MUNICH: Cyber crime insurers largely avoided costly claims from the recent attacks that hit businesses around the globe.
The next global virus could change that.
“It’s exceptionally likely that we will see an event over the next months that will seriously affect insurers,” Graeme Newman, chief innovation officer at CFC Underwriting, said in an interview.
“It would only need a combination of WannaCry’s wide reach and Petya’s destructive force to cost cyber insurers something like US$2.5bil, or a full year of gross premium income in the market.”
Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc cut its full-year sales forecast on Thursday after a global cyber attack last month disrupted manufacturing and distribution for the maker of Air Wick fresheners and Dettol cleaners.
It was the first detailed indication of the financial toll by a major company.
Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, which had to shut down systems across its operations to contain the cyber attack, said it’s too early to predict the impact on its results.
Hackers may learn to develop even more dangerous tools after attacks such as the WannaCry virus in May and the Petya attack that wreaked havoc in Europe in June by freezing access to computers, allowing the attackers to demand ransom to unlock the systems.
Those events didn’t result in meaningful insurance claims because they didn’t affect many companies in the United States, where currently more than 90% of the cyber insurance market is located, Newman said.
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