Insurance executives concerned about silent cyber exposure

Published: September 11, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Brad Neal

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Around half of respondents in an insurance industry poll say they see the risk of “silent cyber” exposure as a clear threat.

Silent cyber exposure is losses incurred by cyber silent coverage from insurance policies not specifically created to handle cyber risk. A recent survey by Willis Re. sampled 750 insurance industry executives from 70 insurance companies around the world.

The company wanted to study four insurance lines: first-party property, third-party auto liability, third-party other liability and workers compensation.

Silent cyber examples include cybercrime directly leading to a physical problem within an organization.

“While a policy pay-out will depend on the specifics of individual wordings and occurrences, such examples illustrate how silent cyber events can push up loss ratios on policies not specifically mentioned to cover cyber risk,” the release said.

“For the auto liability line, this may reflect a sense that accidents linked to vulnerability in technology would become product liability losses,” the report said. “The reason for such a low level of perceived vulnerability for workers compensation is less clear.”

“Buyers of insurance have to consider the exposure that they have in relation to the rising prominence of cyber-related incidents,” Anthony Dagostino, head of global cyber risk at Willis Towers Watson, said in the release. “The results of the survey have reinforced the need for a holistic cyber risk insurance strategy and tailored insurance policies to address the risk adequately.”