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Published in Economic Times on 16th September 2017. Written by Kapil Mehta
The IT industry has capably elevated India’s standing in the world economy in the past two decades. For a country that was initially perceived as a harbour of red-tapism and bureaucracy, IT has come to be the crown jewel in India’s trove of mercantile treasures. It has unfurled a rich tapestry of opportunity, having contributed close to 10% to India’s GDP in the last financial year. The success story of information technology in India is composed of thousands of little ones, each belonging to an IT company that has been instrumental in shaping the sector. In a fitting tribute to these stories, insurance companies across the country offer tailor-made plans to protect the interests of IT companies.
IT ventures face graver risks than their cross-industry counterparts. Like those in other sectors, they face generic dangers like damage to property and equipment, diseases and illnesses of employees or dependents, and accidents at the workplace. However, in addition to these, IT firms are also exposed to specific industry risks that could impair their integrity and reputation. These risks stem from the two most prized assets of any IT firm: its employees and its data.
Take this narrative further, and you will see how insurance covers can seamlessly darn the functional fabric of an IT firm. The property and fixed assets cover, for example, has been created to underpin the real estate landscape of a technology organisation. It protects companies from losses or damages accruing from fires, lightning, air crashes, riots, strikes and explosions. It also extends to cover the degradation of a property owing to the malfunction of a water pipe or other apparatus, and any potential losses produced by natural calamities such as storms, cyclones and floods. Of course, the cover isn’t governed by an inviolable purview. By topping your base plan with additional features, you can create a bespoke insurance cover that meshes with the needs of your organisation. If, for example, burglary, loss of money, damage of office equipment and accidents serve as likely potential threats, your insurance provider can specially craft a plan for you that includes an assortment of additional attributes.
For technology companies, superior services are almost always underscored by an army of skilled professionals who collectively power projects with their respective specialised skill sets. Your employees’ expertise is often irreplaceable and it is important to honour their safety and wellbeing. There are two noteworthy insurance covers that are ideal to protect employees and their families from unanticipated events: group health insurance and group personal accident insurance. A group health insurance cover employees in an indemnity blanket that encompasses a plethora of diseases and also covers potential expenses related to maternity or surgery. Many covers even embrace risks associated with known diseases, gifting every employee the prospect of a long, healthy life.
Although health insurance takes care of dangers stemming from diseases, ailments and illnesses, there are other ways in which your employees’ lives may be derailed. Group personal accident insurance is an effective way to mitigate the risks attached to unforeseen mishaps and accidents and covers risks not covered by alternate covers such as group mediclaim and workmen compensation insurance. The policy provides sound financial support to an employee or his nominee in the event of accidental death or permanent or partial disability, with the final sum payable pivoting on the degree or severity of the accident. Like many other covers, however, group personal accident insurance can be tailored to include a range of terms that may not otherwise be part of a standard cover.
While it is important to safeguard employees and their families against uncertainties, it is equally essential to shield your business from potential business downturns owing to the sudden demise, illness or accident of a key employee. Keyman insurance is the perfect solution. The cover is often used to protect a technology company from the absence or demise of a key stakeholder, without whom the organisation could face a business downturn. The policy promises a pre-determined financial sum to the company, to help it weather the effects of an employee’s absence and subsequently procure an appropriate replacement. Similarly, a directors’ and officers’ liability insurance acts as a safety net for directors and senior officers of technology companies. The cover allows organisations to deflect third-party claims that challenge decisions made by directors and officers in their official capacities. These claims may stem from vendors, employees, customers or contractors.
At the heart of any IT company, lie layers of classified data that hold the key to myriad technology solutions crafted exclusively for clients. A cyber risk insurance policy protects a firm against a liability or loss arising from a breach of data, a glitch in a payment gateway, or an act of cyber fraud. This versatile cover is double-sided, offering protection to both you and your customers in the event of a data breach.
With IT forming India’s primary growth engine, it is only fitting that insurance covers extend wide enough to enfold every reasonably-sized technology company in the country. As more businesses embrace insurance, India’s IT story has marvelous chapters left to be written. With the right indemnity cover, yours may be one of them.