Insurers, Tech Firms Scramble to Keep Up With Cyber Risks

Despite progress, carriers are still falling short in how they approach cyber insurance and also how they cover events when they happen.

How can this be? The unique makeup of cyber risks continues to hold them back, according to experts who spoke on Sept. 24 during a panel discussion at InsureTech Connect in Las Vegas.

The thing with cyber is it’s not predictable. It doesn’t respect geographic boundaries. Cyber risk happening in Europe could also be happening at the same time in the U.S.,” noted Siobhan O’Brien, a panelist and head of Guy Carpenter’s Cyber Centre of Excellence for International and Global Specialties. “It can hit every type of business at the same time.”

Keith Moore, a panelist and CEO of online insurance comparison shopping platform CoverHound and CyberPolicy, a subsidiary that helps users buy cyber insurance, acknowledged the challenges that remain.

“We feel that cyber [insurance] is the first borderless product,” Moore said. “It’s very difficult to predict who is going to be impacted and when they are going to be impacted.”

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Rotem Iram is co-founder and CEO of At-Bay, a cyber insurance managing general underwriter and insurtech startup. Speaking on the panel, Iram noted: “it is a lot harder to predict cyber but also to react in the time frames that are required.”

Panelist Pascale Millaire, CEO of cyber analytics firm CyberCube, said that the cyber insurance market remains positive for carriers, arguably producing some of the most favorable attritional loss ratios out there. He noted, however, that the full picture of the risk landscape hasn’t yet become clear.

“In terms of building a strategical capability within your insurer, [there are] long-term strategic advantages of being in the cyber insurance business,” Millaire said. “The ‘but’ comes in when it comes to the potential for catastrophic cyber aggregation accumulation from events that haven’t happened before…Underwriting profits in recent years don’t tell the full story.”

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