WannaCry virus fails to stimulate predicted surge in cyber insurance, according to FWD broker research

Elliot Lane, joint managing director, FWD

The recent ‘WannaCry’ ransomware virus attack was heralded as the wake-up call for businesses concerned about their cyber security. A recent survey of 250 UK insurance broking firms, however, shows that following the attack there has surprisingly been little increase at all in the number of enquiries for cyber insurance cover.

The research, carried out by research and communications consultancy FWD, shows that 73% of brokers surveyed said that there had been no change at all in the number of enquiries for cyber cover following the WannaCry attack. Only 4% of brokers said that they had seen a significant increase.

Carole Herpin, senior account director, FWD Research, said: “The uptake of Cyber insurance in the UK has been relatively slow to date. Many people think that cyber would have the same impact as CAT or windstorm cover. That is, after a large incident, when people are reminded very clearly how important such cover can be, there is a major uptick in enquiries and purchasing among businesses.

Carole Herpin

Many people in the market believed that the WannaCry attack, which hit businesses and institutions on a global scale, including the NHS, Telephonica and FedEx, would be a trigger point that pushed the market. Our research has shown this is not the case.”

Elliot Lane, joint managing director, FWD added: “Attacks of this type are becoming increasingly prevalent. Since WannaCry, there has been further cyberattacks, on Whitehall and the more virulent Petya ransomware attack. The question is what incident will be the catalyst to kick-start the market? Firms might be holding back on cyber insurance if they do not think that the right type of products are available, however if businesses are not prepared, then they could be facing significant losses.

At this stage however, it appears that this is a risk many businesses are willing to take.”FWD’s ‘Broking Now’ survey is a bi-monthly survey of UK insurance brokers and was conducted between 25 May and 21 June 2017, compiling responses from 250 regional, national and global broking firms based in the UK.

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