What is a Continuous Insurance Discount?

Nowadays, it seems like everything’s costing us more. Gas, rent, electricity, groceries – and auto insurance. To combat the rise in insurance rates, a lot of drivers are looking for alternative ways to save. Discounts are the easiest and most reliable means of saving on auto insurance, and virtually all drivers qualify for at least one.

Let’s look at one of the more common auto insurance discounts: a continuous insurance discount. This auto insurance discount rewards drivers for maintaining their insurance over a certain period of time. Most insurers offer this discount, although how much of a discount they offer and for what period of time the driver qualifies for the discount will vary.

What Does “Continuous Insurance” Mean?

Continuous insurance is as the name implies: time spent being continuously insured. Some insurers offer this discount on a graded scale, so drivers who have had 5 years of continuous insurance may be discounted 5%, where drivers with 10+ years of continuous insurance history might have a discount of 10%+ or more. This includes time spent with your current insurer, and oftentimes the time you spent with your previous insurer as well – assuming there’s no lapse in coverage between policies.

Why Do Insurers Reward Continuous Insurance?

Experience is key. The more experienced you are, the likelier you are to practice good driving behaviours and possibly even handle small damages yourself without filing a claim. If you’re newly insured, there’s a higher chance you’re a younger, less experienced driver who is likelier to file a claim versus dealing with the damages yourself. Having a strong, uninterrupted insurance history usually serves as a signal to potential insurance providers that you are a responsible driver who is low-risk and understands how important it is to have insurance.

Having a continuous insurance history goes beyond qualifying you for a discount. A good insurance history can mean more options for coverage from a broader range of insurers. It can also mean better rates, since a cancellation or even a lapse in coverage can hike your rates.

If you need to change insurers at any point in your policy period, whether because that insurer stops serving your area, because you’ve become uninsurable, etc., we advise finding a new policy ASAP to avoid a lapse in coverage. Contact an AHI agent to help you. The last thing you’ll need is to find yourself in a situation where you’re without insurance. Not only is it illegal to drive without auto insurance in many states, but it’s just not a good idea for your wallet or for your peace of mind.

Other Loyalty-Based Auto Insurance Discounts

A continuous insurance auto discount is just one of many auto discounts that exist – and just one of the several loyalty-based discounts that are out there. Here are several other types of loyalty-based discounts for auto insurance that you could be eligible for:


Also known as a bundle discount, a multi-policy discount is an opportunity to save when you have two or more policies through the same insurer. For example, if you have a home policy through one insurer, you might consider buying your auto insurance through the same insurer to enjoy a discount. Discounts can be anywhere from 5%-10%. Some insurers also offer discount opportunities for other insurance products, like RV insurance, motorcycle insurance, etc.


Similar to above, you can save when you have more than one automobile on your policy. You don’t necessarily need to be the registered owner of both vehicles, either. You can add any vehicle to your policy that belongs to someone living with you, usually a spouse, roommate, or family member. The second vehicle must be kept primarily at the same address as the first vehicle.

Why Shouldn’t I Cancel My Auto Insurance?

Cancelling your auto insurance and having a lapse in your auto insurance history will void your continuous insurance discount. Most insurers recommend against cancelling your auto insurance, but in some glaringly obvious cases there isn’t much other choice.

There are many reasons why someone would cancel their auto insurance. Here are some of the most common:

  • Dissatisfaction with price: You may choose to cancel your auto insurance due to dissatisfaction with your price and the urge to shop elsewhere for a more cost-effective option.
  • Sold your vehicle: If you’ve sold your car, you’ll no longer need insurance.
  • Bundling policies: You may have discovered a bundle policy opportunity with another provider that will end up saving you more money. Ask an AHI agent about bundle discounts.

However, if you’re entering into a temporary situation where you may not have access to your car, whether due to an extended trip, a work-from-home arrangement, or because you’re putting away your car over the winter, hold off on cancelling. We advise you keep your insurance going to avoid any cancellation penalties, avoid a lapse in coverage on your record, and to maintain your continuous insurance history discount. You can reduce coverage temporarily, which will cost you less than if you maintained your full policy.

If you’re entering a period where you won’t have access to your vehicle or won’t be driving, ask an agent for their advice on your next steps. Everyone’s situation is different.

Which States Use ZIP Codes as an Insurance Rating Factor?

A ZIP Code is essentially a system of “zone” codes, traditionally used by the USPS (or United States Postal Service). The system was used to designate delivery points in the U.S. but has also been used in the insurance industry to help in pricing auto insurance premiums.

