Cyber Insurance Blog

Contingent Bodily Injury from Cyber Attacks: What You Need to Know

Contingent Bodily Injury from Cyber Attacks: What You Need to Know

When you think about cyber risks, you probably think about the dangers malware attacks, data breaches, and other incidents pose to your business clients’ operations, revenue, and reputation. You’re right to do so. But cyber threats can pose risks to not only sensitive data but also to physical safety.

Contingent bodily injury cyber attacks can cause physical harm, directly or indirectly. Preventing and mitigating this risk requires a multifaceted approach. One key step is making sure clients have adequate coverage options for bodily injury in their Cyber Liability Insurance policies.

We at ProWriters can help you understand the risk, explain it to your clients, and secure the Cyber Insurance policies that provide the protection they need.

Cyber Liability for Bodily Injury: Some Examples

How might a cyber incident end up causing bodily harm? Consider these examples of actual or potential contingent bodily injury cyber attacks:

Attacks on Healthcare

Masked nurse adjusts infusion pump, a connected device vulnerable to contingent bodily injury cyber attack.

Cyber attacks can disrupt medical services, raising the specter of lasting harm to patient’s health or even death. In early 2024, for instance, a suspected nation-state threat actor attacked Change Healthcare, which provides technology services to pharmacies. The incident caused large-scale delays for patients needing medical prescriptions filled and refilled.

Another alarming example: Researchers have found weaknesses in drug infusion pumps that hackers could exploit to change the medication dosage delivered to patients. Indeed, three of four infusion pumps have “known security gaps that put them at heightened risk of being compromised by attackers,” according to threat researchers Unit 42.

Attacks on Gas Stations

Man fuels his car with gasoline. Pumps at gas stations are vulnerable to contingent bodily injury cyber attacks.

Reports of thieves apparently fed up with high gas prices hacking fuel pumps to steal thousands of dollars’ worth of gas occasionally make headlines. Such incidents point to vulnerabilities in gas station software that could cause other problems.

Hackers could, for example, change fuel prices or shut down pumps entirely. And some researchers maintain hackers could manipulate pump pressure or temperatures to cause an explosion—an obvious threat to drivers’ and gas station employees’ bodily safety.

Attacks on Aviation

Airline pilot operates complicated, computerized console in cockpit, vulnerable to contingent bodily injury cyber attacks.Although, as of early 2021, “[n]o hacker has ever penetrated the computers of an airliner’s flight control system or any part of its avionics,” according to Smithsonian Magazine, “[t]he not-so-shocking news is that hackers have tried.” What’s more, hackers have successfully penetrated air traffic control systems. They have even inserted malware into the FAA’s networks. Some aviation experts believe it’s only a matter of time until hackers bring down an airplane.

All the examples we’ve discussed have a low probability of occurring. But if they did, they would have highly severe consequences, including property damage, injury, and loss of life.

They could all also have financially devastating liability consequences that standard Property and General Liability policies may not cover. However, a strong Cyber Liability Insurance policy could potentially provide coverage.

Know Your Clients’ Cyber Insurance Bodily Injury Options

Could your business clients’ products and services, if compromised in a cyber attack, put individuals and groups at risk of physical harm? Then you need to make them aware of their coverage options. Several carriers now offer bodily injury coverage.

Cyber Liability bodily injury options typically come in two forms:

  • First-party coverage protects businesses or individuals directly affected by the cyber incident. This coverage may include medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, loss of income, and even psychological counseling.
  • Third-party coverage applies when a third party (individual or entity) sues the insured for the bodily injury suffered. It’s a safeguard against potential financial ruin resulting from lengthy and costly legal battles. It can include legal expenses, settlements, and judgments arising from lawsuits.

When considering coverage options for contingent bodily injury cyber incidents, you and your clients must assess the specific risks associated with their industry.

For instance, healthcare providers may require extensive coverage due to the sensitive nature of patient information and the potential for severe bodily harm resulting from an attack.

Similarly, organizations relying heavily on interconnected smart devices—manufacturers, for instance, or property managers—should consider coverage that protects against bodily injuries caused by hacked devices.

As you would with any insurance policy, review all coverage limits, exclusions, and deductibles with your clients. Terms and conditions may vary significantly among carriers, so thorough evaluation is essential to ensuring your clients are adequately protected.

ProWriters Helps You Become Your Clients’ Trusted Cyber Expert

The majority of cyber attacks harm finances and reputation, but the potential for physical harm can’t be ignored. When you alert your clients to this danger, you not only help them achieve greater safety but also establish yourself as their trusted expert in all things Cyber.

ProWriters offers brokers and agents like you the resources you need to achieve more success in your Cyber brokerage.

For more help educating your clients about the importance of Cyber Liability Insurance, download our free special report, Know Why Cyber Insurance Premiums Are Increasing.

It will help your clients understand the value of having a comprehensive Cyber Insurance policy that provides financial protection, risk management support, and peace of mind against the ever-increasing threat of cyber attacks, including contingent bodily injury cyber attacks.

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