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Yahoo Hack Steals Personal Information

Yahoo Hack Steals Personal Information

Yahoo hack steals personal info from at least 500 million accounts.

SAN FRANCISCO – Computer hackers swiped personal information from at least 500 million Yahoo accounts in what is believed to be the biggest digital break-in at an email provider.

The massive security breakdown disclosed Thursday poses new headaches for Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer as she scrambles to close a $4.8 billion sale to Verizon Communications.

The breach Thursday dates back to late 2014, raising questions about the checks and balances within Yahoo – a fallen internet star that has been laying off staff to counter a steep drop in revenue during the past eight years.

At the time of the break-in, Yahoo’s security team was led by Alex Stamos, a respected industry executive who left last year to take a similar job at Facebook.

Yahoo didn’t explain what took so long to uncover a breach that it blamed on a “state-sponsored actor” – parlance for a hacker working on behalf of a foreign government. The Sunnyvale, California, company declined to explain how it reached its conclusions about the attack, but said it is working with the FBI and other law enforcement as part of its ongoing investigation.

MOST ACCOUNTS EVER STOLEN

“This is a pretty big deal that is probably going to cost them tens of millions of dollars,” predicted Avivah Litan, a computer security analyst for Gartner Inc. “Regulators and lawyers are going to have a field day with this one.”

Litan described it as the most accounts stolen from a single email provider.

The stolen data includes users’ names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, scrambled passwords, and the security questions – and answers – used to verify an accountholder’s identity.

Last month, the tech site Motherboard reported that a hacker who uses the name “Peace” boasted that he had account information belonging to 200 million Yahoo users and was trying to sell the data on the web.

Yahoo is recommending that users change their passwords if they haven’t done so since 2014. The company said the attacker didn’t get any information about its users’ bank accounts or credit and debit cards.

THE VERIZON IMPACT

News of the security lapse could cause some people to have second thoughts about relying on Yahoo’s services, raising a prickly issue for the company as it tries to sell its digital operations to Verizon Communications.

That deal, announced two months ago, isn’t supposed to close until early next year. That leaves Verizon with wiggle room to renegotiate the purchase price or even back out if it believes the security breach will harm Yahoo’s business. That could happen if users shun Yahoo or file lawsuits because they’re incensed by the theft of their personal information.

Verizon said it still doesn’t know enough about the Yahoo break-in to assess the potential consequences. “We will evaluate as the investigation continues through the lens of overall Verizon interests, including consumers, customers, shareholders and related communities,” the company said in a statement.

DELAY OF ACQUISITION?

At the very least, Verizon is going to need more time to assess what it will be getting into if it proceeds with its plans to take over Yahoo, said Scott Vernick, an attorney specializing in data security for the law firm Fox Rothschild.

“This is going to slow things down. There is going to be a lot of blood, sweat and tears shed on this,” Vernick said. “A buyer needs to understand the cybersecurity strengths and weaknesses of its target these days.”

Investors evidently aren’t nervous about the Verizon deal unraveling yet. Yahoo’s stock added a penny Thursday to close at $44.17. But the Verizon sale represents a sliver of Yahoo’s total market value, which primarily consists of a stake in Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba Group currently worth $42 billion.

 

 

Contact a broker at Moller Insurance Ltd. today to learn more about cybersecurity and how to protect your personal information.

Source:

Liedtke, Michael. “Yahoo Hack Steals Personal Info from at Least 500 Million Accounts.” Canadian Underwriter. Associated Press, 23 Sept. 2016. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.

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Why Older Homes Can Be Harder to Insure

Insurance Coverage Issues Affecting Older Homes

Did you know that… OlderHome Sale

If your home is over 30 years old, your insurance company may require you to upgrade the plumbing, electrical and/or heating systems in your home prior to providing you with or renewing your homeowners insurance policy.

Buying an older home

If you are looking to purchase an older home that has galvanized steel plumbing, 60-amp electrical service, knob and tube electrical wiring, a wood-burning stove or a fuel oil tank, make sure to factor the cost of necessary upgrades into your offering price! Your insurance representative will be able to advise you on what upgrades may need to be completed prior to obtaining homeowners insurance coverage.

Your insurance company’s concerns with galvanized steel plumbing

Galvanized steel pipes, commonly installed in homes prior to 1950, have an average life expectancy of 40–50 years.

Over time, the galvanized steel pipes begin to rust or corrode from the inside out, resulting in reduced water pressure and restricted water flow. This presents an increased risk of leaks or ruptures occurring in the pipes and the potential for flood damage.

Your insurance company may require you to replace galvanized steel piping with copper and plastic piping before providing you with insurance coverage.

The dangers associated with 60-amp electrical service

Insurance companies are concerned that the 60-amp electrical service, common in homes built prior to 1950, poses the threat of overuse and overheating, potentially increasing the risk of an electrical fire and a subsequent claim.

