Can cyber underwriters overcome a lack of data in a post-COVID-19 world?

22-05-2020

Can cyber underwriters overcome a lack of data in a post-COVID-19 world?

From its inception, cyber underwriting has faced difficult challenges including a limited amount of historical data. Now, partly driven by the global pandemic, an increase in cyber threat levels and demand for protection could represent a prime opportunity for a rethink. Jack Kudale, Cowbell Cyber founder and CEO, highlights key things to consider in such a change.

With digital operations ramping up all the time, accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, cyber insurance has moved up the agenda for many businesses. Intelligent Insurer caught up with Cowbell Cyber founder and chief executive officer Jack Kudale ahead of the Intelligent Insurer webinar ‘Meet the Ever-Growing Demand for Resilient Cyber Protection: Overcome a Lack of Data and Enhance Data with Additional Information’, which is on Tuesday May 26th at 4pm GMT/11am ET.

Question: What are you looking forward to discussing during the webinar?

Jack Kudale (JK): The cyber insurance market is growing rapidly and yet there is a lack of historical data in terms of cyber underwriting. The webinar’s expert panel on cyber will be talking about how underwriters are managing that process of understanding and how they are able to understand the risk and price the policies without any historical data.

The industry has been writing billions of dollars for cyber insurance over the last three years, so it clearly is underwriting minimal historical data. But how has the industry been able to work without standardisation in data and coverages? Everyone has a unique model for how cyber is underwritten and how underwriters practice that. During the webinar, I’m looking forward to hearing different variations on this and best practices and new ideas. It’ll be great to be able to share that with the audience and contribute to the innovation in underwriting for cyber.

Other big topics to discuss will be how data plays a role in packaged versus standalone coverage, and how data plays a role for underwriting small businesses versus large enterprises

Q: How could the pandemic change cyber underwriting in the future?

JK: This is especially important in a post-COVID-19 era where the threat level from cyber attacks has gone up significantly. Phishing has gone up 600 percent and the use of ransomware has increased. People are responding to those events and rates have gone up 15 to 20 percent for cyber premiums. At the same time there is a view that 85 percent of cyber can be underwritten using just industry class and revenue. It’ll be interesting to discuss whether we can continue to underwrite cyber in the same way, particularly post-COVID-19.

In the context of the accelerating pace of growth and how data plays a key role in good underwriting, it’ll also be interesting to discuss how big a role artificial intelligence (AI) can play.

Q: Is the industry investing more in cyber now?

JK: Yes, we’ve seen more investment from the agencies as well as insurers. Agencies are looking at cyber as their new line of business for growth. Behind every crisis is an opportunity, and this is one of them.

Q: What will listeners be able to take away from this webinar?

JK: A key thing will be where heavy investment in cyber is going in terms of capacity and new business models. Other product lines have enough data to rely on for such investment but cyber doesn’t. So listeners will hear how data plays a role in cyber underwriting, loss control and how AI plays a role in risk modeling. They’ll also learn how far we are from standardisation in overall cyber underwriting. Everybody cares about good underwriting because it means less claims, a better product and a faster process to obtain cyber insurance.

Sign up to attend the webinar by clicking here.

More than 400 senior executives have already signed up to this free webinar, where you’ll find out how to improve access to data and augment the data you already have in your cyber insurance portfolio to sharpen your competitive edge. Jack Kudale will be joined by:

 - Kara Owens, managing director, global cyber underwriting executive, Markel
 - Dr. Jürgen Reinhart, chief underwriting officer, cyber, Munich Re
 - Neil Arklie, head of cyber, Aviva
 - Miles Weis, AVP – executive risk and cyber practice leader, Holmes Murphy

The webinar will take place on Tuesday May 26th at 4pm GMT/11am ET – but if you can’t make this time, sign up in advance and you’ll automatically receive the webinar recordings.

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