Cyber security and insurance coverage discussed at Picayune School Board meeting


The Picayune School Board of Trustees had questions concerning the latest recommendations from BancorpSouth Insurance Services regarding district coverage.

During Tuesday’s school board meeting, the board asked why the premium costs for the district’s auto insurance had gone up. Last year, the school district paid $82,063 in premiums for auto insurance while this year the amount increased to $87,864.

BancorpSouth insurance agent, Justin Ladner, explained to the board that the biggest factor in their premiums going up is loss ratio.

“We are running a 185 percent loss ratio,” Ladner said. “We’re paying out more claims than we’re paying in premium.”

Ladner also pointed out that the district’s current cyber security protection is weak in terms of coverage. Under the current coverage plan, the school district could pay up to $100,000 to protect past and present information about students, staff members and parents from online hackers.

“I don’t think that’s enough,” Ladner said. “Not only do you have to notify people, now you have to monitor my credit if my data was compromised. So $100,000 will not get us far.”

Ladner advised the Board if they were going to look at buying additional cyber coverage, they would have to look at many different packages before making a decision.

“Do you need it? Yes, but how much do we need? How many years of records are we storing? It’s not just computers, laptops and cell phones. It’s paper files. It’s everything,” Ladner said. “It is a different animal than what we’re dealing with today, but it is the future. It is an exposure that you have.”

Superintendent, Dean Shaw, told the board that the school district has never suffered from a cyber security breach in the past, however, it is now something the board is taking under advisement.

“That’s going to be growing,” Board member Jake Smith said. “Every year it’s going to get worse and worse.”

“I’m with Jake,” Board member Frank Feeley said. “I kind of think if you don’t get your butt covered, you could find yourself in a jam.”

Ladner assured the Board that they could add a cyber security package at any time and the board voted to accept the district’s recommendation from BancorpSouth Insurance Service.

@WRJW