Electronic Commerce Insurance Keeps Online Businesses Secure

The Internet has spawned a proliferation of online business activities and is home to some of the largest retailers in the world, such as a popular book-selling site that since has expanded to include numerous other goods sold. It’s possible to purchase anything from a book to a car to a home and the insurance to protect all of them. But any business engaged in online activities needs to have electronic commerce insurance in place to ensure it as well as any customers or clients are protected against the perils unique to Internet-based commercial activities.

Electronic commerce is defined as the use of technology in business practices to enable internal and external workflows as well as communication with consumers, customers and clients. And such technology is used to electronically communicate as well as engage in commercial activities while at the same time reducing costs and increasing efficiencies.

Some industries have embraced the Internet and other forms of electronic activities, such as sending and receiving facsimiles. Chief among them are the travel industry, online retailers, insurance firms and auction sites, like eBay. If you want to own or rent a home or apartment, many times, an online application or other form of communication is the first step taken. But if that information somehow is used to commit fraud or engage in theft of monies, an online business could find itself facing a hefty lawsuit and possibly large legal judgment.

Among risks that are particularly high for online businesses is the possible theft of data, making data security a high priority. If personal or financial information is stolen by a computer hacker, for example, the online business has a heightened liability due to the increased need for it to provide security against such illegal accesses. And if a client should suffer a loss as a result of a breach of site security or some other means of illegal activity, the business owner might find a costly lawsuit threatening the future of the enterprise.

Interruption of commercial activities also is a strong threat facing online enterprises, such as might occur if a third-party vendor is in charge of handing certain types of online transactions and the site suddenly is unavailable for any number of reasons, like when a server goes down and the website cannot be accessed. Even a short time down can result in a great deal of lost sales or other commercial activities.

An electronic commerce policy can help alleviate potential losses and ensure a smoothly operating business remains, but there can be difficulties when filing a claim if something bad should happen. Because the nature of online businesses can vary greatly, the more information that can be provided to fully inform insurance agents and adjusters on the kinds of activity and commerce done can help speed up the claims process if one is filed.

And the level of coverage needed varies as well. The amount of insurance needed is relative to the amount of risk carried, as would be expected. Insurance experts advise carrying at least $1 million to $2 million in liability coverage to protect the business and its customers if the commercial activity is relatively small and only a small amount of equity is available.