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City of Morris to protect itself from cybersecurity breaches

Plans include security policy that costs $7,183 for $2 million insurance

MORRIS – The city of Morris and its residents will be protected through cybersecurity insurance.

Morris City Council voted, 7-0, Tuesday night to approve the purchase of a $2 million cybersecurity policy from HCC Insurance Group at an annual cost of $7,183. Alderman Sid Nelson was absent.

Alderman Randy Larson asked the Finance Committee how the $2 million was decided on and what it entails.

Alderman Bill Martin said that the committee discussed a $1 million policy, but decided that for only $1,800 more, it was better to have twice the coverage. 

If the city’s information were ever to be hacked into, it would be required to notify residents three times through both the radio and newspaper of a security breach, in addition to sending them letters, Mayor Richard Kopczick said last week. Martin said it would cost around $250,000 to notify all residents through the required methods, not counting potential lawsuits.

“It’s a new coverage in the industry, but it’s becoming more apparent that it’s necessary,” HCC Insurance Group’s Doug Bruyn said.

Larson asked whether the city could be sued if its information were to be hacked. Bruyn said yes and that not only does the policy protect the city, but also the people who reside in it. 

“It’s really the fastest-growing insurance product out there,” Bruyn said.

Martin said it’s not a matter of if there will be a cybersecurity breach, but when, according to the presentation HCC made to the committee. Bruyn noted examples of claims reaching close to $400,000.

In other insurance news, the council voted, 7-0, to approve Morris Airport Committee Chairman Alderman Julian Houston’s recommendation to buy liability insurance for Morris Municipal Airport through Northern Insurance Group at an annual cost of $13,776.

Larson asked whether it was an increased price. Houston replied that it wasn’t and that if the city accepts the price, it can get the same price again next year.

Kopczick said the plan includes $20 million in liability insurance and $5 million in hangar insurance.

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