Cyber remains an evolving risk and insurers are still figuring out how to master it as demand morphs and soars. With that in mind, there is some good news: clients are increasingly better informed and asking the right questions as they seek coverage.

A lot of that is coming from better-informed broker counsel, according to the new Council of Insurance Agents & Broker’s Cyber Insurance Market Watch Survey.

About 32 percent of respondents’ clients purchased some form of cyber liability or data breach coverage in the last six months, the survey found. That’s up from 29 percent in October 2016.

What’s more, of policyholders who purchased cyber coverage in the last six months, 44 percent boosted their coverage levels, and 56 percent kept their existing level of coverage. According to the CIAB survey, one respondent explained that “most clients that are renewing coverage are actively exploring increased limits, or at least pressing if their current limits are adequate.”

Ken Crerar, CIAB president and CEO, said that the increased client interest in cyber coverage is a good sign, reflecting both increased client and broker awareness of what cyber risk protection now requires.

“Brokers play an increasingly crucial role in both cyber risk mitigation and post-event response,” Crerar said in prepared remarks.

He added that that dynamic has particularly been in play as brokers respond to client concerns over the recent WannaCry ransomware attacks around the globe.

“Brokers are actively advising clients on the preventative steps to take now to increase the chance of escaping the virus, which has infected hundreds of thousands of systems,” Crerar added.

Cyber policies are also becoming more affordable, which may be contributing to increased client interest. About 85 percent of respondents said premium pricing for cyber stayed the same or decreased. Last year, almost 40 percent said that premium pricing increased, according to the survey.

The biannual survey includes a number of brokerage firms, regional agencies to the largest global brokers, wholesale and retail, whose clients range from small and medium-sized businesses to Fortune 100 companies in multiple industries.

Other survey results:

  • 27 percent of respondents’ clients bought cyber insurance for the first time in the past six months.
  • 76 percent of those with cyber insurance have standalone policies.
  • 75 percent said they believe that there is generally adequate clarity as to what is included or excluded in a cyber policy.
  • 98 percent of respondents said they see market capacity as plentiful or increasing.
  • 31 percent said premium prices have generally gone down over the last six months.

Survey respondents said the take-up rate for cyber insurance among small and medium-sized companies seems to be growing at a faster rate, because clients “are beginning to understand that cybersecurity threats affect all businesses,” the survey found.

Source: The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers