US Pro CLUE Blog

US Pro CLUE Blog

Cyber Liability Underwriting Exposures (CLUE) is a leading industry news source and information medium specifically developed by US Pro for its agency partners.

CLUE gets its information from many resources, including industry experts, underwriters, insurance publications, and multiple web-based articles to keep our customers current in the areas surrounding Cyber Liability Insurance programs.


Cyber Extortion vs. Cyber Crime

Posted by on Feb 9, 2017 in Cyber Source | Comments Off on Cyber Extortion vs. Cyber Crime

What’s the Difference

Cyber Extortion and Cyber Crime (what many call social engineering). These were two of the fastest growing threats to commercial entities, nonprofits and municipalities in 2016 and are expected to surge in 2017. Cyber Insurance programs respond differently to these types of events, and the language in the policies for this coverage is very different from carrier to carrier.

​When dealing with coverage for both Cyber Extortion and Cyber Crime threats, be sure to first understand what event(s) trigger the coverage into response. Complement this knowledge with an understanding of the differences between these two types of crimes and what the potential financial impact may be.

Cyber Extortion

A Cyber Extortion event occurs when an intruder has gained unauthorized access to or use of one’s systems and infecting it with what is commonly known as Ransomware. Ransomware comes in varying forms, but with two main types: Computer Locker and Data Locker. Each presents a unique challenge, with Data Locker being the more sinister and serious of the types. Here are the characteristics unique to the Cyber Extortion crime:

1. ​The action is an overt action, known by the Insured, usually because of failing systems or networks, inability to access data, or by direct communication from the extortionist.
2. The extortionist will make a demand for a specified sum of money. This may be a flat fee to gain the encryption key, or it may be an escalating amount based on the sooner you pay, the less the amount is to gain the encryption key.
3. The financial impact from an extortion attack varies by size and by type of data ransomed, but many suggest that it remains under $1000 on the average per attack. But this is not the entire tale of a business’ financial impact. There is risk of data loss/restoration cost, business interruption expenses for lost productivity and employee salaries, and in some cases, third party lawsuits from individuals impacted by inability to process business with you during any interruption period. However, in most extortion events the cost is not bankrupting.

Cyber Crime

Cyber Crime is very different and it involves the fraudulent instruction of payment, the electronic theft of funds of the business, deceptive invoicing, and telecommunications fraud among other things. Cyber Crimes are committed through use of social engineering devices, such as phishing or whaling, outside hackers, or rogue employees. Some of these criminals’ methods have become very sophisticated and hard to discern, and as a result, huge financial losses by all sizes and types of entities have occurred.

​Cyber Crime is the most likely event any one commercial entity will experience. Training employees and implementing various written authorization and voice verification procedures relating to electronic funds transactions should be a priority. Most of all, understand the method and motive of the Cyber criminal vs. the exortionist above:

1. The action is a covert action. The cyber criminal goes undetected, committing their crimes disguised as you or your employee or your vendor while completing illegitimate business transactions in a Cyber Crime event.
2. The intent of the cyber criminal is to commit their crimes without your knowledge, rather than with your knowledge and with a specific demand for you to perform an action. Therefore, there is no direct communication or instruction to the Insured with a ransom or demand.
3. The financial loss to a business is usually substantial, and average in the tens of thousands of dollars. For some entities, it has meant financial ruin.

​Protect your customer by knowing the threats and how to transfer that risk. US Pro wants to help your customer get the best coverage for the best rate for their business. Send us your Cyber submission today, or enter the information shown on our web page to get your quote. Simply click HERE to enter that information.

The First and the Worst

Posted by on Jan 12, 2017 in Cyber Source | Comments Off on The First and the Worst

Cyber Liability – What You Must Know

“Understanding the First and the Worst”


The First

Cyber Liability Insurance is the first insurance that any business should buy. It is the only insurance that is more likely than not to pay for an event that is otherwise unrecoverable without insurance.

​Consider any commercial business and its insurance portfolio. The actual exposure to the risk of a covered event under a Property or General Liability policy is smaller, more frequent events. Under Cyber, the exposure to the frequency risk of an event is less, but the exposure to severity from that event is very real. In fact, 60% of all businesses will go out of business within 12 months following an event. Almost all of these will be uninsured businesses.

