Five crucial insurance recommendations for IT companies
As an IT company, you take on increasingly complex challenges with equally complex software and hardware. At the same time, interconnectivity between your organisation, your clients and external IT consultants, for example, is becoming ever stronger. As a consequence of this development, liability is more than ever becoming the Achilles’ heel of IT companies. Expert Mario Vermaelen discusses five crucial insurance recommendations for IT companies.
1. Don’t see cyber insurance as an admission of weakness
IT companies find themselves in a special situation when their clients fall victim to cybercrime. Is an attack due to human error or is it no one’s fault? Moreover, IT companies as a matter of principle sometimes question the usefulness of cyber insurance. Wrongly so, Mario Vermaelen stresses. “Cyber is a very important risk for IT companies to insure. Our in-house cyber study shows that 90% of cyber breaches are due to human error. Clicking on a wrong link can be enough to open the door to cyber criminals, even at an IT company. So make sure to cover this risk. Think of it as the fire brigade buying fire insurance for its station, even though it accommodates a team that knows all about fire safety.”
2. Consider AI performance cover now
A new dimension, particularly for IT companies, is the rise of artificial intelligence. What if a client files a claim for an error that originated from an AI application? Does an insurance policy cover that error too? “That is a most interesting discussion,” Mario Vermaelen admits. “We are seeing a shift away from the ‘error concept’. Under such policies, failure to fulfil contractual obligations may already be sufficient to qualify for cover, which is more in line with the principle of warranty insurance. The range of insurance policies covering this type of claims and the accompanying terms and conditions are still evolving, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on if you are an IT company.”
3. Know your clients and contracts
As an IT company, it is important to properly identify who your clients are. IT companies with international clients are confronted with contracts that often require insuring heavy liabilities. Mario Vermaelen points out the importance of the amounts insured. “Take, for example, an IT company that automates manufacturing processes. It cannot be ruled out that a client will ask to insure a liability limit of 5 to 10 million euros to automate its plant. As an IT company, you have to assess whether this is a one-off request and, if necessary, systematically increase the limit.”
4. Let policies grow with you
IT companies often follow a rapid growth or acquisition trajectory. In such case, it is important to regularly check whether the insurance contracts still match the new scale. “That includes mobility, liability and employee benefits insurance,” Mario Vermaelen emphasises. “It is good to review each year which major new contracts an IT company has entered into and what impact they have on the insurance portfolio. Also consider the coverages for a growing number of subcontractors. More work and more freelance support means you have to cover those extra people as well. Intellectual property, inadvertent copyright infringement and the risk of data loss are also typical factors that require the attention of an IT company, especially if it is experiencing rapid growth.”
5. Leverage insurance in the war for IT talent
With a well-balanced insurance package, an IT company can take care of its employees while making itself attractive in the job market. Profiles such as software engineers, IT architects or infrastructure specialists are in high demand. The compensation package and fringe benefits such as group and hospitalisation insurance are crucially important. “Duty of care is an important asset for IT companies in the war for talent,” says Mario Vermaelen, Account Manager at Vanbreda Risk & Benefits. “With group insurance, occupational accident insurance, travel assistance insurance or a guaranteed income policy, you can give more concrete shape to that duty of care. As an employer, you can supplement your conventional compensation package with insurance policies that take care of your employees in their private lives as well.” This is no straightforward proposition; the insurance policies you are required or able to take out for your staff are a complex matter with which we are happy to help you.”
Nowadays, a custom-made insurance package is an essential component of the compensation package of your staff, especially as the war for talent is raging. We would therefore like to help your business outline a balanced insurance strategy. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.