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Why brokers are the key to breaking down cyber insurance barriers

Why brokers are the key to breaking down cyber insurance barriers | Insurance Business UK

Why brokers are the key to breaking down cyber insurance barriers

In the last week alone, multiple high-profile cyber incidents have made the headlines of news sites across the world, impacting everything from high-profile insurance companies to healthcare providers. Despite the news coverage these attacks have received, however, it is clear that the profound impact cyberattacks have on business continuity and the individuals whose data is compromised must remain in the limelight long after yesterday’s headlines have moved down the page.

Find out more: Learn everything you need to know about Travelers Europe here

The elevated understanding of such incidents and the role that intangible assets play in the survival of so many businesses needs to start being translated into cyber defences and cyber insurance coverage. For James Fone (pictured), regional distribution manager at Travelers Europe, and his team, breaking down the barriers that stand between businesses and the appropriate cyber cover is the key to providing customer value across the entire insurance experience, and brokers are vital to achieving this aim.

“I think the biggest barrier that I see is just the lack of awareness and understanding that most people have with regards to how cyber insurance can mitigate the risk associated with a cyberattack, as well as the essential support it can provide after a breach has happened,” he said. “And then there’s so much terminology, so many acronyms, and it’s such a fast-paced, ever-changing subject.

“So brokers can sometimes feel that they have to be a cyber security expert to understand the solution, but actually, they just need to be an insurance professional. As an insurance broker, as long as you’ve got confidence talking about property, liability etc. then this is just the next step, and it can be as simple as making comparisons with an open door or a bad lock on a window. It’s really just about taking that leap of faith.”

Read more: AIG, Geneva Association, IFTRIP and more highlight the sensitive subject of cyber incidents

As an insurer, Fone said, Travelers understands its duty to help brokers to break down these knowledge barriers, and it does so in a variety of ways – from producing thought leadership pieces, to showcasing claim scenarios, to keeping brokers appraised on any changes on the regulatory front. During lockdown, Travelers examined a variety of new ways to connect with its broker partners, and webinars have proven a valuable education channel.

The team carried out three webinars in 2020 and hosted its most recent one a few weeks ago, welcoming 700+ brokers on the call. That education piece is making all the difference to how comfortable brokers feel discussing this intricate insurance product, he said, and while such events always require a careful balancing act between knowledge-sharing and accessibility, the feedback so far has been brilliant.

“Making [these] relevant to the day to day conversations had, particularly for client-facing brokers, to build their confidence and allow them to confidently hold a conversation with any industry is so important,” he said. “Because this is not something that is relevant only to certain industries, it’s every industry and every market segment; from the big corporates that we see in the news when they’re hacked, right down to SMEs and micro SMEs.”

Read more: Five things all brokers should know about cyber insurance

The webinars are aimed at fostering an enhanced understanding of the cyber risks currently present, but also of the solutions and support available in the event of an incident, and Fone highlighted the value that real-life claims examples have in building that awareness. Brokers want to have a story to tell their clients that will explain the difference that having cyber insurance makes in both mitigating a cyber incident and handling it should the worst-case scenario occur.

The cyber insurance marketplace is a crowded one, with competitors across the sphere all looking to get in on the ground floor of offering this increasingly essential coverage to a largely untapped audience. The question is, ‘how can you differentiate yourself?’, Fone said, and the answer for Travelers comes down to a few essential factors – how the insurer supports brokers, how often it supports brokers and how successful it is in breaking down the barriers that prevent cyber insurance uptake.

“If we’re making it easy for brokers to do business with us by moving away any of these barriers, then that’s got to be the way forward,” he said. “And making it easy doesn’t just involve the transactional side of how easy it is to place a policy with us; it’s also about how Travelers is helping brokers to have conversations with their clients. And I think that’s a really important differentiation.”

The thought leadership that Travelers has launched into the broker market has been very well-received, he said, and the long-term goal of the business is to keep that momentum going in a bid to firmly establish itself as one of the top providers of choice when it comes to placing cyber policies.

Read more: Travelers’ cyber team on Premier League hack and the impacts of high-profile cyberattacks

“Our aim is to get into the ‘Premier League’ of cyber insurance providers,” he said, “and I think that’s all about the perception of us in a broker’s mind in terms of the service, the support and the coverage that we can provide as a company.”

Find out more about the range of products and services that Travelers Europe has on offer here