Despite the government shutdown, sometimes government gets it right. Recently, government appeared to truly appreciate the benefit of establishing public-private partnerships, including with insurers. Three meetings held at the end of September—two hosted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and one a congressional hearing—exemplified the potential of partnering for national security. If only the insurance industry and government would figure out how to act together more cooperatively to realize those benefits.

Executive Summary

The insurance industry has a vested interest in making the country safer from all hazards and can play a critical role in furthering national security, says the Stimson Center's Debra Decker, a senior advisor to the Managing Across Boundaries initiative. Public-private partnerships would allow government and the industry to establish a closer association in areas of mutual interest where insurers have insights on vulnerabilities and potential liabilities and government has insights on threats.

Cyber Security and Insurance

On Sept. 23, DHS hosted a kick-off meeting in Arlington, Va., for the Voluntary Program Development Working Group (VPDWG). The group’s goal is to support adoption of a cyber security framework now under development for critical infrastructure and any other interested entities. The meeting was packed. The VPDWG, established by DHS under Presidential Executive Order 13636 Section 8, is supposed to help inform stakeholders that voluntary cyber guidance is coming in early 2014 and to discuss possible industry incentives for adoption. Some believe insurance will play a critical role.

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