LawPro Creates Cybercrime Coverage
♫ Digital, criminals you’ll make meals in cyber-crime Let’s all plan ahead, 2 times, I keep the chimes to a great mind… ♫
Lyrics and music by GZA, Inspectah Deck, Killah Priest.
LawPro, the Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company (LAWPRO) has announced that they will be providing a $250,000 sublimit coverage for eligible cybercrime losses in the 2014 policy year. LawPro is a wholly Canadian owned insurance company that provides professional liability insurance to lawyers in Ontario and TitlePLUS title insurance coast-to-coast. LAWPRO is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The cybercrime coverage appears to have been prompted by cyber attacks in 2012. According to LawPro’s newsletter:
In late 2012, LAWPRO learned of a high-value cyber attack on an Ontario firm. The attack was highly sophisticated and complex, and was designed to permit the fraudster to gain direct access to a firm’s trust account using online banking privileges. For details about this attack and how to avoid being the victim of a similar fraud, see our December 21, 2012, post on the AvoidAClaim blog: avoidaclaim.com/2012/ontario-law-firm-victim-of-large-frauddue- to-infection-by-trojan-banker-virus/. This is in addition to instances reported in the media involving cyber attacks against several law firms to access confidential client information.
According to LawPro:
At LAW PRO, we believe that preventing breaches in confidentiality and financial losses due to these cyber attacks is a responsibility we all share. Law firms and individual staff members and lawyers who work in them must educate themselves about cyber risks and take all reasonable steps to ensure that data and funds are securely protected. Insurance against resulting losses should be viewed as a worst-case remedy, and not a replacement for preventive and protective steps.
The particulars of the coverage are to be found in the 2014 policy. LawPro states:
Lawyers should also understand that the sublimit provided, like all areas of the policy, applies to losses arising from lawyers providing professional services as lawyers. Losses that a firm might experience that go beyond this type of insurance coverage include reputational loss, physical damage or business interruption.
While this coverage is innovative in Canada, it does not alleviate the necessity for law firms to be vigilant and take every precaution to avoid being taken in by digital criminals.
Is this new coverage, or a new limit for a source of harm that would have been covered before?
I don’t know what I’m more excited about, the potential of being covered for cyber-attacks, or that David is now quoting Killah Priest.
I can answer your question. LAWPRO has never provided cybercrime coverage specifically identified as such before. While most other professional liability insurers have specifically excluded coverage for cybercrime losses, coverage under the LAWPRO policy would have come down to a consideration of the particular circumstances of a given claim.
In introducing the $250,000 sublimit in the 2014 policy, we are aiming to clarify our position with respect to cybercrime. Thus, where a claim based on cybercrime (now a defined term under our policy) would otherwise be eligible for coverage (because it arises from a lawyer’s delivery of professional services), it will be covered, but only up to a sublimit of $250,000, including defence, repair and indemnity costs together.
By clarifying the parameters of our coverage of cybercrime claims, we hope to encourage the bar to take appropriate steps to protect themselves against cyber attacks. We’d like to remind the bar that lawyers face significant risk of suffering cybercrime losses exceeding the $250,000 coverage sublimit. They are also at risk of losses not covered by the policy at all (where those losses are not connected to the provision of professional legal services). Insurance without appropriate concurrent risk management can never be the answer to criminal activity.
Vice President Claims Prevention and Stakeholder Relations
Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company