9 January 2023Insurance

Major ILS investors back Beazley’s groundbreaking $45m cyber catastrophe bond

Specialist  Lloyd’s re/insurer  Beazley has launched a $45 million “market’s first” cyber catastrophe bond with backing from a panel of major insurance-linked securities (ILS) investors. It is the first time that a liquid ILS instrument has been created for cyber catastrophe risks.

The $45 million private Section 4(2) bond is fully tradeable under Rule 144A resale and gives Beazley indemnity against all perils in excess of a $300 million catastrophe event, with the potential for additional tranches to be released through 2023 and beyond.

The bond is backed by a panel of ILS investors including Fermat Capital Management, and was structured and placed by Gallagher Securities, the ILS arm of Gallagher Re.

The bond is designed to cover remote probability catastrophic and systemic events. Developing effective solutions for catastrophe risk is vital to allow the supply of capacity to the cyber (re)insurance market to increase, to meet growing demand for cover from business and society.

Adrian Cox (Pictured), CEO Beazley, said: “I’m proud that the high-quality of Beazley’s cyber underwriting has been recognised by investors in the placement of the market’s first cyber catastrophe bond. As a leader in this market, we are at the forefront of delivering new solutions that are allowing the cyber insurance market to grow to the size that clients need. A key element of this facility is its flexibility to scale over time and support our continued, sustainable growth in cyber. I’d like to thank the investors and our brokers for their support in achieving this important milestone for the cyber market.”

John Seo, co-founder and managing director at Fermat Capital Management, added: “As an ILS investor, we have been monitoring the cyber insurance market for several years waiting for the appropriate opportunity to invest. This well-structured bond together with Beazley’s strong cyber underwriting have provided the basis for us to do so. We believe this deal marks an important step in unlocking capital market investment into cyber risk and creates a solid foundation for a future cyber ILS market.”

Tom Wakefield, UK CEO, Gallagher Re, commented: “Helping to bring new and alternative capacity into the global cyber (re)insurance market to keep pace with rapidly rising demand for risk transfer has been a primary focus of the Gallagher Re cyber team. Beazley’s cyber expertise and proactive engagement with capital markets has proven them to be an instrumental partner in placing this first cyber catastrophe bond on their behalf. The calibre of ILS investors involved, and complexity of the class, demanded an underwriting business of high quality to ensure a successful outcome. Where carriers can demonstrate a similar approach, the opportunity exists for a strong and sustainable cyber catastrophe ILS market.”

DWF partner and insurance law expert Jonathan Drake sees Beazley’s cyber cat bond as a “very interesting development” in the context of the recent dislocation in the reinsurance markets, as well as certain specific concerns about the profitability of cyber insurance.

“Being done as private placement with a panel of investors means that there is less publicly available information about its structure. Coming however on the back of the recent capital raising by Beazley it shows that there are still capital market opportunities for reinsurance-type support for well-regarded underwriters even in classes of business that are proving to be challenging,” Drake said.

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