The American Institute of CPAs is introducing liability insurance coverage to protect CPAs against the risk of privacy breaches of clients’ personal information in case the firm’s network is hacked.

The AICPA Professional Liability Insurance Program, which is administered by Aon Insurance Services and underwritten by CNA, has added the new CPA NetProtect endorsement to its policy. The program is available for an additional premium and has separate limits.

CPA NetProtect provides privacy-event expense coverage for reasonable and necessary costs incurred in responding to a privacy breach. Examples include the costs of complying with breach response notice laws or to provide credit monitoring on behalf of affected individuals.

The AICPA Professional Liability Insurance policy currently provides coverage for a claim alleging damage to a client’s network in the rendering of professional services. CPA NetProtect extends this coverage to address claims brought by non-clients if a CPA firm’s network is used to attack their networks. The policy also protects a firm in case an employee accidentally sends an e-mail with a virus attached, or if a server goes down, according to Aon vice president of underwriting Alvin Fennell III.

CPA NetProtect also includes a risk control program that educates CPAs on techniques that can help reduce their firm’s exposure to a privacy breach. Other resources include client advisories, risk control primers, a claim hotline, and pre-arranged services with breach response vendors to help notify affected individuals, offer credit monitoring, manage press relations, and more.

CPA NetProtect follows an earlier coverage enhancement to the policy introduced late last year to address the increased need to safeguard sensitive information for policyholders. Over 25,000 CPA firms are insured with the AICPA Professional Liability Insurance Program.

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