Written by Jack Caudal, Founder and CEO of Cowbel, the first e-insurance provider for small and medium businesses to be continuously acquired through artificial intelligence.
The business world has changed a lot in the past year. When companies sent employees to work from home at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, it led to an exponential growth in the digital footprint. This growth has created more opportunities for cybercriminals to infiltrate organizations, putting small and medium-sized businesses at greater risk, given their already limited budgets and resources dedicated to cybersecurity.
The good news? This same growth in the digital footprint is ultimately giving e-insurers more information to assess the individual risk profile of each policyholder, to support more accurate underwriting and to help protect customers.
Working from home changed everything
The rapid transition to remote work has made it difficult for security professionals to keep up with the pace of modernization of infrastructures to support the workforce online at all times and connect from anywhere. It has made targeting networks easier with many employees working from home on unprotected Wi-Fi networks. Exposing unencrypted servers has become a new problem as well as business email, vendors, and third-party vendors, which has always been known as cybersecurity challenges.
However, many believe that remote work is here to stay. Although many CEOs want their employees back in the office, they struggle to make that a reality. Additionally, 55% of employees surveyed by Pricewaterhouse Coopers said they would prefer to stay remote for at least three days a week. Where does that leave boards aware of the risks and the ability to take action?
PartnerRe and Advisen’s latest report shows that boards and senior management are becoming more aware of cyber threats. The demand for e-insurance from these leaders is now the third most common reason for new and increased sales. Also contributing to online insurance sales is the undeniable “fear factor” of internet-related abuses that happen to businesses of all sizes – if it can happen to them, it can happen to me. Not only are more companies buying e-insurance policies, the companies that own them are demanding higher limits. Sixty percent of online insurance brokers and insurers said PartnerRe and Advisen are looking to increase coverage upon renewal.
Online insurance status today
The insurance industry may have to confront the fact that we are often not prepared to cover the cost of massive security breaches. When it comes to large property risks, insurance companies work with a mountain of accurate data that can assess risk down to Tier 9 odds and risks for very specific geographic locations.
Climate change is a major property insurance risk that will last for decades, not seconds. However, cybersecurity risks are evolving at a pace that insurers rarely see, and it involves a classification of risks that requires an understanding of both insurance and cybersecurity. Many carriers are now detached from the risks they’ve taken on over the past few years as technology groups change and evolve with risks, and those risks are only increasing.
What CEOs and Insurance Providers Can Do
With the seemingly endless business risks associated with cyber events – from business shutdowns to lost revenue to regulatory enforcement actions – executives are beginning to realize their responsibility to understand and protect their companies from those risks. First, understanding where to start is important and great knowledge can come from working with an insurance company that has the technological tools and capabilities to truly understand cyber risks.
Online insurance companies like mine know that cyber insurance was a complex and lengthy process to go through. On the “people” side, a good e-insurance company will add value in terms of knowledge and education and will make things easier to digest, as it relates to risks and what type of coverage is better.
On the technical side, these companies are better equipped to assess the risks of cyber attacks and improve the underwriting process. We do this by continuously monitoring the condition of clients through all phases of risk mitigation, recovery and response as well as after-effects.
Fixed and individual risk ratings allow brokers and consultants to ensure coverage is exactly what clients need and can be adjusted whenever they want. This process improves as the amount of data in the risk pool increases and combined with AI-powered processes creates an environment in which risk selection and pricing can be improved more accurately.
Subscription is now faster, more accurate, and more accurate as well. In addition, bias and errors are eliminated. Ultimately, this benefits everyone involved. The new data supports unbiased data-driven underwriting and helps create customized policies. Brokers can then help their clients more quickly, get a more accurate view of their risk portfolio, and policyholders ultimately get the value they are looking for with an individual risk assessment.
All of this means that even though companies find themselves in the crosshairs of cybercriminals, CEOs are beginning to realize the value of investing in e-cover and partnering with e-insurance providers who have the tools and knowledge to protect them — and that protection will only get stronger as the expansion expands. Digital fingerprinting during this pandemic and into the future.