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The Key Differences between General Contractors and Construction Managers

Hard to place insurance is not impossible to place. 

Although being a General Contractor (GC) and Construction Manager (CM) may sound like the same type of position, the difference is often overlooked in the industry. The difference between positions equates to a difference between the type of construction insurance needed.

General Contractor

A General Contractor “agrees to build the entire project—they’re the party ultimately responsible for the timely and proper performance of the work for a set price.”

The general contractor isn’t doing the manual labor at the job site, but instead managing the subcontractors who do.

In terms of insurance as a general contractor, general liability insurance is the type of high-risk coverage you should be looking toward. With construction coverage, there are specific risks to be made aware of, including: 

  • Canceled or non-renewed insurance coverage
  • Repeated rejection from multiple carriers within a short time period
  • Shock losses
  • The high volume of small claims
  • High risk of property damage, illness, injury, or death

Construction Manager

On the other hand, a Construction Manager, “is a consultant hired by a developer or property owner to manage and oversee the performance of contractors that they’ve hired. The developer, owner, etc. hire each of these contractors directly.”

When you’re a construction manager, the type of insurance that will give you the best coverage is professional liability insurance. 

The main difference between a GC and CM is the legality behind their hiring process, including coverage. The CM is hired, for lack of a better word, as a consultant whereas a GC is given a distinct payment with the job fully in their hands. The construction business needs to be protected with high-risk coverage, and Competitive Edge specialized in construction coverage.

At Competitive Edge Insurance, we work with insurance carriers across the country to place all types of business coverage. We are always seeking out new insurance companies to write hard-to-place and high-risk business insurance.

Don’t let cancellation dissuade you from finding comprehensive coverage. We can help! Learn more by connecting with Competitive Edge Insurance today.

Your Guide to Reducing Cybersecurity Risk

Cyber threats were at an all-time high during 2020. As a large portion of the population transitioned to a work-from-home environment, cyber attackers viewed this new reality as a wonderful opportunity to prey on cyber vulnerabilities. 

According to SonicWall, in 2020, 304.6 million ransomware attacks occurred. As well as 81.9 million crypto hacking attacks, 4.8 trillion intrusion attempts, and 5.6 billion malware attacks. With these statistics in mind, it’s important to start working toward mitigating your cyber risk today. 

Let’s start by understanding what a cybersecurity threat is. 

Cybercriminals target individuals and businesses alike. Cyber hacking ranges in damages– it can be as small as a pesky popup, or as large as malware that destroys your entire organization’s system. Understanding where your business may be at risk is just the beginning. 

As you likely know, data is one of your greatest assets as a business and is becoming increasingly important. Protect your digital assets, and ensure you have the protection needed to ensure the safety of your business and your client’s information. 

Preparing for a cyber attack.

Before an attack

First and foremost, you should put the proper controls in place. These controls may include:

  • Using secure Password-protected networks
  • Avoiding suspicious links
  • Ignoring online requests for private information
  • Password-protecting all devices that connect to the internet
  • Adding variation to your passwords
  • Reporting suspicious activity right when you see it.

You should also ensure your train and inform your employees of the proper protocol to begin mitigating your cyber risk. Employees need to be trained on how to avoid:

  • Email threats: Email is one of the most common ways for hackers to get sensitive information from your employees. Your employees should always verify the sender, never open suspicious attachments, and never click on links if you don’t trust the source. 
  • Spam threats: Ensure your employees know to use their spam filter, flag spam when it appears in your inbox, and know to only give their email to trusted sources.
  • Phishing threats: Employees should know to never offer sensitive information, be aware of potential suspicious links, double-check website addresses, verify who they’re communicating with, and trust their suspicions. 
  • Social Media threats: Employees should be sure to manage their privacy settings on social media, never click on suspicious links that have been shared with them, and think twice before posting and ensure they aren’t sharing information that may be harmful. 

During a cyberattack

In the case that a cyberattack occurs, you need to understand the steps you should take. First and foremost, you must take immediate action. If a problem is found, disconnect your device from the internet and restore your system fully. Lastly, report the incident to your IT Department as soon as possible! 

After a cyberattack occurs

Once you’ve taken the steps listed above, three are a few follow-up steps you should take. 

