When Does Social Engineering Fraud Qualify for Insurance Coverage?

A $1.7‑million email fraud scheme that also relied on an impersonator’s phone call still qualifies for insurance coverage under a traditional crime policy, a split panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in December 2019. This was the third consecutive federal circuit court to favor policyholders after insurers had won a series of rulings in similar cases analyzing multi-step social engineering frauds. We summarize the case and analyze the issues with insight from Barnes & Thornburg partner Scott Godes who persuaded the Eleventh Circuit panel to grant coverage for Principle Solutions Group. Godes also discusses insurers’ policy changes around social engineering and offers best practices on procuring insurance that protects against the damage from social engineering scams. See “What Cyber Insurance Covers, What to Watch For and How to Get the Right Policy” (Dec. 4, 2019).

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