Before providing you with insurance coverage, your insurance company may require you to upgrade your 60-amp electrical service to 100 amps (the standard for new home construction) or install a switching device that allows for the operation of only one major appliance at a time.

The problem with knob and tube wiring

Knob and tube wiring, also commonly found in homes over 50 years of age, consists of parallel hot (black) and neutral (white) wires, separated by knobs (or insulators) and ceramic tubes. Knob and tube wiring is considered a higher risk than contemporary wiring installations mainly because

There is no ground wire (in contrast to contemporary wiring).

Given their age, the wires are highly susceptible to wearing and exposure, presenting a serious safety hazard.

The unintentional contact of the hot and neutral wires may potentially cause an electrical fire. As a result, you may be required to replace all exposed knob and tube wiring with approved permanent wiring material before an insurance company will provide you with homeowners insurance coverage.

Wood-burning stoves can be a hazard

If they are not installed and used properly, wood-burning stoves can pose a serious fire hazard.

To reduce potential risk, your insurance company may require that your wood-burning stove be inspected by a certified Wood Energy Technical Training (WETT) technician and certified by the Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada (ULC), Canadian Standard Association (CSA) or Warnock Hersey before agreeing to provide you with homeowners insurance coverage.

Similarly, your insurance company may request that you have your wood-burning stove thoroughly cleaned and inspected by a professional sweep or technician at least once each year, prior to renewing your policy.

Why your insurance company is asking you to replace your fuel oil tank

Tanks 25 years or older are highly susceptible to rusting, deterioration and leakage and are considered environmental hazards. If a fuel oil leak occurs and goes undetected, the environmental cleanup for such a situation can be immense. A pinhole leak can spill 750 litres of oil in eight hours and have cleanup costs ranging from $5,000 to $15,000.

Most insurance companies will only insure a fuel oil tank provided it is less than 20–25 years old and has been inspected and certified by a Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) inspector.

If your oil tank is 25 years or older, your insurance company may require that you remove and replace it with a gas or electrical furnace, prior to providing you with homeowners insurance coverage.

Given the wide range of inspection/upgrade requirements that insurance companies may have, it’s always best to speak to your insurance representative about your specific situation.

Moller Insurance Ltd.

“Insurance Coverage Issues Affecting Older Homes.” Financial Services Commission of Ontario. FSCO, n.d. Web. 16 Aug. 2016.

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Rio Olympics: One of the Riskiest Games Event Ever

Rio Olympics: One of the Riskiest Games Event Ever

Special Coverage Needed for One of Riskiest Olympics Ever

Olympics

 

The Olympics are underway, putting the pressure on thousands of businesses and associations to ensure the events go off without a hitch – no small feat, considering this is one of the riskiest Games ever, says an expert.

“With this Olympics in particular, with the heightened risk and awareness of potential terror threats and there being some circumstantial or anecdotal evidence of there being less-than-pristine conditions in Rio, it would be wise for anyone with a financial stake in the event happening as scheduled to have insurance,” says Jared Zola, partner at Blank Rome’s policyholder-only insurance coverage practice.

“Certainly the potential risks appear to be higher, whether they actually happen – everyone is hopeful they won’t – it really is just where the world is, and in the present day, there actually does seem to be greater potential for risks at this Olympics.”

While event cancellation coverage is often overlooked or hedged by entertainment venues, the Olympics are of such a scale that it’s vital all stakeholders protect themselves, Zola adds.

“Any entity with a financial stake in the Olympics happening, and happening as scheduled should be taking out a broad form event cancellation policy,” he says. “The event is so big in terms of not just for the IOC but for the media, the television networks, the merchandise vendors, even the local hotels and restaurants – everyone is going to see a huge uptick in finances as a result of the event happening as scheduled.”

And, while extreme precautions have been taken to prevent terror, health or crime crises, Zola says an interesting insurance precedent could be set should such an event occur.

“An interesting question will be if something does happen in terms of the quality of the facilities, or the standards of the venues, whether there was any information known by the IoC that would affect whether they should move forward with the games,” he says.

“If, for example, one of the venues where an event takes place is shut down, and there ends up being damage or potential for bodily injury, or if people end up bringing claims against the IoC for negligence for bringing the games to a place that has such a low standard and conditions – whether or not they have any merit – there could be some interesting insurance questions that arise from this.”

Moller Insurance Ltd.

 

 

Graham, Penelpe. “Special Coverage Needed for One of Riskiest Olympics Ever.” Insurance Business Canada. Insurance Business Canada, 08 Aug. 2016. Web. 08 Aug. 2016.