However, there is much debate over whether using ZIP codes is fair to drivers, especially those with otherwise clean driving records, and few to no claims, but who live in areas where their ZIP code has been associated with a higher risk of claims. Those drivers, who may never have been in an accident, could face higher rates simply due to where they live. In this blog post, we’ll examine how ZIP code influence car insurance rates and which states use ZIP codes to price auto insurance policies.

Why Do Insurers Use ZIP Codes as a Rating Factor?

When determining rates for drivers, car insurance underwriters will evaluate many factors. In most states, one of those factors—and perhaps one of the most influential ones—is ZIP code. ZIP codes have been implemented in the U.S. ever since their launching in 1963, and insurers have used these codes to gauge risks related to proximity, including population density, crime rates, and accident likelihood.

If you live in an area with a designated postal code that is associated with a high accident rate, you could end up facing higher rates because of the statistical probability of loss, even if you’re a great driver. Not every state uses ZIP codes as an insurance rating factor, however.

How ZIP Codes Affect Car Insurance Rates

ZIP codes can shed light on specific high-risk factors, which include:

  • Vandalism
  • Crime rates
  • Population density
  • Natural weather events
  • Accident rates
  • Auto theft
  • Road conditions

As these factors can vary from ZIP code to ZIP code, it makes sense why auto insurers would look at ZIP code to assess risk level in a certain area. ZIP codes are only one factor for how insurance rates are determined; they’re included amongst a much larger list, like driver age, driving record, number of miles driven, credit score (not all states), and so on.

Which States Don’t Use ZIP Code?

Currently, the only two states that have banned the usage of ZIP codes for auto insurance ratings are California and Michigan. In all other states, it’s legal for insurers to use ZIP codes as a rating factor for auto insurance to assess risk.

In states where it is legal to use ZIP code, some policyholders may be tempted to lie about their location to receive lower insurance rates. Doing so will constitute as an act of insurance fraud, which is illegal and can result in severe penalties, including but not limited to the cancellation of your policy. The bottom line? It’s better to be upfront and honest with your insurer.

Which ZIP Codes Have the Cheapest Auto Insurance Rates?

Currently (as of data from 2023) the ZIP code which has the cheapest car insurance rates is located in Charlotte, North Carolina, featuring an average quote (for liability only) of less than $50/month. Other states with affordable ZIP codes include Vermont, Arizona, Ohio, and North Carolina. The postal codes in these states are located in regions with lower population density, and therefore the drivers living in those areas are less likely to be involved in collisions.

Why Isn’t Using ZIP Codes as an Auto Insurance Rating Factor a Good Thing?

Well, it depends. If you’re a driver living in an area with rates that are lower due to a minimal accident rate, low crime, and low incidence of natural disasters, your ZIP code rating may be beneficial. However, if you live in an area with a ZIP code that is associated with high accident rates, high theft, and more, your rates may be higher – even if you were a good driver, and you could end up penalized despite being a responsible driver solely based on your geographical location.

ZIP codes are a convenient way for insurers to assess location-based risks, but they can end up oversimplifying the otherwise complex dynamics that exist in a neighborhood. Using a ZIP code approach may result in a disparity in premiums, overlooking individual circumstances in favour of looking at underwriting from a more “statistic” based approach.

While ZIP codes have only been banned in two states so far, there’s are talks about the banning of ZIP codes as an insurance rating factor altogether. The argument for this is that ZIP codes (and credit scores – although that’s a conversation for another day) tend to disproportionately target lower income communities and, incidentally, a higher rate of minorities living in a specific ZIP code. However, this varies all over the country. The consensus is ultimately that, as ZIP code can overlook responsible driving behaviour in favour of a statistic-based, “catch-all” approach, it can unfairly assign higher rates to what insurance companies would otherwise view as “good drivers.”

What are the most common misconceptions about commercial insurance?

As a business owner, you probably have a lot on your plate. You need to run your business to make sure it is successful and also make sure that it is protected. One of the best ways to protect your business is to have commercial insurance, but there are many myths surrounding it.

Let’s take a look at some of these myths and debunk them:

Myth 1: Commercial Insurance Covers All The Losses

A common belief is that commercial insurance covers any type of loss. However, this is not true. Just like any other type of insurance, business coverage has a number of exclusions. There is no commercial policy that would cover everything. Every policy is different, and it is crucial to understand that. 

Myth 2: Small Businesses Do Not Need Commercial Insurance

The truth is that all businesses can benefit from commercial insurance regardless of their size. Therefore, if you think that your company is too small for business insurance, you are wrong. 

Myth 3: Your Home Insurance Will Protect Your Home-based Business

Do you think that your home insurance will also protect your home-based company? Well, this is untrue. Unfortunately, your home insurance covers your home and personal belongings only. Therefore, if you run a business from home and want to make sure that it is protected, you need to get commercial insurance. 

