Broker finds success specializing in cyber risk

Broker finds success specializing in cyber risk | Insurance Business America


Insurance broker Christine Marciano had the right idea at the right time. Already working as a producer for 18 years, Marciano was inspired to explore cyber insurance when she became concerned over the state of electronic health records under the forthcoming Affordable Care Act.

“I went in this direction after I heard about Obamacare on the news, and how all health data was going electronic. I saw that there was already some privacy and data breach insurance, but that no one was really talking about it,” Marciano said. “I thought there could be a real opportunity for protecting health records through insurance.”

Marciano began exploring the industry and started to hire brokers interested in learning more about preventing cyber loss. As it happened, her timing was matchless. Right around the time Marciano opened her doors, Sony announced a worldwide breach of its online PlayStation network that affected 77m user accounts.

The breach brought cyber security to the forefront, providing Marciano with plenty of clients to keep her solidly in business.

Today, she owns and manages Cyber Data Risk Managers, an N.J.-based brokerage that employs 10 brokers who work with several hundred clients on selecting the best policies for protecting electronic data. The company is also expanding to Australia.

To stay on top of emerging trends with cyber security, Marciano’s team follows industry white papers and news alerts on sites like Google. In order to properly sell insurance policies in such a specialized field, Marciano says prep work like this is vital and sets her brokers apart from traditional captive agents.

“Brokers need to educate themselves on the different cyber risks out there,” she said. “There might be gaps in coverage your State Farm agent didn’t even know about because they didn’t take the time to learn it. We put in our due diligence first and then have that conversation with the client.”

As business continues to thrive for Cyber Data Risk managers, Marciano couldn’t be happier with her decision to break away from traditional brokerage and specialize in something she felt strongly about. Luckily for her, she felt strongly about something that is now a pressing concern for businesses of all sizes.

“I wanted to be talking about something I cared about, something I was passionate about,” she said. “I made the right decision. It seems daily, something else is happening in cyber security, whether it’s a data breach or a cyber attack. Today, it doesn’t matter who you are—you could have something like that happen to you.”