Central bank of France pleads for the cyber insurance market's development in the EU

26 January 2017 — Daniela GHETU
France's central bank Governor called on French insurers to enhance cyber risk coverage for their clients, as hack attacks and data privacy laws in Europe spur rising demand, reports REUTERS.

"With the help of reinsurers, insurers should be able to meet demands of cyber risk coverage, a concern that affects all businesses," Francois Villeroy de Galhau said during a conference in Paris.

Though growing fast, the European cyber insurance market remains dwarfed by that in the United States, but is likely to expand in the coming years as new EU regulations come into force requiring firms to disclose when they have been the victim of an attack.

Around 28% of companies in Europe have been subject to a cyber attack over the past 12 months, but only 13% of companies have purchased cyber insurance, Marsh & McLennan Co's (MMC.N) Marsh broker unit said in a survey, published in October 2016.

According several experts, there are three broad areas most companies would consider cyberinsurance for: to protect against breaches of B2C e-commerce or a breach at a physical retail store, protect intellectual property, trade secrets and the PII of employees and recover from a breach into a manufacturing facility, an IoT event. Of course, not all of them are of interest for each company. In fact, one of the first issues that need attention is providing the tools to make financial determinations on a security breach so that companies can apply more accurate values to cyberinsurance. 

"Insurance companies should learn from their own experience ... in order to create a more mature market in France and Europe for insurance against cyber risks," Villeroy added.

The value of global cyber insurance premiums outstanding is estimated by Marsh & McLennan Co's (MMC.N) Marsh broker unit to be around USD 3.5 billion with 3 billion coming from the United States, and around USD 300 million coming from Europe.