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Erie Insurance introduces new coverage to protect small businesses against cloud computing risks

ERIE, Pa., June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- More and more small and mid-sized businesses are using cloud computing, with the percentage expected to more than double from 37 percent today to 80 percent within the next six years.* Cloud computing helps companies save money by enabling them to store their electronic assets in data centers or warehouses and essentially "rent" access to them, paying only for the IT assets they use. But with those rewards come new risks, including service interruption and data loss. But Erie Insurance business customers can rest easier thanks to new cloud computing coverage that's been added to its Equipment Breakdown coverage.

The cloud computing coverage is part of TechAdvantage™, now automatically included on ERIE's business insurance policies**. TechAdvantage also is the first coverage to pay for failure of microelectronics when physical damage cannot be detected. The coverage can pay for equipment losses when tiny electronic circuitry, such as that found on the circuit boards and computer chips embedded in many of today's products, stops working for no apparent reason.

Risks of cloud computing

"The two biggest risks of cloud computing are service interruption and data loss," said Christine Lucas , vice president and commercial multi-peril product manager, Erie Insurance. "After all, the cloud isn't literally in the sky. It's in physical buildings that can suffer power outages and equipment breakdowns."

In fact, a survey by Hartford Steam Boiler and the Ponemon Institute found nearly half of business cloud users (48 percent) have experienced a service interruption, and 56 percent said at least one of those interruptions prevented their company from functioning.

Some of the biggest cloud service providers are household names like Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and Google, but there are thou

sands of other smaller cloud data centers and providers and many lack adequate protections against outages.  In addition, data centers can be prime targets for hackers. 

The new coverage protects ERIE customers from such risks by providing:

  • Data research, repair and restoration services;
  • Coverage for direct property loss for the cost to repair or replace covered equipment that is damaged;
  • Coverage for lost business income and extra expenses when a customer's cloud service provider experiences an outage or equipment breakdown for covered reasons; and
  • Because outages and data breaches can damage a company's reputation, public relations coverage that pays up to $5,000 for a professional services firm to assist in communicating with clients, the public and the media.

*Source: Survey conducted by Hartford Steam Boiler and the Ponemon Institute.

**Coverage and associated services provided under an arrangement with The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company. Coverage included as part of Ultrapack Plus and Flex policies. Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Co., Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Co., Flagship City Insurance Co. and Erie Family Life Insurance Co. (Erie, PA) or Erie Insurance Co. of New York (Rochester, NY).  Go to erieinsurance.com for company licensure and product details.

Tweetable Highlights

  • Small businesses can get their heads out of the cloud with new coverage from @erie_insurance Share
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About Erie Insurance

According to A.M. Best Company, Erie Insurance Group, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, is the 10th largest homeowners insurer and 12th largest automobile insurer in the United States based on direct premiums written and the 15th largest property/casualty insurer in the United States based on total lines net premium written. The Group, rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company, has more than 5 million policies in force and operates in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Erie Insurance Group is a FORTUNE 500 company, a Barron's 500 company and has been recognized by Forbes as one of America's 50 Most Trustworthy Financial Companies.

News releases and more information about Erie Insurance Group are available at www.erieinsurance.com.

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