​Therefore, if an event was to occur, with no Cyber Insurance in place a business is more likely than not to shut its doors for good. This means that all the other money paid out for all of their insurance will become useless if they cannot sustain operations as a result of the financial loss.

​Another aspect of Cyber Insurance vs. other insurance policies that a typical business will buy is the probability of an event occurring. Many respected industry organizations as well as national intelligence agencies have repeatedly claimed that all business is at risk, and it’s not a matter of “if” but rather a matter of “when” it will occur.

​Buying Cyber Insurance FIRST ensures that a business’ viability is better protected against severity of loss in the face of the high probability of an event occurring.

The Worst

Another very important reason that buying Cyber Insurance should be the first is because the average Cyber claim is also the worst. The average Cyber event as of 2015 can cost a business $190,000+ in total expenses. This average, once calculated, is suspected to rise over $200,000 in 2016.

​Another problem with Cyber exposures is that more events are occurring on a small cost scale, primarily Business Interruption losses and ransom payment from Ransomware events. Ransoms in 2015 paid out were $20 million. This figure rose to more than $1 billion in 2016.

​Add to this the explosion of Cyber Crime losses to business impacted by hacking, social engineering, or other means of theft of monies and/or property. So many of these events are occurring, and since many businesses who are currently insured do not have this coverage included, the losses are uninsured. These financial losses average in the 10’s of thousands to a business.

What to Do?

5 years ago we could count maybe a dozen carriers writing Cyber Liability Insurance. Today, there are dozens of programs, including coverage packaged into the P&C program a business has in place.

​The first thing to do is to understand what Cyber Liability Insurance really is- Property and Liability coverage protecting the digital assets of an insured against what we refer to as “non-physical fires”. It is a comprehensive package policy.

Knowing this, a business should never package its Cyber Insurance with any other package policy, or with a Management Liability program. Only Technology E&O and Cyber should be packaged together. Also, when presenting Cyber Liability options to your customer, bigger is not necessarily better- broader is better.

​A common misconception is that a standard carrier or the largest insurers in America have better coverage since they are bigger companies. This is a false narrative. While there are many competitive forms out their today, standard market or otherwise, the broadest carriers are the boutique Cyber carriers who have been writing this line of business for almost a decade.

These carriers evolve their coverages as quickly as new exposures emerge, and they have proven risk response experience. Broader coverage in Cyber will be the difference between an uninsured or underinsured risk, and financial peace of mind.

​Send US Pro your Specialty Lines or Cyber Liability submission for a quote today at

Evil Ransomware is Lurking!

Posted by on Oct 27, 2016 in Cyber Source | Comments Off on Evil Ransomware is Lurking!

Trick or Treat?

Ransomware, a term which combines the words “ransom” and “software”, is a computer virus which prevents users from accessing their networks or computer systems until a ransom is paid. This kind of attack effectively relies on human error, and the network extortionists “trick” users into activating this malicious software.

Ransomware attacks, and others like it, have become rampant in 2016, and are expected to approach nearly 1 billion dollars in losses, according to the FBI. This is some very “scary” stuff and knowing what it is and how it happens can lessen the threat.

So here is how it works.

The virus itself is almost always embedded within an email, either as an HTML link or an attachment. Clicking on the embedded link or infected attachment will activate the virus. Once activated, all users are locked out of their machines, until such time as the ransom demand is paid. The virus encrypts the system’s data so that it is non-accessible. The information can then only be re-accessed using a private key that the criminals possess.

In order to pay the criminals, currency needs to be converted into the amount of ransom being sought, which is typically in the form of a Bitcoin. A Bitcoin is a digital currency that is highly used by Cyber criminals due to its ability to evade law enforcement.

In order to avoid such a “spooky” situation, make sure your customer takes these simple steps that can go a long way in keeping them safe this Halloween season and beyond:

1. Do not click on attachments from sources you do not know.
2. Do not click on suspicious or unusual attachments from sources you do know.
3. Never click on any link embedded in an email from sources you do not know.
4. Only click on a link embedded in an email from a source you know or if you are expecting it
5. Always use the mouse to roll over any link embedded in an email to verify its url source and credibility

Let US Pro “treat” you to America’s best Cyber, D&O, and Professional Liability programs! Simply send us your submission to today, and if you want to know a lot more about Cyber exposures, simply click on the Learn More link below. Don’t be “afraid”- it is a safe link!

