Cyber Risks For Small Businesses

Cyber Risks For Small Businesses



Should small businesses be worried about cyber-attacks? Or is the craze around cyber-activity just a phase that will pass? Unfortunately, cyber-crime is very much real and it is here to stay. In fact, considering more than a third of Canadian firms do not report carrying cyber insurance coverage, cyber-crimes may become the biggest pain in the side of business-owners for years to come. Not only do cyber-attacks happen more now than ever before, they can have absolutely devastating consequences.

A 2018 study by Scalar Security demonstrated that smaller businesses in Canada had become more susceptible to breaches last year and that they were down for a cumulative 59 hours. Now, that might not seem that bad on the surface. A cumulative 59 hours throughout a year? Some business owners might think they could take that hit. However, those 59 cumulative hours turned into an average lost revenue of $1.1 million.

That certainly puts things into perspective. Even larger corporations in Canada would not scoff at over a million dollars in lost revenue – an amount that can absolutely decimate a smaller firm. Considering that mainstream trends point to cyber-crime becoming an increasing part of modern life going forward, protecting against it should be priority number one for many businesses.

Why, though, the sudden increase in attacks on smaller businesses? What has changed? Miki Ho, a cyber risk underwriter for Beazley Canada, notes that the strategies employed by hackers are changing in a way that threatens the safety of smaller businesses.

Ho notes “what has caught the attention of small business is the cyber extortion element of the policy … for small businesses, that’s the area of claims that we’ve really seen on the rise.” This is in-line with the changes in approach that hackers have taken. Whereas previously bigger businesses were targeted for larger sums of money, there has been a shift to seek quick scores on a smaller scale.

Ho continues “in the past, what we saw is the hackers would demand the equivalent of $100,000 to $1 million in bitcoin.” Bitcoin, amongst other cryptocurrencies, has become the favoured payment method for hackers because it is untraceable; however, it is not a simple process to obtain bitcoin. If you are not particularly tech savvy, it can become an entire ordeal to make these payments even if you wanted to.

This trend of going after larger businesses is changing. According to Ho, “now what they (the hackers) are doing is going for those quick wins. So, they will look at a small business and say, ‘if they are able to pay the equivalent of $500, they are likely to pay that, and they are likely not to notify the authorities.’” Therein lies the issue – once a small firm caves into this request, the hackers know they can keep coming back to this business.

Fighting back can also be really difficult for smaller firms. Most small firms these days have limited IT budgets meaning that either there is no in-house IT team or, if there is, it’s quite limited. Moreover, smaller firms – especially those just starting out – have yet to develop relationships with law firms, large tech companies, or public relations organizations so that they can better navigate a breach of this nature.

How, then, can a small business deal with such an attack? What does insurance get you? For one, a cyber policy will grant small business owners immediate access to an experienced breach response team. Furthermore, a good cyber policy will also mean that small business owners, in the event of an attack, will have available to them lawyers, IT forensic experts, and public relations representatives in addition to a breach coach that will help coordinate everything. Suddenly, a small business now has similar defence to a much large corporation.

If you were to ask a small business owner how they would respond to a ransomware attack on their business, they may respond with skepticism. Whilst that skepticism may have been warranted years ago, it no longer is – cyber insurance should be viewed now as any other important insurance policy. In the next 5 years, it may even be viewed as more important. The trends don’t lie – why not get ahead of the problem instead of playing catch-up to it?

Cyber risk is growing – it grows with the advancement of technology on a seemingly daily basis. As far as policies go, it is incredibly economical – frequently in the several-hundred dollar range for base coverage. What’s a few hundred bucks to safeguard against millions lost? To learn more about how to best move forward, contact one of our licensed brokers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or simply call us at 905-696-9090. Let us help protect you.

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Builder's Risk Insurance

Builder's Risk Insurance


Do you ever see a construction site and wonder just what would happen if a massive gust of wind knocked everything down? Or if one of those gigantic industrial machines accidentally clipped something important and everything came crashing down in a giant waterfall of rubble and concrete? Obviously we hope that never happens, but those are real dangers in the construction industry. That is why builder’s risk insurance is such a crucial aspect of any project. What is builder’s risk insurance, I hear you ask? Allow me to explain.


In short, builder’s risk insurance is a specific type of property insurance that offers indemnity against damage to buildings under construction. Everyone in the construction industry will tell you that the most difficult aspect of any construction project is getting shovels in the ground. Once construction begins, things become pretty straight-forward. However, one of the reasons that the entire process leading up to getting construction started is stressful is because of the uncertainty that can be encountered.


