EuropeFinance and InsuranceTech

New cyber insurance product launches

Insurance giant Willis Towers Watson has unveiled a new type of cyber insurance product for shipowners that re-designs standard cyber policies.

The solution, CyNav, addresses cyber threats in the broadest sense, including losses that occur from cyber-related business interruptions, even when the cyber events originate with third party IT service providers.

CyNav’s primary focus is to support the continuity of maritime businesses and help shipowners to resume normal operations as soon as possible following a cyber incident.

The product reaches the industry just as the disruptive potential of malware cyber-attacks on the shipping industry recaptures the headlines with MSC becoming the latest big name in shipping to be hit over the Easter weekend.

Willis Towers Watson warned today how some cyber attacks have caused consequential commercial losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The CyNav solution is intended to address the coverage gaps found between standard hull and machinery (H&M) and cyber policies, while ensuring that owners only pay for the protection they need.

“It is an important advance in corporate risk-transfer options for an industry where most H&M policies have cyber exclusions and many cyber policies do not cover financial losses when normal business operations are interrupted as a consequence of property damage caused by a cyber-attack,” the company stated in a release today.

Under CyNav, compensation for cyber-related business interruptions can include loss of gross profit and increased working costs, including payments on account to help with cash flow.

The cover offered by CyNav is built around the changes in the maritime regulatory framework, including the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) forthcoming cyber-security guidelines. From January 1 2021, the IMO will make it mandatory for companies to document compliance with a raft of new measures within their vessel’s safety-management systems.

Among those measures are risk assessments, standard cyber-security operating procedures and the education and training of crew and land-based employees. A failure to comply would expose a company to potential vessel detainment.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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