Learn More

Hottest New Cyber Coverage!

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016 in Cyber Source | Comments Off on Hottest New Cyber Coverage!

The evolution of Cyber Liability and the many areas of exposure it should protect keeps expanding, and US Pro is at the forefront of this evolution each time.

The hottest new coverage is Dependent Business Interruption coverage. As businesses rely more on the digital world to run their operations, it comes with an increasing risk to a loss of income and additional expenses should an interruption occur

Many of today’s policies offer Business Interruption coverage if the interruption is caused by a security breach of their network. However, the coverage does not respond to an interruption of a third party provider’s network which causes an interruption of your customer’s business.

For example, if your customer is contracted with a firm to host its network, website, cloud storage services, etc. and their network gets interrupted, your customer’s operations also come to a halt. In these cases, traditional Business Interruption Coverage will not respond.

With the increasing reliance on other firms to run our own businesses, customers in these kinds of engagements need Dependent Business Interruption coverage. This coverage provides the Insured protection when that third party’s systems are interrupted, minimizing the financial impact of such an event.


Become an Online Cyber Producer!

As America’s Cyber Insurance Expert, US Pro Insurance Services invites you to gain access to online Cyber rating platform which is exclusively available only to US Pro customers!!

This exciting online system allows you to quote the leading Cyber coverage in the country right in your office. Best of all, your customer will enjoy the enhanced coverage benefits of the program.

Are you looking to produce Cyber quotes in less than 2 minutes which you can bind online?

Contact Kevin Sneed at to sign up today for this valuable new service offered by US Pro!

What’s In Your Cyber Coverage?

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016 in Cyber Source | Comments Off on What’s In Your Cyber Coverage?

Cyber Insurance is more than just an insurance policy.

It is really a complex series of coverage forming a digital fire package policy. An even more in depth look at the coverage reveals that each coverage is very specific and therefore, very different from carrier to carrier.

So you need to ask yourself the question “What’s in your Cyber coverage?” The answers may be very revealing for you. The following are just a few of many important rules of thumb to consider during the Cyber Liability purchase process:

1. Named Exclusion Policies: Be wary of carriers who spend more time defining what is covered rather than itemizing what is excluded. A named exclusion policy is always better. Under a good Cyber policy, language will be intentionally broad and loose in its nature, rather than limiting in scope by specific definition.

2. Coverage Triggers: Just what is it that triggers the coverage under the insuring agreement? There are many differences in what kinds of events cause the policy to respond, so choosing the wrong policy may leave your customer uninsured for certain types of events.

3. Insuring Agreements: Each carrier writes its own language for a Cyber Liability policy. This lack of universal approach by the market creates huge variance in the coverage. One of the biggest variances today is in the extent of the coverage provided by each insuring agreement in the policy. For example, Cyber Crime provided by many carriers offers less coverage than that provided by a leading carrier. Know the difference in these, as this really matters when a claim comes in.

US Pro is the best there is at recognizing and identifying gaps in existing coverage, as well as the correct placement of your customers into programs that will maximize their protection. Our knowledge of the coverage that leads to success for our agents is a big reason why we say the most important thing in Cyber Liability is “Be an expert, or use one.”


Become an Online Cyber Producer!

As America’s Cyber Insurance Expert, US Pro Insurance Services invites you to gain access to online Cyber rating platform which is exclusively available only to US Pro customers!!

This exciting online system allows you to quote the leading Cyber coverage in the country right in your office. Best of all, your customer will enjoy the enhanced coverage benefits of the program.

Are you looking to produce Cyber quotes in less than 2 minutes which you can bind online?

Contact Kevin Sneed at to sign up today for this valuable new service offered by US Pro!

The Dollar Impact of Employee Negligence

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016 in Cyber Source | Comments Off on The Dollar Impact of Employee Negligence

Like some other types of insurance, employees are the biggest risk to a business as the source of a cyber event. Unintentional employee negligence comes in many forms, and its impact to the Cyber Insurance industry as a whole is enormous. Consider some of these statistics that help define the impact of any one employee’s single mistake:

  • Average Cyber claim is more than $200K
  • Employee negligence causes more than 80% of all claims
  • Over 40% of all privacy breaches are caused by mobile devices lost by or stolen from employees.
  • Employees are number one target of phishing attacks
  • Employees are most likely cause of virus and malicious code downloads to a network.

