Brooks, Todd & McNeil Agency Blog

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Employee Feature: Brian Peters
& the Importance of Cyber Liability for Businesses

Brian joined Brooks, Todd & McNeil in 2010 after four years working for The Hartford and is a Producer on our Commercial Lines Team. He began working in the insurance sector when a friend introduced him to the industry and Brian was looking for a career with long-term growth potential.
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Brian spends his free time with family and new baby daughter. He previously volunteered with the United Way and now devotes time as a mentor to students in the Enfield school district.

Read Brian’s interview below to learn more about our invaluable employee and how he is helping his clients navigate an important issue that impacts businesses of all kinds and sizes.

What is your position at Brooks, Todd & McNeil and what is an average day like for you in the office?

I’m a producer or outside sales consultant. It sounds contrived but there is no ‘ordinary’ day in the office. Ideally I should be meeting with new prospects to evaluate their needs and how we can assist them. In addition, I spend a significant amount of time meeting with current customers to support their ongoing risk management needs. Many of these meetings can happen virtually due to current technology, but many clients still prefer to meet face to face. It may be old school, but I always prefer to meet clients in person at least the first meeting.

Cyber Liability is an important issue that is getting a lot of attention as more businesses become victims of cyber crimes. What are you doing as a Commercial Lines Producer to help protect your clients?

For many clients and even many in the industry “cyber coverage” is a nebulous term that is difficult to put in concrete terms. There is a lot of unknown in this space and it is ever changing and ever adapting to new threats. I think providing an analysis of what is not covered by standard business insurance shines some light on why cyber liability coverage is important. Even just reviewing with a client the difference between first party and third party coverage can illustrate value and point out areas of risk. Examples of cyber crimes can include data breaches, hacking, damage to company systems, extortion and fraudulent funds transfers just to name a few.

Why is Cyber Liability Insurance so important as it does nothing to prevent the actual crime from occurring?

First, it’s important to understand no insurance prevents an actual loss from occurring. Insurance is purchased as part of an overall risk management plan to finance the recovery from a covered loss. I think as more businesses understand the financial exposure associated with cyber losses we will start to discuss this coverage with more regularity. We have some basic resources available to our customers looking for a place to get started.

What else can businesses do to proactively protect themselves from cyber crimes?

Like every other aspect of our industry there are two components of protection that work together- Risk Management and Insurance Coverage. I think a business owner should seek out competent I.T. and legal consultation to understand what their exposure is and help design a response plan in the event of a cyber crime. This plan should be put in place from top down in an organization and all employees should be accountable. Once you know what your exposure to loss is we can help put together a plan to provide coverage.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

It’s simple – Partnering with our clients long term so they can focus on running their business while we manage their insurance program and related costs and provide the best overall value.

What is your best insurance tip for businesses?

Work with a trusted advisor at an independent agency who understands the type of business you are in and has the ability to evaluate multiple insurance markets proactively. I also advocate for businesses to understand what is not covered so you know where you are most vulnerable. From there you can decide if it is a risk you are willing to take.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. If you own a business and are concerned about your risk of cyber attacks now is a great time to contact a Brooks, Todd & McNeil agent to assess your needs and put the necessary protections in place.

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