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What is Cyber Insurance?
Posted .February 26, 2016

Cyber-insurance is an insurance product used to protect businesses and individual users from Internet-based risks, and more generally from risks relating to information technology infrastructure and activities. Risks of this nature are typically excluded from traditional commercial general liability policies or at least are not specifically defined in traditional insurance products. Coverage provided by cyber-insurance policies may include first-party coverage against losses such as data destruction, extortion, theft, hacking, and denial of service attacks; liability coverage indemnifying companies for losses to others caused, for example, by errors and omissions, failure to safeguard data, or defamation; and other benefits including regular security-audit, post-incident public relations and investigative expenses, and criminal reward funds.

Benefits of Cyber-Insurance
Because the cyber insurance market in many countries is relatively small compared to other insurance products it's overall impact on emerging cyber threats is difficult to quantify. As the impact to people and businesses from cyber threats is also relatively broad when compared to the scope of protection provided by insurance products, insurance companies continue to develop their services.

As insurers pay out on cyber-losses, as these threats also develop and change, insurance products are increasingly being purchased alongside existing IT security services. Indeed, the underwriting criteria for insurers to offer cyber insurance products is also early in development and underwriters are actively partnering with IT security companies to develop their products.

As well as directly improving security, cyber-insurance is enormously beneficial in the event of a large-scale security incident. Insurance provides a smooth funding mechanism for recovery from major losses, helping to businesses to return to normal and reducing the need for government assistance. Finally, insurance allows cyber-security risks to be distributed fairly, with higher premiums for companies whose expected loss from such risks is greater. This avoids potentially dangerous concentration of risk while also preventing free-riding.