There are so many facets which make up the development of successful insurance products and solutions but, beyond the essential components of time, expertise, financing and innovation, the foundation of such success lies in having a fundamental understanding of your customers’ needs. For Tom Spier (pictured), commercial director, global markets at Cyberscout, his variety of insurance industry roles over the last 18 years have granted him a keen insight into the machinations of the insurance market and what people are looking for from their insurance solutions.
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“No-one likes making claims,” Spier stated. “And it seems like that’s news to some people in the insurance industry, but people hate doing it and they will do anything to avoid it. If you have a car accident in a car park, you will probably explore how much it will cost for you to settle the claim privately, and how you can avoid telling your insurance company. The fear is that the insurer might try and get out of a claim, or that it’s going to affect your no claims discount and you won’t be able to afford insurance next year when you go to renew. And so, you don’t access the services available.”
When it comes to cyber, he said, there is a genuine opportunity for individuals and businesses to have access to advice and information without having to make a claim, without having to pay a deductible and without having to worry how their insurance policy will be impacted. A lot of people are often simply concerned about a potential problem, and is reflected by the fact that about 40% of the calls Cyberscout receives are proactive in nature.
Spier highlighted that proactivity is key to the cyber services offered by Cyberscout. In addition to the work it does in forensic investigations, cyber risk management and cyber threat research, the primary product offered by the business is its 24/7 subscription-based assistance service. What makes this service unique, he said, is that it sits completely outside the insurance claims process.
“We take in incidents, issues, worries and concerns people might have and our first instinct is to resolve those,” he said. “We don’t care whether it’s covered under an insurance policy as they’ve paid their subscription fee, and there’s no limit on the number of times they can call us or the length of time they can spend with us.
“And looking to last year’s data, 97% of the time we resolved those issues for people, so we have an extremely good track record of having people walk away happy, having not had to engage in an insurance claims process. We see this as a win-win for insurance companies as their reputation is enhanced by having access to our service.”
A key benefit of this service is the educational aspect of it, Spier said, which is something that insurers and brokers emphasise as an essential asset in the controlling of cyber risk within businesses and by individuals. For the policyholder, to have access to this expertise in a way which will not negatively impact their insurance policy in the future is of real benefit to them. This benefit becomes abundantly clear when it is considered how even a seemingly small cyber incident might have escalated without such intervention.
“If they hadn't had access to that service, who's to say they wouldn't have clicked on that link and had their email account details harvested?” he asked. “And when somebody has access to your email account, they're able to reset pretty much any password they want, including your internet banking credentials, and then they might have stolen maybe 10s of thousands of pounds. And that suddenly becomes a really expensive cyber insurance claim that an insurance company has to deal with, and all because they force somebody to enter a claims process before getting access to the advice and services and help that they need.”
This is especially relevant right now, he said, with so much information and misinformation about various COVID-19 relief and furlough schemes, and people are particularly vulnerable at this difficult time. Criminals and hackers and thieves are taking advantage of this in a big way and are lulling people into a false sense of security. This is making the extraction of information easier and having a knock-on effect on the ease with which criminals are extracting money from the vulnerable.
Of course, there are some incidents in which the insurance claims process does need to be engaged, and it is at that point which Cyberscout becomes the customer advocate throughout the claims process. Because Cyberscout already works with the insurer, he said, it understands what the insurer requires in terms of proof of loss, documentary evidence and any reports made to the police or regulatory bodies.
“Therefore, the team can assist the policyholder in submitting all claim documentation in exactly the way that the insurance company is looking for,” Spier said. “And this enables the insurance company in turn to assessment and approve payments on a claim incredibly quickly.”
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