IT hardware out of order

THE CONTEXT

A large number of digital files, including plans for a 32-unit housing project, stored on an architectural firm’s server became inaccessible. Even the backups were unusable.

After coverage was denied by the company responsible for the cost of re-entering the data, the architectural firm issued a subpoena against that company. A court-appointed expert was named. At the judicial expertise meeting, GM Consultant brought up several anomalies relating to the cause of the reported incident. The IT service provider, hired by the policyholder to examine the server, first reported a “computer virus”, then an “electronic malfunction”.

GM CONSULTANT INTERVENTION

The GM Consultant loss adjusters then suggested having the hard drive analysed by a specialised provider with access to a “clean room” to obtain clarifications about the cause and nature of the disk malfunction and to verify whether the coverage was applicable.

After an in-depth examination of the hard drive, the conclusion was that a logical disk failure (no tangible damage but inaccessible data) had occurred. The likely cause is therefore a virus, and the insurer can analyse coverage based on this assumption. In addition, the proposed cost for restoring the data is significantly lower than the cost for manual data entry that had been claimed by the policyholder.

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