Looking For Insurance in Olathe, KS?

Are you a business owner running your business in Olathe, KS or any other town in the state of Kansas? Do you want to make sure that your company is well protected in the event of loss? Then, consider reaching out to AHI Group and getting business insurance. At AHI Group, we specialize in all types of insurance, including commercial insurance as well. Reach out to us today. 

Why Do Teens Pay More for Auto Insurance?

Auto insurance is a necessity for all drivers, but for teenagers, it often comes with a hefty price tag. If you’re a parent of a teen driver or a young driver yourself, you may have noticed that insurance premiums for teenage drivers are substantially higher than those for more experienced motorists. But why is this the case?

Knowledge is power, and with AHI Group, we’ll delve into the factors contributing to the higher auto insurance rates faced by teen drivers. Understanding these factors is not only essential for parents and young drivers but for anyone interested in the dynamics of insurance pricing. Discover ways to mitigate the steeper pricing for teen’s auto insurance by reading on.

Auto Insurance Basics

Auto insurance is a financial safeguard that protects drivers from the potentially exorbitant costs associated with accidents, vehicle damage, and medical expenses. In the states auto insurance rates are influenced by several factors, including the driver’s age, driving history, the type of vehicle insured, and the chosen coverage options.

Teen drivers, however, often find themselves on the wrong side of the affordability scale due to their limited experience and the higher perceived risk associated with this age group. To understand why teens face higher insurance rates, it’s crucial to dive deeper into the factors that drive these premiums. Which factors are used and to what amount varies by insurer, but generally you can expect insurance rates to vary based on age, gender, driving record, postal code, and more.

Teen Driving Statistics

The statistics behind the driving behavior and accident rates of teens paints a telling picture. While teens make up a relatively small percentage of all licensed drivers, they are disproportionately involved in accidents. This higher accident rate, combined with the associated insurance claims, contributes to the elevated insurance rates for young drivers in the state. Even if you, as a teen driver, are an otherwise good driver who has never been involved in an accident, simply being a younger driver can inflate your rates.

Factors Contributing to Higher Rates for Teen Drivers:

Several factors play a role in the elevated insurance rates for teen drivers:

  • Lack of driving experience. Drivers with more experience behind the wheel will generally be considered less prone to accidents and therefore be charged less.
  • Risk-taking behavior, which is said to be common among young drivers. Even if you personally don’t take many risks, you can still face high rates simply by being young.
  • Choice of vehicle and coverage options. Comprehensive coverage and high-performance vehicles are a costly combination.
  • Past accidents. Having accidents while being young can skyrocket your rates.
  • How often you drive. Young drivers who drive frequently (more than 6,000mi/year) may face higher rates than those who drive 3,000mi/year or less.

Understanding these elements is essential for both teens and their parents when shopping for auto insurance.

Ways for Teen Drivers to Lower Insurance Costs

There are strategies that teen drivers can employ to reduce their insurance expenses. Enrolling in defensive driving courses can help young drivers acquire essential skills and demonstrate their commitment to safe driving, potentially earning them discounts from insurance providers. Good student discounts are also prevalent among insurers, rewarding teenagers who maintain strong academic records. Finally, comparison shopping for insurance quotes is a valuable tactic for finding the most competitive rates. By exploring multiple options, teen drivers and their parents can identify affordable coverage that still meets their needs.

Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Programs

Kansas, like many states, has implemented Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) programs aimed at gradually introducing teens to the responsibilities of driving. GDL programs typically include learner’s permits, intermediate licenses, and full, unrestricted licenses. These programs have a significant impact on insurance rates. Teen drivers with learner’s permits are generally less expensive to insure compared to those with full licenses, as they are under strict supervision. As drivers progress through the GDL phases, their insurance rates may change to reflect their increased driving experience. Understanding how GDL programs interact with insurance pricing is crucial for teen drivers and their parents when planning for the cost of coverage.

For similar programs in other states, discuss with an AHI agent. Each state has their own defensive driving programs and eligibility opportunities to lower rates through education.

Parental Involvement

Parents play a crucial role in helping teen drivers navigate the complex world of auto insurance. By setting a good example through their own responsible driving habits, parents can impart essential lessons to their teenagers. Moreover, parents can guide their teens in choosing appropriate vehicles and coverage levels, ensuring that they strike a balance between affordability and protection. Parental involvement extends to reinforcing safe driving behaviors and emphasizing the consequences of risky actions behind the wheel. By working together, parents and teens can better manage insurance costs and promote safety on the road.

