How Insurers have adapted to Technology


Insurance companies are very adaptable when it comes to seizing opportunities and the rise of technology over the last 50 years have seen them utilising this new market. After making a few mistakes such as in 1980 when Lloyd’s of London insured business computers against technological advances losing 400 million pounds in the process, Insurance companies have been quick to realise the future market in technology insurance. From overhead drones to professional liability cover,progress in technology has opened up a whole new market for UK insurers.

Mobile Phones

Since comedian Ernie Wise made the first mobile phone call in the UK in 1985 mobiles have increased in popularity until now over 35 million people in the uk own a smartphone. Naturally the Insurance Industry were quick to see the need for these expensive new commodities to be covered. Mobile phone insurance is now one of the most popular insurance products in the UK. Insuring against theft, loss, damage ie liquid or dropping is standard and can also cover unauthorised calls if reported quickly enough. Mobile phone insurer Budget Mobile Cover says accidental damage makes up 55 per cent of their claims with water damage making up a quarter of these.Richard Waters, managing director of Budget mobile cover says “Around half of our water damage claims are from people admitting to dropping their phone down the toilet,”.There have been some strange claims made over the years from accidentally baking a phone in a cake to a seagull swooping down and snatching it. One of the most bizarre claims made was a farmer in Devon who claimed his phone had disappeared inside the back end of one of his cows as he used the torch on his iPhone while assisting the cow during calving.

Gadget Insurance
Portable technology has become such an essential part of our working and social lives, that being without it can be a nightmare, so another product becoming increasingly popular is Gadget Insurance. With all the laptops,tablets, and games consoles being purchased every day specialist insurance policies are now available to run along with mobile phone insurance or combine with it. Insurance companies such as gadget-cover, protectyourbubble,and have sprung up to fill the need for this type of cover.

Cyber Liability Insurance Cover

The fact that information technology is now at the centre of organisations small and large, whether in the private or public sectors, has brought new risks. Although Public liability policies cover most third party risks, including “property damage”. Insurance companies have found that the simplest way to address the question of whether computer data is “tangible property” in general liability policies is to add specific language defining “tangible property” to include software, programs, and data. Some companies are asking their property insurers to confirm in explicit policy language that disruption, corruption, deletion, theft, or copying of data, software, or programs is deemed to be “physical loss or damage.” It should also include the cost of restoring the data from backup, as well as for the cost of replacing the data if backup is not available.So who needs Cyber Liablity Insurance?
Matthew Webb, Head of Technology at Hiscox UK, explained: “Cyber and data risks affect more businesses than you would think and are often less well understood. Any business that holds sensitive customer details such as names and addresses or banking information, has a website, relies on computer systems to conduct business or is subject to a Payment Card Industry merchant service agreement is at risk.”
Given the risks involved it’s strange that more UK companies are not taking up Cyber Liability Cover.The good news for the Insurance industry is that The British government teamed up in March with the Royal Bank of Scotland and insurance broker Marsh to help develop the local cyber-insurance market, after its own report based on input from 13 London insurers and several large companies, found that 98 percent of UK companies lack cyber-insurance, despite 81 percent admitting that they’ve suffered a breach in last 12
months. ABI Research predicts the Cyber Insurance market to hit £6 billion by 2020

UAV (Drone) Insurance
UAS risks are currently being written worldwide by Lloyd’s markets and companies alike,
although there is concern about the risks involved with UAS operations , the market is developing policies quickly to support this burgeoning industry. The terminology of traditional manned aircraft policies are being adjusted by brokers and underwriters to be applicable for the drones. “Aircraft” becomes “UAS,” “pilot” becomes “operator,” etc. The aviation market has agreed the value of the aircraft to be paid to the client will be adjusted to take into account the value of the aircraft at the time.Therefore their perceived value will drop as technology advances. There are several matters to take into account such as how much liability will be needed to cover any damage or harm caused by the drone to people or property. Considering there have already been a number of incidents where flights and paragliders have been put in danger by drones. The risks might also include privacy invasion, particularly in the case of celebrities being photographed by low flying UAV. For businesses and individuals looking for Insurance the advice is to check the insurers are members of SUAS The Industry body for drones.
On a positive note the insurance industry could utilise drones themselves to inspect damage to structures that are hard to reach such as high rise buildings or church steeples. UUVs or underwater drones would be able to inspect damage to the hulls of ships for instance.

In Conclusion

Having an insurance policy in place is very important, but prevention should be at the top of a company’s priorities list. Strict security policies and measures that should be in place include amongst others: Ensuring all portable devices are password protected and encrypted,employing a managed firewall and up to date Anti-Virus software,carrying out regular,secure data and system back-ups
Digital forensics specialist Professor Peter Sommer said “It is critical to think carefully about what evidence the insurer will require before paying out – and how they will react if, on inspection, they find that essential preventative and loss-mitigatory measures were inadequate.”

Computers in the City security technology platform is designed to meet customers’ needs both now and in the future. Computers in the City can advise you on the security measures required by Insurance companies for Cyber Liability Insurance, and help you to put them in place.