Sunday 23 September 2018

Demand for cyberattack cover to soar, say insurance chiefs

Tech threat: Insurers say risks are rising. Stock image
Tech threat: Insurers say risks are rising. Stock image
Insurance Ireland’s Kevin Thompson
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Most Irish businesses will have cyber insurance in place within five years, an overwhelming majority of insurance industry leaders believe.

Cyber insurance would protect against the rising tide of potentially devastating cyber-risks - from fraud and theft, to data protection breaches.

The prediction that insurance to cover such risks will become mainstream is among the findings from the Insurance Ireland/PwC 2018 CEO Pulse survey 'Addressing the Challenges for Future Success', published today.

The survey of leaders in the insurance sector found more than three-quarters of respondents said that there are more opportunities now compared to three years ago, but two-thirds also said there are more threats.

Technology is seen as moving up the value chain and is increasingly used in risk analysis, innovation capacity and decision-making within the insurance industry itself.

At the same time, the widespread adoption of new technologies has created business risks for customers and 71pc of those surveyed think that a majority of Irish businesses will have cyber insurance in five years' time.

The latest survey found optimism within the sector down from recent highs, but 83pc of Irish insurance CEOs are confident about future growth.

That's reflected in a majority expecting their business to add jobs in the year ahead - including one in five that plan to grow the workforce by more than 10pc.

"The survey confirms that the Irish insurance industry is confident about future growth but is keenly aware of the challenges facing the industry," said Insurance Ireland CEO Kevin Thompson. The survey also found CEOs worried that changes in industry regulation, the impact of Brexit and emerging technologies are set to become increasingly disruptive in the coming years.

Other significant concerns are poor investment performance, the availability of key talent and accommodation/infrastructure constraints.

"Insurance CEOs are investing in people and are realising greater returns from digital technologies and embedding them in their decision-making processes.

"While there is a high degree of confidence, two-thirds said that there are also more threats than there were three years ago as significant disruption is expected from changes in industry regulation, consumer expectations and emerging technologies."

Irish Independent

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