How Cyber Insurance Saved this Small Business

Property Management,  Property Managers

The following story is based on a real-life claim experienced by a real estate client with insurance arranged by Aon. All names have been anonymised for privacy reasons. 

Julie was a real estate agent who ran her own business in Queensland. She employed a small team of agents, and some of them also helped with administrative tasks.

One morning, Sandra, an employee at Julie’s business, received an email from their energy provider. From the subject line, it looked as though it was a prompt to make payment on their latest energy bill. Sandra opened the email, which said the office’s energy bill was overdue, and that if payment was not made immediately, their connection may be cut off.

Sandra clicked the link in the email, but there seemed to be no payment method in the link provided. She closed the browser and went about her daily tasks. Shortly after, she noticed her computer was running unusually slow, and within a few minutes, Sandra had been locked out of her computer completely.  

Sandra informed Julie of what had happened, and Julie contacted their IT provider. The IT provider investigated the matter and discovered the link in the email to Sandra contained malware which locked the agency’s entire computer network when clicked. The IT provider took the necessary steps to rectify the situation so that Julie and her staff were able to access their computer network again.  

In resolving the situation, Julie’s IT provider spent almost 80 hours restoring access to their computer networks, due to the extent of the damage caused. This bill came to over $8,000 and was passed onto Julie. Coming up with this kind of money on such short notice wasn’t easy, so Julie was worried at first about how she would come up with this money.

Fortunately, Julie had cyber insurance arranged by Aon, which covered the cost she incurred from her IT provider in restoring access to her computer network (known as first-party losses). Having cyber insurance in place meant that Julie was able to resume her usual business activities quickly and did not need to go into debt to pay off the bill. 

 If you want to learn more about cyber insurance and how it works, click here!