Understanding why teen drivers face higher auto insurance rates is not only about economics; it’s about empowering young drivers and their parents to make informed decisions. As we’ve explored the factors contributing to these rates, from inexperience to state regulations, it becomes clear that proactive measures can mitigate these costs. Graduated Driver Licensing programs (and similar) offer a structured path to safer driving and more affordable insurance. Ultimately, by fostering a culture of responsible driving and informed insurance choices, we can pave the way for safer roads and more affordable insurance premiums for teen drivers in Kansas. Reach out to AHI Group for more information.

Does My Business Need Cyber Insurance?

As we’ve discussed in previous blog articles this month, it’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month, courtesy of the CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency). During this month, we’ve talked about the importance of cyber security, statistics on cyberattacks, and the interplay between two vital insurance policies: cyber insurance and business interruption. 

Here at AHI Group, your business’s security is our business. We aim to help inform business owners by equipping them with the best practices to protect their businesses against digital threats. Although cyber insurance is just one piece of a much larger puzzle, today we’re focusing on the topic of why your business needs cyber insurance, how cyber insurance can help, and what to look for in a policy.

What Businesses Need Cyber Insurance?

If your business stores or processes any information vital to its operations or that are considered private information (especially data containing information about clients) then you should heavily consider cybersecurity insurance. Consider the implementation of a cyber insurance policy, especially if you keep any cyber data that includes customer names, addresses, medical records, financial information (like credit card numbers) and even Social Security numbers. 

Few industries, if any, are required to have cyber insurance. In some instances and with certain partnerships, it may be requested of you to obtain cyber insurance to protect another party and any of their data you’re handling. IT companies, for example, might be contractually obligated to have some form of cyber insurance. Otherwise, this new product is a relatively new offering and may not be required depending on your industry.

How Cyber Insurance Can Help Your Business

Cyber insurance is a type of business insurance product that is curated toward helping businesses, small and large, recover from cyber attacks as a result of phishing scams, networking threats, ransomware, and more. Cyber insurance can help protect your business against a huge range of threats, such as:

  • Cyber extortion, or ransomware (which we’ve covered in a previous post!), which is an event that occurs where a cyber thief makes a demand for payment upon compromising your data or restricting your access to your networks.
  • Breaches of data, such as when you lose confidential or personal information, or a cyber criminal has had unauthorized access to your personal information.
  • A denial-of-service attack or technological failure, where a cyberattack results in the inability to access your online services.

Attacks vary in scale and cost, but they’re all disruptive. Cyber insurance helps to cover the costs that could come out of a successful cyber attack, including costs to notify affected parties, legal representation, the costs to restore damaged, lost, or corrupted data, and the outsourcing of a firm to investigate the breach’s source.

Most businesses purchase stand-alone policies with coverage specifically curated to cyber risks. Other businesses will opt for a business insurance endorsement that may supplement, modify, or increase existing cyber insurance coverage. Ask an AHI representative about which option is best for you.

What to Look For in a Cybersecurity Insurance Policy

In an age where digital threats loom large and cyberattacks have become an unfortunate reality, protecting your business from the potentially devastating consequences of a breach has never been more critical. Cyber insurance is the armor that can safeguard your business from financial ruin and reputational damage in the event of a cyber incident.

Financial Protection

Cyber insurance is designed to provide financial coverage in the wake of a cyberattack or data breach. These incidents can lead to substantial financial losses, ranging from the cost of investigating the breach, restoring compromised systems, notifying affected parties, and even potential legal actions. Without cyber insurance, these expenses can overwhelm a business. With the right policy in place, you can mitigate these financial burdens and ensure that your business can weather the financial storm.

Business Continuity

One of the most significant benefits of cyber insurance is its ability to support business continuity. When a cyber incident disrupts your operations, business interruption coverage within your cyber insurance policy comes to the rescue. It helps cover lost income and ongoing expenses like salaries and rent, ensuring that your business remains financially stable during the recovery process. This can be the difference between a business that thrives despite the interruption and one that struggles to recover.

Data Breach Response

A critical component of cyber insurance is the support it offers during a data breach. This includes access to a network of experts who can help your business navigate the breach, manage the response, and meet legal and regulatory obligations. Having this expertise at your disposal can make the process significantly smoother and more efficient, minimizing the damage to your business’s reputation.

Reputation Management

The fallout from a cyber incident can extend to your business’s reputation. Customers and partners may lose trust in your ability to protect their data, leading to long-term damage. Many cyber insurance policies offer reputation management services to help mitigate the impact of a breach on your brand and rebuild trust.

Customized Coverage

Cyber insurance is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Policies can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your business. Whether you’re a small startup or a large corporation, there is a cyber insurance policy that can be crafted to address your unique risks and circumstances.

