As community associations continue to embrace technology, more and more sensitive data is getting stored online. Digitizing everything from membership login information to financial reports is convenient, but it also opens homeowners’ associations (HOAs), condominiums associations (COAs), and other organizations to the threat of cybercrime.
For this reason, community associations need to understand their cyber risk and the potential mitigation strategies they should employ—which includes identifying if they need cyber liability insurance coverage.
In this guide, we’ll provide an overview of what HOAs, COAs, and similar entities should consider when exploring the world of community association cyber liability insurance. This includes what cyber liability insurance covers, why it’s important, and how much it might cost. You can then use this information to educate your clients about the risks their communities face and help them get coverage that suits their exposure level.
What Is Community Association Cyber Liability Insurance?
Cyber liability insurance for community associations is a type of insurance policy designed to protect organizations like HOAs, COAs, and co-ops from financial losses associated with cyberattacks.
It covers the costs of responding to a data breach, such as legal fees, credit monitoring services, and damages awarded to affected individuals. Additionally, it should also provide coverage for incidents like hacking, malware attacks, phishing attempts, identity theft, and other cyber threats.
This type of insurance is becoming increasingly important as online threats evolve and more community organizations store their data online.
What Does Cyber Liability Cover?
Many cyber liability policies cover both first-party and third-party costs associated with a data breach.
First-party coverage includes things like the cost of notifying affected individuals, credit monitoring services, public relations fees, and restoring or replacing compromised systems.
Third-party coverage helps to defray the legal expenses associated with defending against lawsuits or responding to regulatory inquiries. This can include the costs of settlements and judgments, as well as any regulatory fines or penalties.
Why Do Community Associations Need Cyber Liability Insurance?
Community associations are particularly vulnerable to data breaches due to their usual lack of cyber security experience and the high volume of sensitive information they handle.
For instance, most HOAs have access to member contact information, homeowner insurance information, and more. If this information were leaked, it could be used to perpetrate identity theft and other cybercrimes. Not only would this create problems for homeowners, but it would also leave the HOA open to liability suits.
Even if your community association doesn’t want to put any sensitive information online, they may not have a choice. In states like Nevada, associations with over 150 units are legally required to create an online portal with all the association’s important documents.
Plus, oftentimes, an HOA or COA isn’t going to have a cyber security expert on hand. Instead, the board running the community association is made up of volunteers who likely won’t know the best way to store, protect, or transfer sensitive information.
All of this makes community associations big targets for cybercriminals. That’s why having comprehensive cyber insurance can be so important. It provides the community association with a much-needed financial cushion in the event of a breach, protecting them from large payouts and other related losses.
What Cyber Attacks Could Threaten a Community Association?
Data breaches can take many forms, but here are a few examples of how a malicious attack could affect community associations:
- Phishing emails: Hackers could send emails to community association leaders pretending to be vendors or homeowners and trick them into giving up sensitive information.
- Malware attacks: Malware is malicious software that can be downloaded onto an organization’s systems without their knowledge. It allows hackers to access confidential data and cause disruptions to the system.
- Ransomware attacks: A type of malware designed to encrypt important files and demand payment in return for unlocking them. This could lead to critical documents being unavailable or destroyed.
How Much Could a Cyber Attack Cost a Community Association?
The cost of a data breach can vary widely depending on the extent of the attack, but it can be substantial.
For example, research conducted by cyber security company Kaspersky found that the average cost of a data breach for a small company or organization was around $120,000. For a small HOA or COA, this could be a financial blow, requiring a special assessment that many homeowners aren’t financially prepared to pay.
How Much Does Community Cyber Liability Cost?
The cost of cyber liability insurance is based on several factors, like the amount of coverage required, the size of the organization, and the type of community being insured.
Other factors that affect the price of the policy include:
- Past data breaches
- The type of data being stored
- Current network security.
At Distinguished, our cyber liability insurance policies start at around $500 annually with $500K and $1M limits available.
However, the only way to get an accurate quote for your client is to fill out an application. To do so, simply register your agency and then fill in the online application form.
What Kinds of Community Associations Need Cyber Liability Insurance?
Any community association storing sensitive information online should have cyber liability insurance.
- Condominium Associations (COAs)
- Homeowners Associations (HOAs)
- Planned Unit Developments (PUDs)
- Cooperatives (Co-ops)
- Property Owners Associations (POAs)
- Commercial Condominiums
- Mixed-Use Condominiums
If you aren’t certain if your client’s association qualifies, please reach out to one of our insurance experts for more details.
What are the Benefits of Distinguished’s Cyber Liability Insurance?
When it comes to cyber liability insurance, your clients are going to want to know that they’re getting the best coverage for the right price.
That’s why, at Distinguished, we offer specialized cyber liability insurance designed specifically for HOAs, COAs, and other community associations.
With one of our policies, your clients get access to:
- Cyber expertise: Our policies are backed by Beazley, an industry leader in this space.
- Comprehensive coverage: Our insurance experts can get your clients the coverage they need, including coverage for community managers.
- Immediate help: With Distinguished, your client gets access to our breach response team and 24/7 hotline, so if their data is at risk, they can secure it as quickly as possible.
How to Get a Quote Right Away
To get the process started, all you need to do is register as a broker and then fill in the online application form and submit the application to email@example.com.
Have more questions about Distinguished’s Cyber Liability Insurance? Check out our FAQs and the linked resources below for more details.
- Cyber Liability Insurance For At-Risk Industries: Learn more about cyber insurance in this webinar hosted by an expert industry panel.
- Cyber Liability Insurance Coverage: Learn more about Distinguished’s coverage on our cyber liability insurance product page.
- Cyber Liability Insurance: A Quick Rundown From Distinguished: Get a better understanding of cybercrime insurance and how it can help businesses, specifically in the hospitality industry.
Distinguished’s Cyber Liability Insurance FAQs
Where is Distinguished’s Cyber Liability Insurance available in the US?
We are proud to offer this insurance policy to community associations in all 50 states.
How do you submit business?
To submit business, you need to:
- Register as a broker with Distinguished (if you haven’t done so already)
- Fill in the online application form
- Email that application to firstname.lastname@example.org
What other community association products do you offer?
We offer a range of insurance options for community associations, including:
About Distinguished Programs
Distinguished Programs is a leading national insurance Program Manager providing specialized insurance programs to brokers and agents with specific expertise in Real Estate, Fine Art and Collectibles, Environmental and Construction Professional, Community Associations, Hotels, and Restaurants. Property and liability products are distributed through a national network of agents and brokers. Serving the same core markets and partnering with the most stable and reputable carriers, Distinguished Programs’ high-limit umbrella programs remain the clear choice in its areas of specialty for superior coverage, competitive pricing, and attentive service. Through thoughtful innovation, stemming back to 1995, Distinguished Programs fosters growth and opportunities for its brokers, carriers, and employees.