Cyber Insurance Has a Trust Problem and Only Agents Can Fix It

Trust – it’s a fundamental trait for insurance professionals, much like Utmost Good Faith (Uberrima Fides), Fidelity (Fidentia) and Honesty. So when a KPMG report concludes the main barrier to purchasing cyber insurance is ‘trust’, make no mistake this is a lack of trust in the insurance industry and its sales representatives. It’s time to rethink what we’re currently doing.

In an article commenting on the report, one of the main claims is insurers would not pay out on cyber claims. Perhaps they’ve been swayed by reports of insurers fighting cyber claims, which of course they are, but only because the claims are under insurance policies that were designed to cover other perils.

Perhaps they’ve been influenced by reports of firms who bought cyber insurance but discovered it did not pay for what, in retrospect, seemed obvious cyber loss costs (theft of funds, system interruption, prior acts, unencrypted mobile devices, etc). As Agents it’s our role to change this perception, fundamentally, our reputation relies upon it.

There’s no secret cyber sauce to fix our customers mindset on this issue; we’re going to have to earn respect through imparting valuable knowledge. And in one regard it’s not so hard because there is no lack of information, resources and evidence that cyber perils are the most riskiest of insurable perils.

The challenge is making sense of it all, and here’s the rub, it’s really not that easy even if you receive so-called leading edge training from an insurer or broker. After all, they’re only supporting their own products and services! The answer is each Agent must adopt their own targets for demonstrating proficiency with cyber risks.

The very nature of cyber, let’s use ‘digital’ perils, is they’re interconnected in ways we never imagined in the analog world. Traditional insurance training and education hasn’t prepared Agents to cope with the array of new digital exposures. The cyber market, in its teenage years at this point, is all over the place with carriers using the same words differently, carving out a handful of exposures to insure, or exclude or ignore. There simply isn’t a standard to aim for, or is there?

A fundamental standard we all hold ourselves to is doing our best. When you see someone doing their best, it shines through, on a certain level you know you can trust them, their commitment and attitude earns our trust.

Agent’s in the ARM network appear much like the rest of the agency community, behind the 8 ball on the cyber issue. The KPMG conclusion should be a wake up to us all.

For assistance with cyber insurance education, consider starting with www.cyberinsurancetraining.com – designed for ARM agents it’s the only online academy certifying proficiency with cyber insurance risk perils.

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