This Cyber Month, AHI has aimed to educate, inform, and raise awareness about the growing and ever-evolving threat of cyber risks. We hope that we’ve done our part in showing you just how costly cyber attacks can be, as well as providing you with the tools you need to keep your business safe. And, as always, we’re happy to chat about the best ways to manage your business’s risk. Give us a call today.

Business Interruption and Cyber Insurance: How They Interact

In the fast-paced world of business, where every moment counts and every decision matters, the last thing any commercial client wants to deal with is an unexpected interruption. Business interruptions can arise from a variety of sources, whether it’s a natural disaster, supply chain disruption, or in our focus today, the ever-looming spectre of cyber threats.

The reality is that cyber risks are on the rise, and they have the potential to halt your business operations in their tracks. We get it, and we’re here for you. Our mission isn’t just about providing insurance; it’s about empowering you, our valued commercial clients, with the knowledge and tools you need to safeguard your business in this digital age.

At AHI Group, we believe that understanding the connection between business interruption and cyber insurance is not just a business necessity; it’s a promise we make to you, our clients, to care for your interests and provide the support you need to weather the storms that the digital world can bring.

Understanding Business Interruption Insurance

In the realm of business, every moment invested in realizing your vision can be a stepping stone toward success. Business interruption, a sudden and unforeseen disruption to your daily operations can deliver a gut-wrenching blow. Imagine managing a thriving business, steering your team toward your objectives, when suddenly, without warning, disaster strikes. It could be a natural calamity, a critical supplier’s unforeseen hiccup, or, as we delve into today, a cyber incident. The outcome remains consistent – your operations grind to a halt, revenues plummet, and the realization of your dreams feels more distant than ever. Business interruption can be an invaluable inclusion in your overall insurance plan.

The Role of Cyber Insurance

Cyber insurance and business interruption insurance work hand in hand. When a cyber-attack happens that causes your business’s operations to stall, business interruption insurance can be activated to help cover the lost costs during a period of forced closure. 

Business interruption coverage in your cyber insurance policy acts as a financial safety net during these turbulent times. It helps cover the income you would have earned had the cyber incident not occurred. It also assists in paying for ongoing expenses like rent, salaries, and utilities. This crucial component can make the difference between a business that manages to weather the storm and one that faces severe financial distress.

The Growing Threat of Cyber Risks

In today’s interconnected world, cyber risks have evolved into a formidable adversary for businesses of all sizes. The digital landscape is bustling with innovation, convenience, and efficiency, but it’s also teeming with lurking cyber threats that have the potential to disrupt, damage, and even dismantle companies. This growing threat is not one that business owners can afford to overlook.

Cyberattacks, including data breaches and ransomware incidents, have become increasingly sophisticated, with cybercriminals constantly refining their tactics. The consequences of a successful cyberattack can be far-reaching, extending beyond financial losses to encompass reputational damage and loss of customer trust. In an era where information is not just an asset but the lifeblood of many businesses, the stakes are incredibly high. Every day, companies are targeted, and while some may have the resources to weather the storm, many others find themselves vulnerable to the devastating consequences of a cyber incident.

Empowering Clients to Take Action

Now that we’ve explored the vital connection between business interruption and cyber insurance, it’s time to shift our focus to empowerment. At AHI Group, we understand that knowledge alone is not enough; it’s the proactive steps you take that truly make the difference in safeguarding your business.

Empowering our commercial clients to fortify their businesses against cyber threats is not just our commitment; it’s our passion. We’re dedicated to providing you with the tools, guidance, and strategies you need to bolster your cybersecurity measures. The journey begins with self-assessment. Take a close look at your current cybersecurity practices and identify areas that may be vulnerable. It might involve evaluating your data security, access controls, employee training, and incident response plans.

That’s where AHI Group’s expertise and guidance come into play. We’re here to assist you in understanding your unique cyber insurance policy, ensuring you know how to navigate the claims process and receive the support you need when the unexpected occurs. We stand by your side during every step of your journey toward resilience and security, because at AHI Group, we’re not just an insurance provider; we’re your partners in success, ready to empower you to face the digital age with confidence and strength. Call us to discuss your cyber insurance strategy today.

What is a Loss of Use Policy in Home Insurance?

When purchasing home insurance, it’s important to look at the various policies that are available to you. At AHI Group, our team likes to design specific policies that will fully insure the people of Olathe, KS. One type of coverage to consider is loss of use, an insurance policy that pays for additional living expenses. 

What Situations Require Loss of Use Insurance?

Additional living expenses, also known as ALE, are usually incurred from unexpected life events. If a fire or a storm damages your home, then you might have to move into a temporary residence as your home gets rebuilt. Whether it’s a hotel room or a rented RV, temporary living can be surprisingly expensive – potentially creating new costs for your living situation. For example, if you don’t have a fridge in your temporary home, you might resort to buying restaurant food or quick meals from a convenience store. There could be additional costs from new clothing, health supplies, and beauty products – items that are sometimes lost from property damage.