Given the statistics above, more likely than not your customer’s own employees will unintentionally expose their business to a significant dollar loss. Without Cyber Insurance in place, they can then be exposed to being one of the 70% of businesses who go out of business following a privacy breach.

Simply put, a single Cyber claim event can close your customer’s doors for good. They simply can no longer afford to go without it.

How to Respond to the Top Reasons Insured’s Think They Have No Risk

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Cyber Source | Comments Off on How to Respond to the Top Reasons Insured’s Think They Have No Risk

Answering Myths on Cyber Insurance

Cyber Insurance is becoming more common in terms of knowledge of its availability, and awareness of some of the kinds of events that can happen. This is a step in the right direction for commercial business, and will lead to more Cyber Insurance purchases.

However, there is continuing confusion on some key exposures and coverage elements that cross industry groups. This creates the common myths of Cyber Liability Insurance. Knowing how to respond to these myths with prompt and concise information is important to demonstrating your own Cyber expertise and to closing the sale.

We have made a list of the 3 most common mths we hear of and crafted for you a way to respond to these assumptions that commercial insured’s make. These will be invaluable to you as you begin quoting more and more of this coverage.

We Outsource, therefore, we have no risk.
Countless commercial enterprises outsource their data storage, networking systems, applications and programs, and other aspects of their digital fingerprints to third party providers and cloud storage services. This offshoring of information and security management comes with it a sense of invincibility or lessening of risk.

Part of this comes from the contractual language and hold harmless or indemnification agreements. While these are both important and a necessity, they are not a replacement mechanism for your legal liability should an event occur. Mores noticeably, they often do not provide coverage for third party claims against the Insured, but instead, focus solely on the cost to correct any errors.

Regardless of the type of outsourcing being done, the Insured will maintain two areas of liability that cannot be transferred: 1. The requirement to notify impacted individuals, and provide them with support services, and 2. The potential to be sued as a result of an event.

No data, therefore, no exposure
Another popular response from a potential Insured is that they do not collect or store any data of their customers, therefore, they have no exposure. For example, this is often a response from a manufacturer, or a commodities broker- businesses dealing in paper invoicing and no direct retail contact.

While the risk of a broad information breach is minimized with the lack of valuable PCI or PHI records, the theft of this information is only one of many different types of exposures any one business faces. A manufacturer relying on automated machine technology could have costly business interruption expenses if infected by a virus or a victim of an extortion event. A commodities broker dealing in electronic transfers of payments for orders could become a social engineering victim resulting in Cyber Crime losses.

Understanding the kinds of losses any one industry class faces underscored for the Insured the real risk they face.

We are too small to be a target.
In the world of Cyber Insurance, size does matter. The largest corporations, governmental entities and nonprofits maintain Cyber Insurance, mostly due to the threat they face as a target BECAUSE of their size. Alternatively, small entities in these same classes do not purchase Cyber Insurance for exactly the same reason- BECAUSE of their size.

The truth about small businesses, governmental entities, and nonprofits is they are at very high risk for a number of events, and it in fact is BECAUSE of their size. Smaller commercial entities have less resources devoted to the management and maintenance of technology they use to run their businesses. They are big users of cloud services and outsourced providers. They are easy targets for cyber extortionists.

Many are considered to be a minnow used to get to the bigger fish. A hacker will gain unauthorized access into your systems for the purpose of gaining access to an even larger business partner or governmental agency you communicate with. When successful, they can steal that third party’s information or infect their systems, leaving you responsible for allowing it through your systems.

The moral of the story here is that small business has the same threat of being a target as any other business does.

Experienced Cyber Liability Brokerage Makes A Difference.
Unlike other wholesale brokers, we are not just making Cyber easier to market. US Pro is a featured speaker to associations and industry groups about Cyber Insurance throughout America.

Our webinars and seminars are in constant demand. We spend a lot of time on the phone with you AND your insured’s, easing concerns, identifying exposures, and closing deals.

