AIG reported an 87 percent year-on-year rise in requests for cyber insurance policies in Asia. This comes in the aftermath of the WannaCry malware attack, which hit hundreds of thousands of devices across 150 countries. Globally, requests for cyber cover have also increased by 38 percent.
According to Jason Kelly, AIG’s head of liabilities and financial lines for Greater China, Australasia and South Korea, the sudden increase in demand from Asia reflects how organisations in this region are behind their global counterparts with regards to awareness of the risks associated with cyber-attacks.
“A lot of companies outside of Asia have already bought this coverage,” Kelly told the Financial Times, noting how many Asian companies have just begun taking steps to secure cyber insurance.
The WannaCry malware attack in May, which ended up bringing hospitals in the UK to a standstill, stalled transport systems and caused damage to numerous businesses meant around 1.3 million computers were vulnerable to the attack.
Since the attack, the insurance industry has focused its learning on exposures to cyber-attacks. Last month, the Financial Times reported Sompo International’s chief strategy officer’s warning that insurers are at risk because of relaxed wordings in their cyber policies, which provide greater coverage without increasing premiums.
It is estimated that 80 percent of large-scale businesses are hit by a cyber breach annually, and total damage from cyber-crime to the global economy could exceed US$400bn, putting insurers in a insecure place regarding their exposures.