What Does Loss of Use Cover?

In a home insurance policy, a loss of use policy will cover hotel stays, vehicle fuel, and other necessary expenses while you’re living outside your home. This policy is especially useful if you’re living in a hotel room that is more expensive per month than your actual residence. 

Getting Loss of Use in Olathe, KS

If you’re interested in including loss of use in your home insurance plan, then please contact one of our agents in Kansas. You can call the AHI Group to learn more. We offer other types of coverage, so feel free to ask about those policies as well. 

The Big Halloween Scare: Ransomware and Your Business

Ghosts, zombies, ghouls, and ransomware – one of these things is not like the other. While it’s true that monsters and Jack o’ Lanterns have been the featurette of Halloween, business owners have something even bigger to be afraid of: cybercrime. Cybercrime comes in many, many forms, but one of its most popular (and perhaps most harmful) forms of cybercrime is ransomware, a malicious digital attack on your business’s valued technological assets.

This article isn’t to necessarily frighten you so much as it is to inform you, but we couldn’t ignore the irony of this year’s Cyber Month including a Friday the 13th. So, to stick with the theme, let’s talk about the big Halloween scare: ransomware and how it can affect your business!

What is Ransomware & Why Should I Be Scared?

Ransomware, by definition, is a criminal act by which a cybercriminal – an individual or entity – breaches a company or organization’s network and steals their digital assets, usually financial information or private client data. That data is then held for ransom and may be “frozen,” and therefore unable to be accessed by the company or organization.

Ransomware can be devastating. For one, it can be seriously impactful to a business’s operations to be unable to access critical data and information. Two, it can be a breach of privacy for the clients’ whose data may have been stolen. Later down the line, that can lead to costly lawsuits. That’s not even to mention the potential amount of money the data could be held ransom for, which for smaller businesses may seriously harm their finances.

Any business that uses data may be at risk of ransomware. It happens more often than you might think, and increasingly so as more and more organizations utilize data and technology in their everyday operations. Even your casual Mom and Pop shop working off the Corner of X Street could be exposed if they store any financial data on their computers.

Ransomware and Businesses: 2023 Statistics

To put into perspective just how catastrophic a ransomware attack (or any sort of cyber attack, for that matter) can be on your business, we’ve compiled a list of up-to-date commercial ransomware statistics. Keep in mind that large and small businesses alike are impacted by ransomware. These stats don’t exclude businesses with fewer than five employees, and in fact those businesses may make up a larger proportion of the businesses that are affected. Smaller businesses may be less “appealing” to cybercriminals, but their fortifications are often less than that of larger companies and therefore are easier to breach.

  • Healthcare ranks as the costliest industry for a breach, with breaches costing $10.1 million on average.
  • Phishing (sending malicious emails or attachments through email, posing as either a reputable individual or entity) continues to be the most popular scam in 2023.
  • In 2023, ransomware makes up about 24% of all cyber attacks.
  • According to a report from IBM, it can take a year (on average) to identify and contain ransomware. Paying for the ransomware has been proven to not result in any cost savings.
  • As cloud technology is adapted more and more, it too becomes a target for ransomware and is becoming increasingly exploited.

Many of the “big breaches” we often here about are involving those large companies, like Microsoft or Facebook, but that doesn’t mean that breaches aren’t happening regularly to the smaller guys, either. They just don’t make headlines like the big businesses do. It’s serious business, cybercrime! Here’s how you can keep your business safer:

Creating a Business Cyber Toolkit to Stay Safe

Just because it only might happen doesn’t mean your business shouldn’t take its cyber safety seriously. Even if you think you don’t have much to lose, taking action to protect your business’s digital assets can go a very long way – and can save you a serious headache later down the line.

Cyber insurance is just one aspect of cyber safety. To be transparent, you won’t have much luck finding a policy if you aren’t already taking measures to keep your organization safe.

Those measures, which we’ve talked about in previous blogs this Cyber Month, are doing such things as training employees on the latest up-to-date cybersecurity tips, implementing multi-factor authentication, installing (and regularly updating) your system’s firewall, having remote employees use a VPN, and more.

Small steps like these should be regularly incorporated into your business’s everyday operations. Doing so can greatly mitigate your odds of being involved in a data breach, ransomware event, or cyber attack, or at least help your organization to identify if you’ve been targeted by a scheme.

And finally, get cyber insurance. If all else fails, it’s valuable to know you have the backing of a comprehensive insurance policy to safeguard your assets – digital or otherwise.

