Cyber insurance is gradually gaining ground in view of increasing Internet-based risks, mainly impacting corporates including major energy companies, said Bassam Hussein, president, Doha Insurance Group.
Cyber risk insurance or cyber liability insurance coverage is available in Europe and the Americas and many companies are probably buying it, he told Gulf Times on Tuesday.
“But in our region, I don’t think this (cyber insurance) is being used extensively. But there is a real need for the cover, given the heightened risks posed by cyber criminals. It is not a joke anymore,” Hussein stressed.
“For example, in the energy industry a significant number of energy installations have been hacked the world over. It is a very serious issue that needs to be tackled.”
Hussein said, “Cyber insurance is fairly new. It has been around may be only for five or six years now. Realistically, I have not heard many companies in our area that have bought cyber insurance. That’s what we are working on…we are trying to say this is a real threat. And we should look at it…and we should not look at it the other way.”
With IT now driving the industry, the cyber risk exposure has also gone up, the Doha Insurance Group president noted.
“But to establish whether a mishap was occurred by a cyber activity or not, is challenging. This is where we need advice from the industry experts,” Hussein said.
“But as someone working in the insurance industry, I am also keen to find out the costs involved in obtaining a cyber insurance policy,” he said.
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.
Generally, on the insurance industry, Hussein noted “Because of competition, the premiums are much lower now than they used to be. Claims definitely are twice as much as the premiums we collect. The premiums currently are not covering the claims that are made because of competition. This is because; everybody is trying to cut corners.”
Earlier, Doha Insurance Group chairman Sheikh Nawaf Nasser bin Khaled al-Thani addressed the opening session of the ‘Energy workshop” organised by Doha Insurance Group in association with Price Forbes at The Westin Doha Hotel yesterday.
Doha Insurance Group CEO Jassem Ali Abdulrahman Jassim al-Muftah and chief operating officer Abdulla Sultan were among the senior executives who attended the workshop.
Among the industry experts who led the sessions were Emily Hopper, senior onshore underwriter (C V Starr); Richard Taylor, senior cyber underwriter, Munich Re Syndicate; Joe McMahon, CEO, Lloyd Warwick; Nawaf Hasan, CEO (Mena), Price Forbes and Jolyon Lord, head (Art & Private Clients), Hiscox Special Risks.
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