These projects more-often-than-not cost millions of dollars to even get started. If you’re going to put that much wealth into something, you need to make sure every small detail is covered before any commitment is made. This is why builder’s risk insurance is so important. It usually only costs 1%-5% of the entire construction cost and offers protection against things going wrong in a major way.


Under this type of insurance, perils such as fire, wind, theft, and vandalism are covered amongst many others. What if, though, the construction takes place somewhere notorious for earthquakes? The cool thing about this is that, because construction can be incredibly circumstance-specific, the insurance available for it follows suite. In fact, purchasing extra earthquake coverage when appropriate can be one of the most economical decisions that can be made in the entire project. Ultimately, these insurance policies can be tailored to the smallest relevant details.


In general, there are two types of coverages to choose from – property & liability. Perhaps the most popular choice is comprehensive general liability; and this is because of how much protection it provides. With comprehensive general liability, there is legal liability for compensatory damages because of bodily injury or property damages to third parties arising from all your operations. After all, the most important aspect of any construction project and site are the builders themselves! Without them, nothing would get done. Obtaining this type of insurance is a good way to show a vested interest in your work force because of the protection it provides them.


Whilst there is no shortage of types of property insurance, typical property insurance policies are not designed nor priced to cover the inherent risks that come with these kinds of projects. Furthermore, the ability to name additional insured’s under an umbrella policy is crucial for bigger projects that have several working parts – why purchase multiple individual policies when one does the trick?


The reality of it all is that the world is greatly expanding. Populations are growing, and, in turn, construction is booming. Putting aside the economic benefits of builder’s risk insurance still leaves you with the humanitarian benefits – it is protection not only for your work site, but also for the people that operate in it.


Don’t just protect your materials, fixtures, and equipment; protect your people. Contact one of our licensed brokers today at 905-696-9770 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more.

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Summer Cottage Tips

Summer Cottage Tips


It’s time to get excited – beach and campfire season is here. Every summer, tens of thousands of Canadians make their way to their cottages to soak in the rays and bask in the sunshine. However, with a lot of these properties not having been used in months, there are some steps that need to be taken to make sure you spend your time relaxing and not paying bills!


Give Your Cottage a Once-Over

The best way to avoid unnecessary damage and bills is to conduct a thorough inspection before you begin your holiday. This can sometimes get lost in the excitement of visiting the cottage for the first time in months but it is such a crucial aspect of upkeep. It is always a good idea to do a round of the property before going inside to make sure there are no broken windows, damage caused by critters, signs of vandalism, or anything else that may seem out of the ordinary.

Moreover, it is important to check the roof as well. It was a harsh winter and that will mean there was an increased likelihood of weather-related damage. Look for spots where the roof may have caved in or sustained structural damage – problems that can become major headaches very quickly. Whilst it’s alright to do small repairs yourself, get the professionals in for the bigger projects so you know for sure the roof won’t fall in mid-sleep!


Turn on the Water!

We have mentioned in a previous blog before that, when leaving a cottage unattended, it is important to turn off the water – especially during the winter months – to make sure the pipes don’t freeze and cause avoidable damage. Now upon your return, it is time to turn it on; however, it sometimes isn’t as simple as that. Before you turn on the water, open a cold water faucet and turn on the main valve. Let the water run for a few minutes and then close it to make sure everything is in order. If your water pump draws directly from a lake, you will need to consult a professional in order to make sure you’re doing everything correctly!

On the topic of water, we have written before about signs of water damage. No matter what precautions you may take, the unfortunate reality is that sometimes water damage can still sneak through. The cottage will have to be aired out regardless if it has been closed for a few months – but it is always important to check for signs of water damage while you’re at it. Look for mildew or mold growth, check all the window frames once you open up the windows, and pay attention to any areas where the stale, musky smell continues to linger.


Make Sure You’re Covered

Whether you are a first-time cottage owner or a returning vet, there are always changes that occur in the year before. Cottage-goers will often return with new toys – boats, ATVs, you name it – and that can mean alterations in your seasonal property insurance. Maybe this year you decide to rent out your cottage for the first time, or maybe you are renting a cottage for the first time; it is always smart to contact your broker and make sure you have proper coverage so that you can enjoy a stress-free holiday – one that you deserve!

Cottages have their own personalities and quirks – it’s rare to ever find two that behave alike. Whether you are a first time or long-time owner, taking these precautions will save you a fortune down the line. Contact one of our brokers today to inquire about seasonal property insurance at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at 905-696-9090.



Source: Economical.


