Commissioners OK cyber-security insurance | Government and Politics | #government | #hacking | #cyberattack

The St. Francois County Commission took care of two items of business during a brief meeting held Tuesday morning.

Following approval of the consent agenda, Presiding Commissioner Harold Gallaher gave a presentation on the purchase of cyber-security insurance by the county.

“What happened was we were insured for this by MoPERM (an insurance company that deals solely with counties). They have canceled all coverage of this. I guess they had a string of bad experiences, so we and every other county in Missouri have lost their coverage on it. So, Rhonda sent out a request for proposals and she only got one back, and that’s from this Evolve [MGA].”

“It’s a 12-month comp policy,” Gallaher said. “It has a $25,000 deductible (per claim), $1 million limit and the premium is $16,065 per year. I was thinking Rhonda would say $22,000, but the figures here say $16,065.

Prior to the vote on a motion to accept the policy, county resident Rich Luebcke asked Gallaher what the policy covers.

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According to the Evolve MGA website, “cyber insurance — also referred to as ‘cyber liability insurance,’ ‘data breach insurance,’ or ‘hacker insurance’ — covers the costs associated with hack attacks and data breaches to illegally acquire company funds and sensitive data via electronic means. Cyber insurance covers all the costs faced by a business after experiencing a hacker-prompted cyber-attack.”

County Auditor Louie Seiberlich commented on the widespread problem of cyber-security.

“At our auditors’ conference, recently, this was a major topic among first-class county auditors,” he said. “I can relate one county — I won’t mention the name — where they were hacked this past fall and the ransom request was, I think, a million dollars. They eventually settled for $100,000, which it paid the ransom.

“Unfortunately, all systems in county government were shut down for 10 business days, including the phone service, and it cost $200,000 to restore the service. I’m assuming that this insurance is what could acclimate us back to our regular service.”

Seiberlich suggested that in the future the county might consider setting aside the $16,000 cost of an annual premium and build up an account from which it could eventually self-insure.

He added, “The problem with this is that we are up against a timeline because our coverage expires on Friday.”

The motion to purchase the cyber insurance through Evolve MGA was unanimously approved by the commissioners.

The second item of business was approving the order of four 2022 Ford Police Interceptor utility vehicles for the sheriff’s department at an approximate cost of $16,000 each. Lights and other necessary accessories will be installed at an additional cost by the county. Funds to cover the cost of purchasing the vehicles had been previously approved by the commission.

Gallaher announced there will be a special meeting held at 1 p.m. Thursday at which the commission will be meeting with its attorney regarding the opioid lawsuit. It will be open to the public. The next regular meeting of the commission will be at 10 a.m. Jan. 4 on the fourth floor of the courthouse annex in Farmington.

Kevin R. Jenkins is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-783-9667 or

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