Brokers need better cyber support

Brokers need better cyber support | Insurance Business America

Brokers need better cyber support

Despite being three decades into the game, cyber insurance seems to still be enduring some growing pains. With prices steadily increasing, insurers have either tightened limits or backed out of the cyber market altogether, leaving many brokers scrambling to find better options for their clients.

As such, insurers that continue to provide cyber coverage need to rise to the current challenges being faced in the marketplace and work to meet the needs of their broker partners. To provide that necessary level of support, they must take a collaborative approach to combat ongoing cybersecurity threats and connect brokers with the necessary resources to assist with risk mitigation.

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As the world of cyber insurance continues to grow and evolve, the dynamics of various players changes as well. In a recent IBA survey, brokers reported wanting more service than is currently standard with cyber insurance policies. Sixty-three per cent (63%) of brokers said claims processing and payments were important factors, and 56% named underwriting expertise and access to risk mitigation partners as key.

One broker noted that “the insurance industry has done a really poor job on educating brokers and, more importantly, clients about how important cyber coverage is, how great the risk is, and how comprehensive the coverage can be if properly placed.” Another responded that the industry also needs to be “educating non-tech businesses on their exposures.”

Co-founded by an NSA cybersecurity expert, a director of the National Security Council, and a managing partner of the Pentagon’s Defence Innovation Unit Experimental, Resilience Cyber Insurance Solutions has a unique offering that combines bespoke coverage solutions with cyber consulting and proprietary tools that help insureds assess and monitor risk with an “Insure and Secure” approach.

Resilience facilitates engagement with brokers and insureds to help understand the current risks being faced, as well as ongoing challenges within the broader cyber climate.

“As an MGA, it’s vital that we build bonds of respect and trust with our broker partners. They need to know they can rely on us when a zero-day exploit comes up or their client has complex infrastructure,” Tom Gamble, executive vice president and global chief distribution officer at Resilience told Insurance Business. “In that way we help brokers have robust relationships with their clients.”

Resilience is structured on a data-driven MGA model, with client service as its focus. The security team works with insureds at all points in their policy lifecycle to provide holistic cybersecurity solutions that go beyond technology.

Successful cybersecurity should be approached through a lens of wellness, requiring constant care, that’s often preventative.  For instance, in addition to identifying and implementing needed security controls, Resilience works with organizations’ chief information security officers or IT managers to examine how a policy fits into the organization’s total cyber risk management blueprint.

“Insurance needs to be incorporated within the overall security framework, not just bolted onto it. Structuring an effective cyber risk management and insurance program often means forming relationships at multiple levels within an organization,” said Gamble.

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“We’ve found that tabletop exercises, where we take an organization through a simulated cyber event, is a great way to engage all the relevant people - including our security and claims professionals - while performing a valuable service for the organization,” Gamble explained. “These exercises enable our broker partners to demonstrate their value not only to their traditional client, but also to other stakeholders, such as information security professionals.”

Engaging various stakeholders in frank discussions about an organization’s risk strategy often requires a level of trust that is only achieved through fostering solid personal relationships. Insurer cyber claims teams can provide essential resources and expertise to help manage a data breach or other cyber event. However, mitigation and remediation efforts may fall short without good communication and a high degree of trust.

In an industry that is experiencing rapid change and threats from multiple angles, taking care of clients can seem especially challenging for brokers. Finding trusted insurers that not only help minimize vulnerabilities and provide comprehensive coverage, but that provide interpersonal value throughout the process can be an essential asset when establishing those sustainable, long-term partnerships.