Technology Errors and Omissions (Tech E&O) provides protection for the professional services provided by technology companies. Cyber Liability refers most often to a breach in private records held by a company. Where the two coverages intersect is when a cyber liability event happens, resulting in stolen customer records, and the breach may be attributed to the failure of the technology company in providing adequate professional services.
For example, in our office we buy Cyber Liability Insurance in case hackers from a Foreign government, a crime organization, or a high school student next door breaks into our server and steals our customers' private information. The Cyber Liability Insurance will provide notification, life-lock type security for all of the customers affected, and third-party coverage in case the break results in actual losses to our customers. This insurance also includes Forensic Investigations. The Forensic Investigation is not just an academic exercise that asks ‘Wonder who stole all that information?’, the insurance company has an ulterior motive; they want to know how the data was hacked. Let's assume the forensic investigation uncovered that our IT partner had left a vulnerability in our firewall, and that the breach was a direct result of this negligence. The insurance company that paid our claim will look to the Tech E&O coverage of our IT partner provider. Errors and Omissions Insurance coverage provides protection to professionals, including doctors, lawyers, insurance agents, consultants, and ...IT providers. If the tech who was programming our firewall left a huge vulnerability that was discovered by a robot or human hacker, this represents an error in the professional services expected.
Tech E&O and Cyber Liability are not always exclusive coverages. The two intersect when a tech company provides co-location services or services such as Platform as a Service (PaaS) where they not only maintain the security aspect, but actually hold the information that is stolen. Professional Errors and Omission insurance must always be reviewed carefully for specific exclusions. Be on the lookout particularly for exclusions for unauthorized access, mechanical or electrical failure, delay in delivery, or deliberate acts by rogue employees. What this protects against is the unknown Edward Snowden working in his cubicle causing tremendous damage to a company. If an executive officer of the company creates similar acts, including intentional acts, no insurance policy will protect against that.
Some professional liability policies provide limited coverages where only specific services defined in the policy are included for coverage. Underwriters always prefer to know exactly what kind of services are provided in order to quantify the cost of professional liability insurance. Because the functions performed by most tech companies are varied and evolve with available technology, we prefer Enterprise coverage when it is available. This means that all professional activities are protected, even those that the underwriter never even knew about, because they are new or because they are one-offs.
A type of liability that has been somewhat dormant over the past 20 to 30 years has been fully resurrected with the advent of the Internet. This is Advertising Liability, and today can include what is known as Media Liability. When advertisements were mostly in printed form, or on the radio or TV, the publishing newspaper or controlling radio or television would often vet the contents of ads in production, so that aggressive companies could not spread lies about their competition and get everybody in trouble. With Websites there is no such third-party protection; companies often just put up online whatever they feel like. Web hosting sites and web development Service companies are the new TV and radio platform. While most web hosting and social media service companies have terms of service that limit liability on specific comments or statements, they are immune from advertising liability claims.