Cyber is not an ISO coverage, it is not another D&O form. It is the first insurance, the most important insurance, and the insurance to be most likely used by any commercial entity. Underinsuring your customer by making the wrong Cyber choices can be a very expensive choice to make.

When making your Cyber choice, choose an experienced broker. It matters. Send your submissions to us today at for same day turnaround service!

Solving the Awkward Discussion about Cyber Liability

Posted by on Jun 10, 2016 in Cyber Source | Comments Off on Solving the Awkward Discussion about Cyber Liability

Solving the Cyber Problem

By now, everyone has heard of a data breach. Network extortion is trending, and most people today are so familiar with phishing, they can recognize its unique spelling. Despite all of this, many challenges exist with convincing a commercial insured to buy the coverage, understand what their imminent risk is, or what a Cyber policy provides.

This is called the “Cyber Problem”. Solving it means understanding its existence and why.

First, it is complexity. Cyber insurance policies are very diverse and different in the coverage that they provide. The lack of uniformity in the coverage requires premium to be secondary to coverage in the buying decision. This contradicts most insurance buyer tendencies, however, can result in dire consequences if not followed.

Second, it is specificity. One of the loudest arguments made by any Insured is “I do not have….. Pick the ending to complete the sentence- …customer records. Or …credit card transactions. Or …exposure since all of my stuff is in the cloud. While all of those may be true statements, it means that other real areas of exposure that do exist are being discounted. This insured mindset underscores the importance of understanding all of the potential claims any specific insured or industry faces so that they can be married to the right coverage form.

Lastly, it is simplicity. Cyber is new, it adds to a business’ insurance costs, and it is difficult to understand and explain. Applications can be arduous and time consuming for an Insured. Simplifying the process of getting an indication encourages the discussion with an insured, but US Pro goes one step further.

We believe that empowering our customers with indications from multiple carriers offering quality coverage without the need for applications and questions forces the discussion with the customer. Armed with resourceful information on exposures the customer has and the cost to protect them against claims, the sales process will dramatically improve for you.

Best of all, we have a lot of different ways this can be done, and multiple carriers who we do this through. YOU get the freedom to pick whichever method best suits your immediate needs.

No App Quoting System
Simply enter a few pieces of information online here, and US Pro will send you back 2-4 indications from some of the broadest coverage programs for your consideration. It takes less than 2 minutes and no application is needed to get indications.

The US Pro Customers Only Exclusive
Recognizing US Pro as America’s Cyber Insurance Experts, one of the leading Cyber carriers in America has given US Pro an exclusive program available only to customers of US Pro. This new program cannot be accessed any other way except through US Pro. The standard industry-leading program has been further enhanced to include full prior acts coverage, higher Cyber Crime limits, lower limit options of 250K, and lower minimum premiums. Use the No App Quoting System today and start getting your access to these new blockbuster enhancements.

Pre Priced Application Rater Option
Another one of our leading programs has introduced an innovative way to get both an indication AND application at the same time! The rating program and coverage options have been built into the application, so as it is completed, the indication is also completed. This is an excellent way to quote many business classes on admitted paper for accounts under 100M in revenues who need limits up to 2M. Contact us today to get your access to this awesome new way of doing the Cyber sales process.

Monthly Spreadsheet Advance Quoting
Our favorite tool yet, this combines the elements of all of the above into one easy to use format developed to engage the Cyber sales process for every commercial insured you currently write while protecting your own E&O exposures.

Simply complete the name, address, description of operations, and total revenues for each commercial insured into the spreadsheet by month. Send it back to us 30 days prior to the beginning of each month, and we will send you back multiple quote options, our recommendation, and a checklist for each of the accounts on the spreadsheet.

When meeting with the Insured for the renewal of their other coverages, you will then be able to present and discuss the Cyber proposal for the Insured. If the decide to move forward, we can complete the application. If they decide not to move forward, they can sign and date the checklist we provide to you acknowledging their declination of it. For your part, you end up with more sales, a better reputation with your customers, and protection against E&O suits for failing to offer the coverage to an insured.

