Inescapable cyber


This article in which Advisen’s Managing Editor, Chad Hemenway, reflects on his attempts at RIMS to discuss lines of business besides cyber first appeared in Advisen’s Cyber Front Page News

One thing became abundantly clear at the RIMS Annual Convention: cyber risk permeates most everything.

You could see it on the convention floor, with booths of multiple companies devoted to pre- and post-cyber-risk services from modeling and attorneys to insurance and risk management.

One of the reasons I attended RIMS was to refresh my connections and education in lines of business other than cyber. In fact, I missed the other lines of insurance—the ones I cut my teeth on as a young(er) insurance journalist. Yet, as many conversations progressed, cyber risk crept in. I talked product recall, marine, commercial auto, property, and more and eventually the “C” word was mentioned without provocation.

Where cyber wasn’t mentioned within plausible hypotheticals, it was brought up as part of a more imaginary theory of how it could throw a wrench in typical risk scenarios.

“Oh, you get a break talking about cyber when you’re talking to me.”

A laugh, then silence.

“Well, I guess I could see a situation at some point if…”

The fact cyber risk enters many more loss situations than that which is traditionally and easily placed in a box marked “covered by cyber insurance” was not new. But I suppose the concentration of insurance professionals from all lines—many of them simultaneously pondering this particular risk and the oftentimes blurry coverage lines it creates—was slightly more eye-opening. Of course, we’ve heard of “silent cyber” (and “silent, silent cyber”) but having everyone in one place instead of at their respective insurance-line-focused conferences, drove the point home.

Cyber “touches everything,” I heard. “You can’t escape it.”

Indeed, I saw insurers and brokers addressing this issue with applications that allow underwriters and intermediaries to contemplate cyber-risk with clients across the insurance spectrum. Efforts are being made to address the cyber-risk invasion as an enterprise risk management issue in order to mitigate losses on each side of the insurance transaction. Also, the insurance industry is beginning to provide risk-transfer solutions while breaking down internal walls that had separated professionals from different insurance lines.

“Everyone needs to be a cyber underwriter,” I was told. And for businesses, the speed at which you can identify where cyber risk is obvious, is possible, and can sneak in will become a differentiator and competitive advantage. The good news is, the insurance industry appears poised to help and the competitiveness within it is spawning additional valuable advice, services and broader coverage.

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Cyber Front Page News is a compilation of articles pertaining to everything cyber. Cyber FPN is delivered via email every Monday and Thursday highlighting the importance and implications of worldwide current events, trends and developments to our large audience of insurers, intermediaries, attorneys and service providers. Learn more about Advisen’s Cyber FPN.