HK takes a closer look at cyber insurance

For its cyber insurance offering, JLT is primarily working with six of the big international insurers who can provide a “primary wording”.

Wong explained: “Primary wording means these insurers have got products that say ‘cyber insurance’. Normally, you want to use the key big international insurers because of their experience and their network.

“Most importantly, the reason why you buy this insurance – even though your risk profile is not spiky – is that you would want to have the services you need if you have a breach, such as forensics, PR, legal and crisis management to name a few. You have a 24/7 number that you can call at any time and they will project manage your data breach.”

Wong advised for companies to get an insurer with experience to provide the base policy, and if they need more coverage than the policy can offer, they can get additional insurance from other providers to build up the desired cyber insurance coverage.

Last December, JLT partnered with systems integrator and technology consultancy firm JOS to launch an innovative suite of cyber insurance and consultancy services, as part of JOS cybersecurity solutions.

JOS brings to the partnership its expertise in assessing a company’s current state of cybersecurity readiness, which could help clients of both JOS and JLT get more reasonably favorable terms for their cyber insurance.

“We have a very strong cybersecurity team, so in situations where the risks is a little bit more complex, the client is larger and more diversified –we can help them prepare a case to forward to an insurer,” said Mark Lunt, group managing director, JOS

Today is the ideal time to buy cyber insurance

According to Wong, the cyber insurance market in Hong Kong is growing in the last couple of years. And the range of product offerings has broadened to cater the needs of both SMEs and big MNCs.

“Cyber insurance has evolved to a point that it caters to the spectrum of different companies. Three years ago, I might not be so confident about the coverage. But now, with our key insurers and our benchmark coverages, I know that the base coverage is similar. The language might be different but it is similar and it is generic enough to cover different incidents,” he said.

In addition, he pointed out that for companies operating in Asia, now is the ideal time to get cyber insurance.

“Unlike the US and Europe, this is a different market. There have been no big blowups. I tell my clients now is the great time to buy because claims are still low. Society being litigious is still not there. We are still in the growing stage. Do not worry about your information. Do not worry about the fact that you are not perfect,” Wong said.

“Don’t buy fire insurance when your house is on fire. You lose all your leverage. If you have a clean slate and you have no claims, you can leverage the market,” he added.

Major international insurers offer policies which provide cover for expert fees, first-party expenses, business interruption loss, cyber extortion, data-related regulatory fines and penalties, as well as third-party liability.