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Cyber Liability for Building Design Professionals

Cyber Liability Insurance for Building Design Professionals

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What is Cyber Liability Insurance?

Cyber Liability Insurance is meant to cover your building design business against liability and property losses caused by cyberattacks such as hacks, data breaches, denial of service attacks, and viruses. Commercial general liability policies usually exclude coverage for Cyber Liability, so you may not have coverage for data breaches under your primary general liability policy.

Why do building design professionals need Cyber Liability Insurance?

Building design professionals are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks because they depend on technology for creating, sharing, and communicating. We don’t live in the age of physical blueprints anymore. In the course of a project, your firm’s architects, engineers, or other design professionals are collaborating through technology with contractors, vendors, and customers. Confidential information about your customers, their projects, and the security surrounding them are flowing through email and other digital technologies. Cyberattacks could mean that private customer information is breached, valuable intellectual property is stolen, plans and drafts are destroyed, or computer systems are shut down—which may delay the completion of projects and lead to financial consequences for your clients.


What does Cyber Liability Insurance for building design professionals cover?

Cyber Liability Insurance covers the financial losses from data breaches, hacking, viruses, denial of service attacks, and other similar cyber events.

Cyber Liability Coverage has two major components: third-party liability coverage and first-party coverage. Third-party coverage provides protection when a customer, vendor, partner, or other party sues you for allowing a data breach to happen. First-party coverage protects your company when you incur expenses from a data breach or when your company is hacked. You may choose to purchase either or both types of coverage.

Third Party Liability Coverage

The third-party liability coverage provided by Cyber Liability Insurance provides protection against lawsuits filed by clients or others against your building design business as a result of a breach of their security or privacy. These lawsuits can accuse your business of failing to adequately protect data you possess that belongs to customers, employees, vendors, or others.

Some of the claims that third-party liability may cover include:

First-Party Coverage

Data Breach

First-party coverage covers the financial losses your building design business incurs due to a data breach or hack. These costs can include:


Data Recovery

First-party coverage will reimburse your building design company for the costs to restore or recover the lost or damaged data, as well as the costs to hire consultants to help you restore or repair your data.


Data recovery coverage usually does not cover data loss due to mistakes made by your business or your employees. For example, if one of your engineers accidentally deletes your plans and drafts, it would not be covered.

Because commercial property coverage usually excludes coverage for electronic data, having data recovery coverage can be valuable if your company experiences a hack or cyberattack.

Business Interruption

Business income insurance (also known as business interruption insurance) is also available on many Cyber Liability Insurance policies. If the loss or destruction of data leads to a disruption in your ability to do business, this coverage can pay for the loss of business income your business faces.


Note however that this coverage only applies to lost profits that are directly a cause of the cyberattack. If your sales decline due to a hit to your reputation from the data breach or cyberattack, these declines will not be covered, as they are not directly caused by the breach or attack.


First-party coverage can also cover cyberextortion. If your business is threatened with damage to your computer systems or networks unless you pay a ransom, this insurance can provide coverage. Cyberextortion coverage can reimburse you for the money you spend to respond to the extortion demand, as well as any ransom you pay.



Many Cyber Liability Policies have sublimits for first-party coverage. A sublimit is part of the limits of insurance, but it places a maximum on the amount of coverage for that type of loss.


What are the key exclusions of Cyber Liability Insurance for building design professionals?

Cyber Liability Insurance is primarily designed to protect your business from cyberattacks. However, there are some exclusions to the coverage from this insurance. These include:

How much does Cyber Liability Insurance cost?

The average cost of cyber insurance is $1,485 per year in the U.S. The costs of insuring your business against data breaches and hacking attacks varies based upon the nature and size of your business, as well as the state in which your business is located. Below, we list the average cost of cyber insurance in each state, along with the difference between the state average and the national average.

StateAverage Cost of Cyber InsuranceDifference from National Average
Alaska$1,532.89 3.23%
Alabama$1,539.40 3.67%
Arkansas$1,646.50 10.88%
Arizona$1,581.50 6.50%
California$1,430.18 -3.69%
Colorado$1,521.67 2.47%
Connecticut$1,593.62 7.32%
District of Columbia$1,539.25 3.66%
Delaware$1,446.47 -2.59%
Florida$1,529.82 3.02%
Georgia$1,450.54 -2.32%
Hawaii$1,519.46 2.32%
Iowa$1,505.73 1.40%
Idaho$1,483.70 -0.08%
Illinois$1,434.59 -3.39%
Indiana$1,484.06 -0.06%
Kansas$1,501.38 1.11%
Kentucky$1,587.10 6.88%
Louisiana$1,623.94 9.36%
Massachusetts$1,380.59 -7.03%
Maryland$1,471.18 -0.93%
Maine$1,467.39 -1.18%
Michigan$1,339.33 -9.81%
Minnesota$1,708.11 15.03%
Missouri$1,509.00 1.62%
Mississippi$1,472.55 -0.84%
Montana$1,478.29 -0.45%
North Carolina$1,421.49 -4.27%
North Dakota$1,464.42 -1.38%
Nebraska$1,485.64 0.05%
New Hampshire$1,431.99 -3.57%
New Jersey$1,615.25 8.77%
New Mexico$1,355.36 -8.73%
Nevada$1,507.55 1.52%
New York$1,616.70 8.87%
Ohio$1,553.68 4.63%
Oklahoma$1,513.03 1.89%
Oregon$1,462.50 -1.51%
Pennsylvania$1,466.49 -1.24%
Rhode Island$1,541.58 3.81%
South Carolina$1,398.83 -5.80%
South Dakota$1,489.45 0.30%
Tennessee$1,500.20 1.03%
Texas$1,459.22 -1.73%
Utah$1,515.10 2.03%
Virginia$1,467.83 -1.15%
Vermont$1,457.70 -1.83%
Washington$1,449.80 -2.37%
Wisconsin$1,523.03 2.56%
West Virginia$1,629.64 9.74%
Wyoming$1,426.89 -3.91%

Besides the location of your business, a number of other factors can greatly affect the premiums that you pay for cyber insurance. Insurance companies will take into account the nature of your business, the number of sensitive employee and customer records you store, whether your business stores credit card and banking information on your customers, and the types of security defenses your company has undertaken. Additionally, if your company has a history of cyber insurance claims or if it has been attacked or hacked in the past, your premiums may be higher. Head over to our list of the best cyber insurance companies of the year for information on some of the top providers.

Final Word

Cyber liability risk is important for building design firms to insure against. Since architects, engineers, and other building design professionals now use so much digital technology to collaborate on their work, cyberattacks pose a significant threat to the private information of customers, the design professionals’ work, and the timely completion of building projects. Cyber Liability Insurance will cover the financial losses resulting from cyberattacks, giving building design professionals the peace of mind they need to meet their clients’ expectations.

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