Will the surge in cyber-attacks affect the premium rates of cyber insurance

Will the surge in cyber-attacks affect the premium rates of cyber insurance  19th October 2022

Modern problems require advanced solutions. If you've been on the internet for a while, you've heard about cyber-attacks. With the increased dependence on digitalisation, cyber-attacks are an enormous threat to the growth of any business. Cyber-attacks affect the devices on the company's network and infringe on its data reserves. It puts the organisation at the mercy of hackers who can gain control over its valuable digital assets.

A conservative cover like a public liability insurance policy may not suffice in such instances. Commonly known to cover any physical injuries and third-party damages on owned property, a general liability insurance policy is necessary for every business. However, it does not cover cyber-attacks, making it essential to purchase an individual plan.

This blog discusses the correlation between rising cyber-attacks and the recent hikes in premium rates.

Understanding cyber insurance:

The recent Covid-19 pandemic highlighted a business's digital presence like never before. With many risks like malware attacks, compromised emails, and attacks on software and hardware devices, insuring a business is crucial. Cyber insurance is the perfect tool to combat such contingencies to prevent sudden operations interruptions from manufacturing up to the delivery stage. Cyber insurance is a rapidly growing segment of the Indian insurance sector.

Insurance premiums and assets covered under the policy:

The potential of digital assets is unimaginable. They are highly valued compared to physical assets like machinery. The insurance segment presently covers a small percentage of businesses, including banks, non-banks, and information technology services companies that comprehend the need for the cover. These organisations are heavily dependent on their pool of digital assets.

The high premium amount is a distinguishing factor that sets cyber insurance apart from most insurances. While common insurances like health, motor, or fire insurance are significantly low compared to the cover value, cyber insurance has a very high cover, up to 200 crores depending on the industry and the valuation of the business.

These high premium values are marginal compared to the asset valuations covered under the insurance. Typically, the assets covered under the policy are 50-100 times the value of the annual premium paid. The premium amount is determined after studying multiple factors like the company's turnover, cyber-attack risk, and availability of backup infrastructures.

Insurance premium trends:

As the demand for the product increases, so does its price. With reputed insurance providers stating that the Indian cyber insurance market has a projected growth of 35-50%, the rising trends in premium amounts do not come as a surprise. The high rate of uncertainty and dynamic environment with new cyber threats frequently emerging has caused a steep increase in premiums.

While some reports and insights by experts suggest that the increase is by 50%, there is reasonable evidence to believe that the growth may be closer to 100%. Despite the exponential increase in premium amounts backed by expansion in demand, the need for cyber insurance continues to grow. While the policy was taken by only big corporations earlier, smaller businesses of varying natures are assessing the risk of being unprotected in such volatile conditions and are willing to pay the high premium amounts, which do not seem to stabilise or decrease any time soon.

While the penetration rate of cyber insurance policies is not as high as any general public liability insurance policy, the need is bound to continue creating a demand for the insurance and fuel higher premium rates in proportion to the risk shouldered by the insurance providers.

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Disclaimer: The information provided above is for illustrative purposes only. To get more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before purchasing a policy.