  • File a report with the local police: Ensure there is a record of the incident.
  • Report to the internet crime-compliant center: Report any identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Consider other information: If your personal information was compromised, what else could be at risk? 

Cyber Insurance for Cybersecurity Threats

As you start to consider the potential cyber risks associated with your business, consider investing in Cyber Insurance. It’s important to understand what would be covered under your cyber insurance policy. 

  • Data Breaches
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • System Failure
  • Damages to a Third-Party System
  • Cyber Extortion
  • Business Interruption

Traditional business liability insurance likely won’t cover the cybersecurity risks associated with your business. 

As cyber threats continue to proliferate, ensure your business remains protected.

How to Measure Your Company’s Cybersecurity Risk

With the increase of cyber attacks on the rise, companies every day worry they will become the next victim. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the number of cyberattacks has nearly doubled since 2019 and quadrupled since 2016 — with a cyberattack incident occurring every 11 seconds in 2021. 

At Competitive Edge, we believe all businesses are vulnerable to cybercrimes, not only large tech corporations. Global cybercrime losses are estimated at $400 billion per year. But not to fret — there are preventative measures your company can take, starting with learning how to measure your company’s cybersecurity risk.

Be Weary of Third-Party Risk

According to a recent study, 59% of companies experience a breach because of a vendor or third party. Although most companies have a variety of security regulations in place, many still fall susceptible to third-party or vendor risk.

The biggest challenge considering third-party risk is gaining real-time data. For example, most companies evaluate third-party risk through an assortment of questionnaires, assessments, or tests. This assortment of data gathering makes it difficult to see beyond just the snippet of information provided, and beyond into the ever-changing terrain of cybersecurity risk.

We recommended evaluating and refreshing what cybersecurity metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) your company is currently tracking. There are many tools that can help  evaluate third parties’ risk prior to onboarding—but the diligence shouldn’t stop there. Continue to monitor your third parties and vendors even after they’ve onboarded to ensure they are upholding best safety practices. 

Don’t let third-party risk slip through the cracks!

Define your Company’s Strategy for Measuring and Communicating Risk

Data, data, and more data! When it comes to analyzing cybersecurity risk, it can be difficult to know where to focus your efforts. Risk-based reporting, however, is your best bet. Risk-based reporting, “as opposed to comprehensive, compliance-based, or incident-based reporting… is the approach best suited to reducing your organization’s exposure to cyber threats,” according to BitSight.

Risk-based reporting focuses on the big picture—not the small blips—and forces you to use context to deliver reports, delving into data concerning:

  • “Past performance
  • Risk concentration
  • Industry benchmarks
  • Financial quantification
  • Cybersecurity frameworks”

Furthermore, the phrase, “stay in your own lane,” does not apply to companies when measuring cybersecurity risk! In fact, we recommend you look to your competitors to gain further context on your own stance in terms of cybersecurity risk. By measuring your own risk in comparison to similar companies or competitors, you might take more pointed action about where your team’s focus is needed to stay safe.

Make Your Data Digestible

Now, you’ve done all the work, but how can you make it clear and easy to understand? Security ratings are the most widely used and understood language when delving into cybersecurity risk. Ensure that all company team members understand the data and what efforts will be made as a result to combat the risk and why.

Measures You Can Take to Stay Secure

The consequences of poor cybersecurity are catastrophic. Geospatial World says, “The best cybersecurity strategies are ones that are proactive in nature. Being able to respond to and recover from an instance of hacking is important, but stopping the incident before it even starts is what saves your organization more time, money, and pain in the long run.” To avoid these consequences, Competitive Edge recommends you:

  • Keep a tight rein on who has access to company information
  • Conduct employee background checks
  • Create individual accounts for employees
  • Of course, not only to have strict cybersecurity policies, procedures, and practices but to enforce them

Cybersecurity is the type of threat you don’t want to put off dealing with until it’s too late. That’s where we come in! Talk to our experts at Competitive Edge today to measure your company’s cybersecurity risk and see how you can obtain proper coverage. 

Don’t risk it.

Cyber Liability Coverage for the New Era of Ransomware

With cybercrimes on the rise, it’s time to look not only at your practices but also your cyber liability coverage.