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Virtual Craze Opens Up Real World Risk

Virtual Craze Opens Up Real World Risk

Pokemon GO – Gotta Catch ’em All…Carefully

“Third-party liability coverage – I choose you” are words that have been hopefully uttered by Pokemon Go developers, as today’s hottest virtual app can lead to real world dangers.

Pegged as the first augmented reality experience, the new app – which utilizes a smartphone’s location tracking, GPS and digital image camera overlay – sends users on a digital monster hunt in their immediate surroundings. That means thousands are literally taking to the streets – often with gazes glued to their phones – to seek out Pikachu in the digital flesh.

Along with the app’s overnight popularity – Nintendo’s stock has soared U.S. $7.5 billion in the days since launch – safety concerns have been mounting, with images of game-induced injuries being uploaded on social media.

As well, the game has designated certain buildings, landmarks and businesses as Pokemon ‘training gyms’, without the knowledge or consent of owners, driving thousands of unwanted visitors to trespass or disrupt businesses. Criminals have also taken advantage of the game’s potential, with three St. Louis men allegedly using it to lure unsuspecting players with the intention of robbing them.

All said, Nintendo and app developer Niantic Inc., had better have air-tight liability coverages – an area often overlooked by smaller developers and businesses when launching new technology says an underwriting expert.

“Consumers use apps in ways that one cannot always predict and thus claims are brought that insureds cannot always predict,” stated Charlie Murray, technology underwriter at CFC Technology limited in a previous interview with Insurance Business. “Therefore, app developers should be seeking a broad E&O wording, covering exposures such as user generated content, bodily injury, property damage, breach of contract and civil liability, which can give insured’s peace of mind and balance sheet protection in the event an allegation is made against them.”

He adds that given the rapid growth enjoyed by some apps, insurance is an immediate need for any developer bringing a new app to market.

“It doesn’t always post a problem to small businesses when not purchasing insurance from the offset; when very small the exposure to a business is generally minimal. However, the growth you see in the Tech sector is profound, they can go from zero users to widespread adoption almost overnight, and so insurance should be sought from day one.”

While it’s unclear what type of coverages Nintendo and Niantic currently have, the latter web developer has taken extensive protections via disclaimer in the past. Niantic’s earlier game Ingress, upon which the location and gameplay technologies of Pokemon Go are based, urged players to be aware of their surroundings, not to trespass while in gameplay, and protected the developer from all liability for injuries or losses incurred during gameplay.

Just goes to show – when it comes to liability coverages, it’s smart to catch em’ all.

 

 

Graham, P. (2016, July 13). Virtual Pokemon Go Craze Opens Up Real World of Risk. Retrieved July 13, 2016, from http://www.insurancebusiness.ca/news/virtual-pokemon-go-craze-opens-up-real-world-of-liability-210319.aspx

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Uber Gets The Green Light

Uber Gets The Green Light

Intact’s Commercial Ridesharing Insurance Policy Gets Approved in Ontario

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario has approved a commercial ridesharing insurance policy offered by Intact Financial Corporation (IFC) in partnership with Uber Canada.

Effective July 7, 2016, IFC reports in a statement that the product will provide protection to all drivers and passengers who participate in ridesharing with Uber in the province. “Every ridesharing driver operating on the Uber platform in Ontario will automatically be covered under the commercial policy provided by Intact Insurance Company, a subsidiary of IFC, and purchased by Uber.”

The coverage will “apply from the moment drivers make themselves available to accept a ride request until passengers have exited the vehicle,” the statement notes. IFC’s Intact Insurance and belairdirect “have modified their underwriting guidelines to allow customers to participate in ridesharing at no additional cost for drivers. Customers simply have to call their broker or agent before participating.”

This is the same approach currently being used by IFC in Alberta.

That province became the first in the country, as of July 1, to offer a new insurance policy for transportation network companies (TNCs) to insurance companies licensed in Alberta. Alberta’s Superintendent of Insurance has approved the policy for TNCs and their drivers.

Of Intact’s latest offering in Ontario, “this unique product will benefit both drivers and passengers, and speaks to how insurance is evolving to meet the needs of consumers,” says Karim Hirji, IFC’s senior vice president, International & Ventures.

“It will also now be easier for other personal lines insurers to permit drivers to participate in ridesharing using their personal automobile given that the commercial portion of rides are covered by Intact,” Hirji continues.

Aon Risk Solutions explains that as Uber’s insurance broker, it has “developed a comprehensive understanding of the business, driver tendencies and coverage requirements, resulting in a personal insurance product unlike others available in the marketplace.”

Developed in partnership with Intact, the solution is not restricted by driver age, years licensed or number of weekly ridesharing hours, Aon Risk Solutions, the global risk management business of Aon plc, notes in a statement.

