Coalition: Underwriting cyber like an adversary

By Chad Hemenway on December 7, 2017

Coalition, launched December 5, said it has the capability to quote, bind and issue a customized cyber insurance policy online in less than 5 minutes by looking at companies like a hacker.

“We are looking at companies like a real-life adversary would for all the things we might use to hack them,” added Joshua Motta, co-founder and CEO of Coalition—described as a provider of a full suite of cybersecurity products for small and midsize businesses, including cyber and tech E&O insurance of up to $10 million, backed by Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and Argo.

Coalition’s software “thinks like an underwriter without any underwriters,” said Motta, who started his first company at 13 years old. Microsoft subsequently bought the software Motta created and then hired Motta at age 15. After high school, Motta joined information operations at the CIA where he learned “how offense works” as a component to cybersecurity.

“It is hard to underscore how different of a perspective that is,” Motta said. “A vast majority of the technology and cybersecurity world has only ever played defense, and they are building products that only know how to play defense. They’ve never seen the side of offense; they don’t know what the playbook looks like.”

Motta said he and co-founder John Hering have experience looking at cyber risk from this perspective, which Motta said allows Coalition to quantify and price cyber risk in an innovative way. The company spent a lot of time with actuarial teams at Swiss Re and Argo to outline the mathematical approach to analyzing tens of thousands of data points about an individual insured as brokers use Coalition’s website to answer several questions about the insured.

Coalition is not primarily interested in an insured’s industry or how many employees it has. “We care about the technologies you are using,” Motta said. But for every underwriting element, Coalition is able to create a security tool for the insured.


This story in an excerpt of the original. The content originally appeared in Cyber Front Page News.
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Chad Hemenway is Managing Editor of Advisen News. He has more than 15 years of journalist experience at a variety of online, daily, and weekly publications. He has covered P&C insurance news since 2007, and he has experience writing about all P&C lines as well as regulation and litigation. Chad won a Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Single Article in 2014 for his coverage of the insurance implications of traumatic brain injuries and Best News Coverage in 2013 for coverage of Superstorm Sandy. Contact Chad at 212.897.4824 or