BIBA 2022: Cyber costs will test market resolve

As the Biba conference in Manchester continued there were warnings that the spiralling costs of cyber cover was beginning to impact insurance firms which are storing huge amounts of client data.

Speaking in Manchester James Jacobs, director, Davies Insurer Services, told Emerging Risks that the rising premiums for cyber cover was creating a situation where firms which were charged with handling and storing bordereau data were facing a decision to make on cyber cover.

“The prices are significant,” he said. “We as a company hold a huge amount for data for our clients and we take every step to ensure it is secure. However, it is only right that we take out insurance in the case that there is a breach.

“The cyber market is continuing to increase rates and it is reaching the stage where firms are questioning whether it is time to pass part of all of that cost to the client.

“I do not think that it is a situation in which anyone wants to find themselves, but the costs are a growing concern for so many.

Jacobs said firms who are asked to hold data have little choice.

“The level of data is such that as a market we cannot afford to be in a position where we do not have the necessary cover in place,” he explained. “The London market’s DDM is still a central depository for the market’s data.

“As a company we can look at whether we need to have all the data that is stored but if a broker wants to make year in year comparisons, then they cannot afford to remove data from their systems.”

He added in London the delay of the PPL placing system was a concern for some and there was a need for the market modernisation system to get back on track against a backdrop of some in the market sceptical that progress will be, made given the history of failed initiatives in the past.

“Modernisation will bring benefits,” he added. “There are however still issues around credit control and premium collection.”

“Take the war in Ukraine. Brokers will have placed risks for Russian interests and received the premium payments only for the sanctions regime to be implemented and the underwriters then refusing to write the risks and in doing do breach the sanctions.

“It leaves the brokers with the premiums and the issue of what they can do with them given the rules around any payments to specific Russian entities.”

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