It points out that the company created an online quoting tool for Uber drivers, which allows drivers of the ridesharing company to receive a quote in seconds by taking a photo of their licence or entering their driver’s licence number.

“Ridesharing continues to grow at a rapid pace and is changing how we travel,” Caroline Mills-White, senior vice president of personal lines for Aon Risk Solutions in Canada, says in the statement. “As a result, insurance must evolve to meet the changing needs of drivers and passengers alike in Ontario.”

Both IFC and Uber “remain engaged with regulators across Canada to bring new ridesharing insurance policies that offer a smart, seamless and simple solution for driver-partners,” notes Uber Canada general manager Ian Black.

“As the Ontario government introduces legislation related to the sharing economy in the coming months, this product will continue to evolve,” the statement adds.

Effective Thursday, the Ontario government approved a regulatory change allowing “commercial fleet insurance to be offered for vehicles that can be hired through an online application.”

Ontario auto insurers “can now develop insurance policies for purchase by ride-share companies,” notes a statement from the provincial government. “This closes the gap in auto insurance coverage for those drivers carrying paying passengers through ridesharing services.”

Among other things, the definition of “fleet” has been changed to a “group of not fewer than five automobiles” that meets the several requirements.

 

Please contact one of the brokers at Moller Insurance Ltd. for more details on what your policy covers and the limitations of Intact’s new commercial policy.

“Intact’s Commercial Ridesharing Insurance Policy Gets Green Light in Ontario.” Canadian Underwriter. Canadian Underwriter, 08 July 2016. Web. 13 July 2016

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Car Rental: Decide Before You Drive

 The best time to make the decision about whether you will need extra rental car insurance is before you’re standing at the car rental counter. Read on to learn about car rental insurance considerations and what you need to know to make sure that you’re covered.
What the Rental Car Company Offers

Rental

It’s not uncommon for rental car brokerages to offer you the opportunity to purchase additional auto coverages, but do you need them?

  • Collision damage waiver (CDW), or loss damage waiver (LDW), relieves you of financial responsibility if your rental car is damaged or stolen. If you have comprehensive and collision on your own car, you most likely do not need to purchase CDW from the rental car brokerage.
  • Additionally, your credit card company may include some collision and theft protection if the rental car is paid for with your card. This includes coverage for “loss of use,” which refers to the amount of money a rental car company can stand to lose while a car is being repaired. If your credit card doesn’t offer coverage for loss of use, you may want to consider purchasing CDW from the rental brokerage.
  • Liability insurance provides excess liability coverage of up to $1 million for the time you rent a car. If you have adequate liability coverage on your car or an umbrella policy on your home/auto, you may consider forgoing this additional insurance. It is advised that consumers contact their credit card company and car insurance company prior to renting a car. If you are a frequent renter, consider having renters insurance added to your policy.
Auto policy options

 If you don’t have comprehensive and collision coverage on your own car, you will not be covered if your rental car is stolen or if it is damaged in an accident. If you plan to rent a vehicle frequently, your best bargain is to purchase a non-owner auto liability insurance policy from us.

A non-owned auto liability insurance policy covers you for damage that you may cause to someone else’s car and liability for injuries to its occupants, or to pedestrian, in the event of an accident. The policy will also provide medical payments coverage for you and your passengers, and under-insured and uninsured coverage. This pays for the cost of an accident involving a hit-and-run driver or a driver who has little or no insurance.

However, non-owned auto liability insurance does not provide collision coverage. Collision coverage pays for damage to the car you’re driving if you crash into another car or object, or the car rolls over.

If you drive an older vehicle, but plan to rent a luxury vehicle, it’s important to make sure that your policy will cover the complete cost of the replacement value of the vehicle you are renting.

In addition to a non-owned auto insurance policy, an umbrella liability policy is also an option to meet the underlying auto insurance policy requirements when renting a vehicle.

One more thing to note…if you are renting a vehicle that is not classified as passenger car (such as a moving truck, 15-passenger van, etc.), you must purchase a separate policy from the rental company to be covered in that vehicle.Abroad

Renting an auto outside Canada?  

In general, your Canadian auto insurance does not cover you abroad. However, your policy may apply when you drive to countries neighbouring Canada. Check with our brokerage to see if your policy covers you in the United States.

Car rental brokerages overseas usually provide auto insurance, but in some countries, the required coverage is minimal. When renting a car overseas, consider purchasing insurance coverage that is at least equivalent to that which you carry at home.

Also, if you are renting a car abroad, you may need an international driver’s licence.

Need advice on what to do or what your policy covers? Call Moller Insurance today at (905) 642-2745 and we will be happy to assist you!

 

Moller Insurance Ltd.logo

1-64 Sandiford Drive

Stouffville, ON L4A 7X5

Tel: (905) 642-2745

www.mollerinsurance.com

 

 

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