How to Notify Clients of a Data Breach

June 21, 2021

As a business owner, you have lots of sensitive information about your clients, including their names, addresses, financial details, and contact information. When a hacker or virus compromises your databases, you need to let your clients know as soon as possible. To help you get started, here are the top questions you need to answer for an effective response.

What Does Your Cyber Security Insurance Plan Cover?

Before you notify your clients, you need to figure out how much of the damage your cyber security insurance covers. Reach out to your insurance agent immediately, explain what has happened, and review your plan’s details. Clarify the steps for filing a claim, and ask whether you have to take certain steps to stay within your contract’s conditions.

When Should a Client Be Notified About a Data Breach?

Now that you’ve begun the insurance claim process, you must turn your attention to your customers. Start by checking your state’s laws to see who you have to notify and what your timeline is. Your insurance agent or lawyer can help you decipher your state’s requirements. Once you know your legal timeline, report the incident to your local law enforcement. Ask these officials if you can notify your clients right away or if you should wait until they have finished their investigation.

Determining when your clients should hear about your data breach is difficult because you have to comply with state and federal laws as well as your police department’s plans. Once you’ve met these requirements, though, it’s best to send out your announcement as soon as possible.

How Should You Notify Clients?

Personally reach out to all your clients whose information was affected. Depending on how many clients you have, use a phone call, email, or letter. If you send out an email to all your clients, make sure to use the blind carbon copy feature to avoid further compromising their privacy.

Because it’s hard to know just how far-reaching the effects of a data breach are, you also need to make a public statement. Include the date of the incident, the number of accounts that were compromised, and any steps you are taking to make up for your clients’ losses. Close by expressing your regret and indicating how clients should contact you about the breach.

What Other Steps Should You Take?

Once you’ve notified your customers about the data breach, prepare for a storm of questions and concerns. When you or your representatives handle customers’ complaints, listen carefully to their stories. Then, explain that you have a cyber security insurance plan, and list all the groups that you have notified. Finish by emphasizing the programs or benefits you’re offering to customers whose privacy was compromised.

About Brooks, Todd & McNeil

Since 1839, the independent agents at Brooks, Todd & McNeil have been pleased to offer our community the best and most affordable policies from a variety of providers. Our dedicated facilitators are ready to put their 75 years of combined experience to work on your claims. To learn more about our products and services, contact us today at (800) 448-4567.