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Uncovering the Potential: Personal Lines Cyber Insurance in an Evolving Landscape

Personal cyber insurance.jpgWe've been closely monitoring the cyber insurance landscape, particularly the potential expansion of personal lines cyber coverage. Key drivers include the increasing blending of personal and work devices and profiles, cyberbullying protection, and support for high-net-worth individuals. Another significant factor is the exponential rise of cyber-enabled fraud. For many individuals, cyber and fraud are often perceived as synonymous, suggesting that future products may need to integrate various value propositions and introduce innovative solutions.

Over the past 12 months, we have conducted grey literature research, one to one consultations with our ABI Cyber Insurance Committee Members, and we chaired a recent panel discussion on user security at Insurtech Insights 2024. Over the course of our research, we found wide acknowledgement that the current personal lines cyber market has not developed a comprehensive offering, yet. There is, however, optimism that it may grow in the future and so we’re excited to share our findings at this early stage in development.

One of our key questions going into this exploration was, what does personal lines cyber insurance look like and who buys it?

We found that personal lines cyber typically includes coverage for:

  • cyber-attacks
  • cyberbullying
  • cyber extortion
  • data breaches
  • and online fraud

Along with services such as access to fraud specialists and active cyber monitoring. Additionally, it may offer lawsuit protection and assistance with replacing or repairing electronic data and personal identification documents.

Personal cyber insurance is mostly favoured by high-net-worth individuals,Cyber security protection.jpg who seek extensive security support such as round-the-clock helplines and assistance with system disinfection, as well as peace of mind for themselves and their family. Insurers report that personal cyber insurance may also be sold as an add-on to homeowners’ insurance and covers various cyber-crimes.

Looking internationally, there's been some recent traction in China and Asia for personal cyber coverage, again focused on high net worth individuals. In the UK, US and Europe, some options exist for extending coverage through endorsements, such as adding it to home insurance or bundling it with personal liability coverage. One potential avenue for growth lies in embedding cyber insurance within non-insurance products, a strategy more commonly seen in the telecommunications sector, with examples from India.

There is some cover available in personal lines cyber, however overall growth remains challenging and there are several hurdles to consider. The premiums are generally low in personal lines, making it difficult to justify additional products. For example, distribution costs outweigh the premiums earned, posing a barrier to profitability. Yet, the potential for significant losses can be just as high for an individual as for a company. Similar to other areas of the standalone cyber market, it may not be prudent to cover certain risks in a personal cyber policy either, such as bodily harm. Finally, UK regulatory efforts to tackle non-affirmative, or silent cyber risks, effectively removed cyber risks in many cases from non-cyber policies, which may push clients to seek out specialist markets for cover. All this complexity suggests a potential for innovation in cyber cover, including personal lines.

One area of innovation is the embedded insurance approach, which is growing in popularity across many lines. For personal cyber cover, it may involve integrating coverage with credit card protection or offering it as part of bank assurance. One could even imagine personal cyber coverage as an employee benefit, as more and more people work from personal devices and mix their personal and work security profiles. This approach would also leverage large-scale distribution channels if it were adopted by larger businesses and would also diversify risk portfolios. Regardless of the exact solution, success in this embedded approach hinges on achieving significant volume.

Cyber security working from home.jpg

The future of personal lines cyber coverage remains uncertain, despite ongoing innovations and developments. As remote work trends persist, the importance of addressing cyber risks comprehensively will continue to be a priority. We may see increased awareness of the risks to personal online security driving demand. As both the risks and the solutions evolve at pace, it will be exciting to continue to monitor trends and regulatory shifts.

Ultimately, addressing personal cyber risks will require a combination of risk appetite, disruptive thinking, innovation, and technological solutions. It's through the convergence of these elements that effective solutions will emerge to protect individuals in an increasingly digital world.

We’d like to thank those who contributed their expertise and insights to this article. Please do get in touch with Lucy Fraser to discuss further. If you are interested in purchasing personal cyber insurance, please speak to your broker

Last updated 25/06/2024