Does a Legal Malpractice Policy Cover a Cyberattack, Data Breach or Wire Transfer Fraud Claim?

At INf, we just finished recognizing the month of October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. I hope you enjoyed the few educational videos that we were able to send your way.

Since then, a few of our clients have asked me to talk a little bit about whether a legal malpractice policy would cover a claim that was based on a cyberattack, data breach, or wire transfer fraud. So as a bonus to our October series, we’ll go over a few of these issues.

Cyberattack and Data Breach Claims

Let’s take a look at the cyberattack and data breach issues. My answer is going to be a pretty typical insurance answer in this situation—maybe. It might be covered based on the claim circumstances. My best guess is that if you submit a legal malpractice claim based on a cyberattack or data breach, it will trigger the coverage.

The carrier will review the claim issues and decide which issues are going to be covered and which issues are not going to be covered. I would believe that those issues that are typically considered legal malpractice issues are going to be covered, and those issues that are strictly considered cyber issues will not be covered. Now, your policy may have certain language that will provide a very limited amount and scope of coverage for some cyber events. So you might be able to glean a little bit of coverage out of your legal malpractice policy in that event.

Wire Transfer Fraud Claims

On the other issue of wire transfer fraud, my answer is going to be a little bit different. I don’t believe that most legal malpractice claims or most legal malpractice carriers are going to cover claims for wire transfer fraud. Most of the carriers and carrier personnel that I have spoken to believe that wire transfer fraud is theft. And a legal malpractice policy is not theft protection.

Perhaps a fidelity bond, maybe crime coverage, or a standalone cyber liability policy would be the better policy from which your coverage would come. Some legal malpractice policies even specifically exclude theft, wire transfer fraud, and bank transfer fraud.

Consider a Cyber Liability Policy

If you’re looking for coverage to replace the physical funds that are lost from a wire transfer fraud, my suggestion to you is to not depend on your legal malpractice policy to do so. I think you’ll be very disappointed. Which brings me to my last and final point: you need to seriously consider the purchase of a standalone cyber liability policy. It’s going to protect you against a host of exposures, like cyberattacks, data breaches, ransomware, phishing schemes, and so much more.

So if you really want to protect yourself, the office, and your client, the purchase of a cyber liability policy is the way to go.

These policies help protect you from the threat of hackers, data dumps, stolen passwords, ransomware attacks and more.  

It takes less than 5 minutes to fill out the application for this insurance.  Contact INF to get started at 412.563.2106.