Certain cyber insurance packages will also come with access to cybersecurity experts, who can help your business not only bolster its existing cybersecurity protocol but provide a step-by-step path to recovery if you’re ever finding yourself needing to recoup following a cyber attack. Ask an AHI representative for more information about this option.

Get Insured this Halloween with AHI Group

Before you start to decorate the office and prepare for your “spooky staff party,” it’s time to get your business adequately protected with the right cyber insurance. AHI helps its commercial partners get the cyber insurance they need.

Give us a call to discuss your business’ technological needs today and we’ll happily start the process of finding you comprehensive cyber insurance. Happy Friday the 13th!

Let’s Talk Cyber Security: Cyber Tips for All Size of Businesses

This misconception that only large businesses are at risk of cybercrime is not only incredibly untrue, but it can also be devastatingly harmful. Big businesses have far more financial muscle to protect themselves from cyber risks, and can invest more into cyber security measures, which overall can act as a deterrent to potential criminals. Small businesses? Small businesses may not seem like appealing targets from the outskirts, but the truth is that they’re perhaps more at risk because they may be less protected and less informed in how to defend themselves against cyberattacks.

All this is to say that small businesses and big businesses need to understand the importance of cyber security, which ranges from information back-ups and password management to proper employee training. Your business’s cyber security is only as strong as its weakest link! Let’s take a deep dive into some critical cyber tips for all size of businesses. 

Tailoring a Cybersecurity Strategy for Your Small Business

Cybersecurity doesn’t have to be expensive, but it can take some effort on your part as a business owner. A good plan should incorporate the maintenance of cyber insurance policies, response protocols, the installation of adequate firewalls and software, and educational materials to be laid out in advance. The prevention of an attack should always be a top priority, as it’s better to avoid an incident altogether than have to pick up the pieces after one has occurred. 

For having a consistently up-to-date strategy, you may consider hiring a cybersecurity point person. If this isn’t in the budget, that’s OK! Instead, look internally and consider adding that responsibility (for a pay raise) to an existing employee who can manage news on up-to-date tactics, the latest virus prevention software, and more. Now, let’s get into some cyber tips:

Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication, or MFA, requires users to perform multiple actions in order to gain security access to accounts, networks, or databases. It acts as a deterrent to potential hackers and bolsters your security, plus it helps employees get into the practice of ensuring accounts are safeguarded, even if a password is compromised. MFA can include passwords, biometrics, email validation, cell security codes, and more.

Utilize Information Backups

As we have earlier addressed in our previous blog on Cyber Awareness Month, a lot of data attacks happen as a result of cloud-based software. Having information backups and storing them on separate mediums, like USB sticks, external drives, or even disk storage system can go a long way. This ensures that in case of a cyberattack or data loss, you can quickly recover without significant disruptions.

Network Security

Invest in a firewall, intrusion detection system, and antivirus software to protect your small business’s network. Segment your network to isolate sensitive data and limit access only to those who need it. Make sure to regularly monitor network traffic for anomalies that might indicate a breach, or outsource a team of professional information technology experts who can do so on your company’s behalf.

Start by Training Your Employees

The biggest risk to your company’s security? Your employees. Human error is the number one largest cause of data breaches. Start by educating your employees about cybersecurity best practices. Ensure they understand the importance of strong passwords, recognize phishing attempts, and know how to securely handle sensitive data. Regular training sessions can help keep your team vigilant, whether those are once per year, once per every six months, or even more frequently (depending on your industry.)

Cover topics that are relevant to your business, like the utilization of strong passwords and the implementation of MFA. Work remotely? Use virtual training workshops to train remote employees how to utilize their company’s network from a remote setting safely. Talk about phishing safety, safe Internet browsing, and secure communication practices.

Get Cyber Insurance

First – cyber insurance is not a replacement for cyber security. It’s a supplement. Most cyber insurers will not insure a business without pre-existing cyber security measures, including firewall, MFA, and certain cybersecurity measures. Cyber insurance can act as a fallback plan for any business that may be at risk of a cyber breach, and can help if all else fails.

Cyber insurance and sufficient cyber security are both critical tools in the digital age. Cyber insurance provides financial protection against the potentially devastating costs associated with a cyberattack or data breach. In an era where cyber threats are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated, having cyber insurance can help mitigate the financial and reputational fallout of such incidents.

Cyber insurance typically covers expenses like legal fees, notification costs, forensic investigations, and customer credit monitoring, among others. It can also help cover the costs of restoring compromised systems and data. Moreover, cyber insurance can provide invaluable support in the form of incident response teams and experts who can guide a company through the crisis, ultimately minimizing the long-term damage to its operations and reputation. Given the prevalence of cyber threats today, having cyber insurance is a wise investment to safeguard your business’s financial stability and resilience in the face of digital risks.

