CFC Underwriting: Everything you need to know
- Headquarters: London, UK
- Employees: 500+
- Global locations: 100,000+ businesses in 80+ countries
- Underwriting expertise: Contingency, cyber, healthcare, excess, intellectual property, professional, property and casualty, technology, media and entertainment, manufacturing, management liability
- Key people: Group CEO David Walsh
CFC Underwriting is a specialist insurance provider with headquarters in London, UK that serves more than 70,000 businesses across 80-plus countries. The company was founded in 1999 during the dotcom boom, when it was known as ClickForCover.com, and provided some of the first online commercial insurance policies available globally. Later, CFC transitioned to a more traditional business model and rebranded itself with its current name. CFC now has over 300 employees and offers a wide range of commercial insurance products that reflect the risks facing clients today. Backed by Lloyd’s, CFC has expanded to become one of the largest independent managing general agents in the world.
CFC works with companies in industries that include technology, media and entertainment, financial institutions, professional services, life science, and healthcare. Its products cover classes like cyber and property & casualty, but also terrorism, kidnap and ransom, intellectual property, transaction liability, contingency, professional liability, management liability, and product recall.
Money managers rejoice!
CFC’s solution for financial institutions is a newer offering, launched in 2018 with the Investment Management Insurance (IMI) policy that was the first in a suite of products designed to respond to risks faced by investment managers. Global coverage is offered as standard to ensure that companies in this space are covered for claims made around the world.
“Financial institutions are not only changing how they do business by utilising technology in new and different ways, they’re also subject to significant regulatory burden and an increasing threat of cybercrime,” said Neal Beaton, CFC financial institutions practice leader. “The insurance market has failed to adapt to these new exposures, so CFC is developing a modern, relevant suite of products that cater to the emerging risks that financial institutions face today. We saw a clear gap in the market for a comprehensive product addressing the need for protection against emerging, complex risks in the investment management space. Being able to offer a fully blended policy reduces gaps and overlaps in cover.”
The IMI product is intended for hedge funds, long-only equity funds, private equity and venture capitalists, REITs and other property (UK) and real estate (US) funds and registered investment advisors.
With both the largest cyber underwriting team, and dedicated in-house cyber claims and incident response team in the London market, CFC has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the cyber insurance business. Its private enterprise-focused products combine data breach, cybercrime, and business interruption cover that is tailored for small and medium-sized enterprises. It also has coverage built for large corporates, which helps to protect against the impact of significant cybersecurity breaches as well as catastrophic system failure.
It makes sense then that cyber insurance is CFC’s hottest market worldwide, with its cyber business growing over 60% in 2017. CFC also continues to update its cyber coverages, announcing in April 2018 a new version of its cyber insurance product for healthcare providers in the US.
“While most healthcare providers are aware of their privacy and data-breach exposures, they can easily overlook cover for operational disruption,” said James Burns, CFC cyber product leader. “The unprecedented increase in malware attacks has shown that operational exposures must be addressed. In fact, we’re now seeing the costs of operational disruption and rebuilding far exceed what a large-scale privacy breach might cost the same entity. Our stand-alone cyber product for the US healthcare sector is tailored to their unique risks, helping limit the impact of a cyber incident on their organisation.”
In contrast to other similar offerings on the market, CFC’s cyber policies include the provision of first-party cover on every claim basis.
“CFC offers a market-leading cyber insurance product backed by a global response capability, which ensures our policyholders not only have comprehensive cover, but that they can recover quickly from cyber incidents,” Burns told Insurance Business.
Cyber insurance is becoming especially critical as security incidents in recent years have proven that they can touch every sector and every size of business, though there are certain trends in the types of victims.
“We’re now seeing the next level of victims, so we’re seeing a lot of municipalities, states, government-run entities, not being necessarily targets, [but] they have incredibly low security maturity, so massive underinvestment in their IT infrastructure, and yet they hold valuable data, so that’s leading to a spate of data breach within cities, towns,” said Graeme Newman, CFC’s chief innovation officer.
A royal connection
CFC caught the eye of Her Majesty The Queen in 2018, winning her approval for the Prime Minister’s recommendation that the MGA be recognised with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category. This was the second time that the company received the award, winning it also back in 2013. Winners in the category have shown a significant increase in export earnings over three consecutive 12-month periods, according to CFC, at an outstanding level for the types of products and services offered as well as for the organisation’s size.