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Security Breach at Canva

Security Breach at Canva


Canva – a high-profile startup founded in Australia and now based in San Francisco – was recently hit by a major data breach; one that left 139 million users exposed. The company had the following to say about this breach:

As soon as we were notified, we immediately took steps to identify and remedy the cause, and have reported the situation to authorities (including the FBI).”

A spokesperson from Canva also added that “We securely store all of our passwords using the highest standards (individually salted and hashed with bcrypt) and have no evidence that any of our users' credentials have been compromised” and that "as a safeguard, we are encouraging our community to change their passwords as a precaution."

Canva was founded in 2012 and has since amassed a major following – considered widely to be the best graphic design service available online. In January of 2018, it was valued at $1 Billion. What this demonstrates, then, is that in the current online landscape no one is truly ever safe.

Data and security breaches are becoming increasingly common – and often times, not even the most sophisticated protection software is enough to truly guarantee security. This is why cyber liability insurance is so important.

Information is at the crux of everything – most businesses would agree that information is perhaps their most important asset. Without data, most decisions become a hopeful stab in the dark – a lack of direction that would become apparent immediately. It is no wonder that information has become the most sought-after resource in the modern day considering it is at the centre of everything. If you control the information, you control everything.

In light of this, hackers will become more daring and ambitious – attempting to breach as much as they can. The person behind the Canva hack alone claims to have hacked close to a billion users since just February of this year. They claim that, once they are done extracting the information, that they then put it for sale on the dark web – and we come full circle. Information is power; once it’s stolen, it is sold right back into the system.

As we integrate further online and become more reliant on technology and the interconnectedness it brings us, we have to be careful not to stray too far from what is safe and secure. At Hubbard Insurance Group, we employ a service-first mindset and can help you with your risk management solutions. It is important to stay ahead of the curve and not to act in retrospect; because by then, the information you have lost has long-since been sold.

Contact one of our brokers today at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at 905-696-9090 to learn more about how we can beef up your cyber security.



Sources: Business Insider, ZDnet

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Secrets and Tips for Seasonal Property Insurance.

Secrets and Tips for Seasonal Property Insurance.


Picture this. It’s finally beginning to warm up – spring is in full flow and summer is just around the corner. You’ve had a good year and your eyes are fixated on that cottage you’ve always wanted. It’s finally time. However, once that little slice of heaven is in your name, it’s time to insure it to make sure that unwanted repair and replacement bills don’t turn this dream into a nightmare. Here are some tips to help you sleep soundly at night!


Water Damage

Many people think that the biggest danger to a cottage is fire damage or theft; however, that might not be the case. If the cottage is being used year-round, the possibility of water damage often turns into reality. This is why it is important to install temperature and water alarms – if there is potential for the pipes to freeze or for flooding to occur, you want to know before it happens. Moreover, it is important to shut off the water supply and drain your pipes during the cooler months – when the cottage is closed – so that you don’t come back to a disaster during the warmer months.


Don’t Become Complacent.

Insurance exists so that if something was to happen that was out of your control, you would be covered. If massive gusts of winds and wild environmental occurrences cause damage to your boat, for example, you will most likely be alright. However, if you simply forgot to tie your boat up and it floats away with the tide, that’s on you. It is important to be alert and on top of things – complacency can cost you in more ways than one down the line!


Fire Services

Something that many might not actively consider is the distance from the cottage to a fire hydrant or fire hall. It seems obvious when laid out – if your cottage catches on fire, and there is no resource nearby to put the fire out, then you’re in a world of trouble. The longer the blaze rages on, the more damage it does, the more your insurance costs – you get the idea. This is why it is important to be mindful of such resources and services as they can me a sizeable difference to your insurance premium!


Heating Methods

Speaking of fire, one thing insurance agencies have in common with cottage-owners is that they would rather a cottage not catch on fire. Fire may have been the catalyst for all human advancement, but it is frowned upon in this context. This is why it is important to keep in mind how you will heat up your cottage. Using oil heating is generally a no-no because of the potential of a leak and a wood burning stove that is not WETT (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) certified might even lead to insurance agencies outright refusing to insure you. Sticking with gas, propane, or electric heating is the way to go.


Investing in a maintenance plan is also a great way to avoid common claims – something that will easily pay off in the long run. Cottages can be quite expensive if left to their own devices – but it is pretty easy to keep your paradise from turning into a disaster with the right help. At Hubbard Insurance, we are determined to help you make the best decisions for you and your family. The tips and secrets listed above will hopefully go a long way in helping you make those tough decisions for a prosperous future. To learn more about seasonal property insurance or to get a free quote, contact one of our brokers now at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or give us a call at 905-696-9090. 



Source: Economical.

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