Get Insured with AHI Group and Protect Your Digital Assets

AHI Group is an agency based in Olathe, Kansas that helps small and large businesses alike find the comprehensive insurance coverage they need. As the world of technology evolves at our fingertips, so does the sophistication of cybercriminals, making it all the more important for us to stay on our toes. Give us a call to discuss getting your business the cyber insurance it needs to stay vigilant against potential digital threats.

What is Cybersecurity Awareness Month & Why Should You Care?

As we enter the month of October, the crisp autumn air isn’t the only thing that should be on your radar. It’s also the start of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the critical importance of cybersecurity in our increasingly digital world. At AHI Group, we understand that safeguarding your business’ digital assets goes beyond traditional insurance policies.

We’ll delve into why October is Cyber Awareness Month and why it should matter to you, your business, and your peace of mind. In a world where cyber threats are ever-evolving, arming yourself with knowledge is your first line of defense. So, grab a warm cup of coffee, settle in, and let’s explore the world of cyber awareness and how it can impact your life and business.

What is Cybersecurity Awareness Month?

Ever since 2004, October has been internationally recognized as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. As if October wasn’t already spooky enough, we’re dealing with businesses’ awareness of cyber threats: ransomware, cyber attacks, and data breaches. In the United States, October’s Cyber Month comes out of a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. 2023 will mark the 20th annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

What’s even more remarkable, this year the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (or CISA) is partnering with the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) to curate both messaging and critical resources for businesses to utilize when they go over the importance of cybersecurity awareness and staying safe online with their employees, members, and customers. 

As a business, you can also become a partner with CISA for Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and work together with the organization to help spread information about how to reduce risks online or when utilizing tech that’s connected to the Internet. Email AwarenessCampaigns@cisa.dhs.gov for more information about becoming a Cybersecurity Awareness Month partner.

Why is Cybersecurity Awareness Important?

Because around 2328 cyber attacks happen each day. Excuse the shock factor, but businesses must understand just why cybersecurity awareness is so crucial. Here’s some startling stats from 2023:

  • Between 2001 and 2021, it is estimated that a total of $26 billion was lost due to cyberattacks, breaches, and other cybercrime events.
  • The healthcare industry is easily one of the most targeted sectors, with roughly 90% of institutions in the USA having experienced at least one data breach in the last few years.
  • Between 2013 and 2019, over 70% of cyber insurance claims resulted from incident response, data breaches, and overall crisis management. 
  •  The United States is at the top of the list when it comes to countries with the highest average cost of a data breach, reigning in at 9.44 million USD. The Middle East follows with an average of 7.46 million USD, and Canada is third with 5.64 million USD.
  • 45% of all data breaches were found to be cloud-based. 

Data breaches are no joke. The thought that smaller businesses shouldn’t need to be proactive in their efforts to protect their business’s digital assets is a misconception; smaller businesses may not have the financial muscle to respond to a data breach, and they may be more tempting for cybercriminals due to their lack of cybersecurity measures. All sizes of businesses are at risk – small businesses perhaps even moreso. That’s why all organizations that use tech or access the Internet in some form need to be proactive and incorporate cyber risk management strategies. 

Risk Management and Small Businesses

In the upcoming blogs throughout Cyber Awareness Month, we will provide you with a comprehensive toolkit for managing cyber risks, tailored to businesses of all sizes. Here’s a sneak peek of the essential strategies and tips we’ll delve into:

Employee Training and Awareness

Educate your workforce on cybersecurity best practices to ensure they can identify and mitigate potential threats.

Strong Password Policies

Implement robust password policies and multi-factor authentication to safeguard your digital accounts.

Regular Software Updates

Stay current with software updates and patches to plug security vulnerabilities.

Data Encryption

Employ encryption techniques to protect sensitive data both in transit and at rest.

Incident Response Plans

Develop and rehearse incident response plans to minimize downtime and data loss in case of a breach.

Vendor Risk Management

Assess and manage the cyber risks associated with your third-party vendors and partners.

Cyber Insurance

Explore the benefits of cyber insurance policies tailored to your business’s unique needs.

Network Security

Strengthen your network security with firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and regular network assessments.

Regular Backups

Implement automated, frequent data backups to mitigate the impact of ransomware attacks.

Compliance and Regulations

Stay informed about industry-specific regulations and compliance requirements to avoid costly penalties.

These tips will serve as a foundation for your organization’s cybersecurity strategy, ensuring you’re well-prepared to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats. Stay tuned for in-depth insights and expert advice in our upcoming blog posts throughout Cyber Awareness Month.