Cy­ber in­sur­ance gains ground as In­ter­net-based risks rise, says Doha In­sur­ance Group pres­i­dent

Gulf Times Business - - FRONT PAGE - By Pratap John Chief Busi­ness Re­porter

Cy­ber in­sur­ance is grad­u­ally gain­ing ground in view of in­creas­ing In­ter­net­based 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 yes­ter­day.

“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 in­for- ma­tion 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.

PIC­TURES: Shaji Kayamku­lam

Sheikh Nawaf (sec­ond right), Hus­sein (left), al-Muf­tah (sec­ond left) among other dig­ni­taries at the open­ing ses­sion of the ‘En­ergy Work­shop’ or­gan­ised by Doha In­sur­ance Group in as­so­ci­a­tion with Price Forbes at The Westin Doha Ho­tel yes­ter­day. Right: In­sur­ance ex­perts from C V Starr, Mu­nich Re among oth­ers at the event.

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