Experience Matters in Cyber
Unlike other wholesale brokers, we are not just making Cyber easier to market. US Pro is a featured speaker to associations and industry groups about Cyber Insurance throughout America. Our webinars and seminars are in constant demand. We spend a lot of time on the phone with you AND your insured’s, easing concerns, identifying exposures, and closing deals. Cyber is not an ISO coverage, it is not another D&O form. It is the first insurance, the most important insurance, and the insurance to be most likely used by any commercial entity. When making Cyber choices, choose experience. It matters.


D&O, EPLI, and E&O Experts!

We have been doing D&O deals since 1986, EPLI deals as one of the fathers of EPLI since 1989, and Professional Liability since 1992.

We started as underwriters of the products first. We evolved into MGA’s of the products we serve next. Since 2008, we have become America’s brightest and best broker of these products. We know the coverage inside out, we know how the risks are rated, and how the rates are developed. This insider knowledge of how the system works means we just get better deals done for you.

Check us out today and send in your submission for D&O, EPLI, Fiduciary, Crime, E&O or Professional Liability of any size or kind. We can help on all of them!



We love the RUSHES and we also know that without having competitive options, your renewal is at risk if its not already with the right carrier. Let us help you test that out and send in your JULY 1 RENEWAL today and let’s see what we can find for you!

Buyer Beware: What is really included in your Cyber policy?

Posted by on Jun 8, 2016 in Cyber Source | Comments Off on Buyer Beware: What is really included in your Cyber policy?

The Proof is in the Policy

Understanding Cyber Insurance policies is a daunting task. The policy language from carrier to carrier is unique. New carriers continue to emerge, and new policy forms are born, exasperating the problem for the retail insurance agent. Wholesale brokers are not specialists in the coverage, and carriers themselves do not provide comparisons of their forms to others.

So how do you determine what form is better than another? The common practice is to look globally at the coverage parts provided and the limit of liability for those coverages. This approach is useful in understanding basic coverage or limit differences, but the important part of understanding the coverage is to dive much deeper into the policy.

Let’s take a minute to review Cyber Liability in its simplest form. Cyber Liability Insurance is a COMMERCIAL PACKAGE POLICY that protects the Insured’s digital assets from a variety of potential risks. Some of these are liability-based coverages in nature, and some of these are property-based coverages. Each of the 3 liability coverages have a limit of liability, and all of the first-party costs coverage have their own limits. All of the sub-limits are subject to a policy aggregate.

From this foundation, start asking yourself some more important questions, such as:

  • What kind of wrongful acts are included in Multimedia Liability coverage? What kind of Media is included?
  • What is included in a Security Breach? What is included in a Privacy Breach?
  • What triggers the first party coverage components?
  • Are prior acts covered?

These are just a few of the important questions to consider. Many others are appropriate to review from coverage part to coverage part. Recommending the wrong Cyber coverage can be a costly error for the agent to make.

Remember, US Pro is America’s Cyber Insurance experts, so if you need a quote today simply send us your submission to or click HERE to submit your account through our online portal.

Let us give you some AWESOME Cyber quotes on your July 1 D&O and E&O renewals for you to cross-sell!!

Cyber Liability and the 4 Dollar Benchmark

Posted by on May 12, 2016 in Cyber Source | Comments Off on Cyber Liability and the 4 Dollar Benchmark

The 4 Dollar Benchmark

Although Cyber Insurance is more well known across the agency landscape, still most agencies are not quoting it on every commercial risk. Despite the fact that the highest probability of loss for almost any business today is a Cyber event, commercial insured’s do not understand the real scope of their risk, and the effect the consequences of such an event can have.

We are often asked by our agents what the average Cyber claim/loss amount is. This is a question that cannot really be answered due to the third party/first party nature of the coverage. Many different parts of a Cyber policy can be triggered by a single event, however, there is no real formula for when this is more likely to happen.

Instead, the better approach for the agent is to measure your customer’s MINIMAL exposure using simple math: Total # of records x $4. The sum of this formula is the minimum amount of out of pocket cost a commercial entity will spend in order to respond to the breach. Again, this is only the first party notification costs and nothing else, which all entities will pay should they experience a privacy breach.

Next week we will focus on the biggest hidden danger in purchasing Cyber Insurance of any kind today: the extreme difference in the policy language and knowing what is really covered from carrier to carrier.

Remember, US Pro is America’s Cyber Insurance experts, so if you need a quote today simply send us your submission to or click HERE to submit your account through our online portal.