is injured during the course of employment.

You might think there’s nothing else to do but pay your bills and encourage your team to work as safely as possible. But, if left on autopilot, Worker’s Compensation claims costs can quickly skyrocket out of control, taking your premium costs along with them.

If you’re purchasing Worker’s Compensation Insurance directly from a carrier, they have little incentive to help you control your costs and will probably only provide enough oversight to make sure their own bottom line isn’t being negatively impacted. Even if you work with an independent agent or insurance broker, their role is still oftentimes relegated to simply selling and renewing your policy. Not every agent has the time and expertise to perform rigorous oversight.

That’s where a Risk Management professional comes in. If you’re reading this because you are worried about rising Worker’s Compensation Insurance costs, here are five things you (or your Risk Manager) can do to help.

  1. Reduce your Worker’s Compensation costs by lowering your reserves


Your reserves are the amount of money you have set aside to cover your Worker’s Compensation claims. They also play a large role in your renewal prices each year because they are judged as a factor in your total annual claim payout amounts. In many cases, companies are being penalized unnecessarily with higher renewals simply because their reserves are higher than they should be.

For example, if the reserve is set to $100,000 for a recently filed claim and you have already paid out $25,000, it’s possible that you no longer need $100,000 in reserves. However, the insurance adjuster has no motivation to keep up with this and lower your reserves accordingly. As the claim nears its end, you may have only paid out $50,000 but, if your reserve is still $100,000, that claim will be judged based on the cost you paid plus the reserve. That makes it look like the claim was three times costlier than it really was!

With the oversight of a Risk Manager, your reserves can be adjusted for accuracy as the claim continues. A Risk Manager stays on top of the claim status and takes on the task of working with the adjustor to lower the reserve when it becomes clear that the original amount is no longer needed. With this practice in place, the cost of your claims on which your renewal is based will be far more accurate and not inflated by superfluous reserves.

  1. Reduce your Worker’s Compensation costs by uncovering hidden injury causes


When an employee reports an on-the-job injury, how diligently do you go looking for other potential causes of that injury? Unfortunately, workers sometimes do incur injuries outside of work and then roll those injuries into a new or existing Worker’s Compensation claim.

The intention may not always be malicious. For example, an employee may have been subject to repetitive motion at a prior job, which contributed dramatically to an injury that was finally triggered by one wrong move at your business. Without any oversight, your company may be left paying for additional medication, rehab, and time away from work that are not entirely due to injuries sustained while employed by you.

  1. Reduce your Worker’s Compensation costs by eliminating claims without merit


“Monday morning claims” exist precisely because some employees get injured over the weekend and then try to claim a work accident on Monday in order to receive time off and paid treatment. Alternately, an accident can be fabricated or grossly exaggerated into requiring Worker’s Compensation when no harm has actually occurred.

This goes beyond a legitimate claim being inflated due to outside-of-work activities and moves into the realm of insurance fraud. A Risk Manager providing oversight on your claims can advocate on your behalf for the insurance company to hire a private investigator and determine whether the claim is valid, and to what extent.

If you uncover evidence that an employee is either completely making up his or her injury, or greatly exaggerating it, the entire claim may have grounds for denial. Obviously, eliminating meritless claims is a great way to reduce your total costs and keep your premiums from increasing.

  1. Reduce your Worker’s Compensation costs by using an independent loss consultant


Sometimes, you know your business so well that it becomes easy to overlook safety concerns without even realizing it. An independent loss consultant is trained for precisely that. When a consultant walks through your factory or warehouse, he or she can identify areas of risk and potential safety violations. This report is for your eyes only, so you don’t have to worry about being penalized for the findings. Rather, you get all the information you need to fix the problems before a surprise visit from OSHA.

Not only can a loss consultant point out glaring violations and safety hazards, but they can also make more sophisticated recommendations based on years of expertise and knowledge of what the safest outfits do that you are not currently doing.

  1. Reduce your Worker’s Compensation costs by keeping your safety documentation on hand


Speaking of surprise visits from OSHA… Getting caught without proper safety documentation is a completely preventable offense. But having these items up to date and on hand is about more than just avoiding a fine. We know from experience that companies who keep good records and documentation tend to be more safety-minded (and thus, safer) overall.

Do you keep copies of every safety meeting sign-in sheet, along with the topics covered? Do you keep your OSHA 300 Log updated with every incident? Do you have safety data sheets available and visible to employees who handle hazardous substances? These are just a few of the documents needed to stay in compliance and stay safe. A Risk Manager will guide you to ensure you have what you need for your specific industry and type of operation.

One more benefit of engaging the services of a Risk Manager is their ability to negotiate penalties on your behalf if you are ever found in violation by OSHA.

As you can see, the goals of oversight are twofold: reduce the chances of a claim and contain costs when claims happen. By working with a Risk Manager, particularly one who specializes in your industry, you can rest assured that your business has the right coverages, is being proactive about safety, and will have a true ally by your side to contain costs when claims occur.

Want to know more?


Fill out the form below for instant access to a success story about how one of my clients saved tens of thousands of dollars by adding oversight to their Workers’ Comp program with UWIB.






Ready to talk?


Click here to schedule a meeting with me to discuss your situation and how we can help.