Lloyds broker Safeonline aims to launch cyber risk coverage this year

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lloyds broker Safeonline aims to launch cyber risk insurance policies this year in Latin America as part of its international expansion, company founder and partner Chris Cotterell told BNamericas.

Safeonline brokers cyber risk through agents and insurance companies in the US, Canada, Europe, South Africa and India. In Latin America, the company will first target the Brazilian and Mexican markets, Cotterell said.

Cyber risk policies include coverage against business interruption and class action law suits by customers who have suffered personal data theft. Financial institutions, IT and health care firms, as well as retailers and the credit and debit card industry, are particularly exposed to cyber risks, the executive noted.

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Cotterell said that cyber risk coverage is most common in the US, Canada and Western Europe, but awareness and demand is growing in several emerging markets.

Safeonline is a member of global insurance broker alliance BrokersLink, and Cotterell said the company will mainly target Brazil and Mexico through local BrokersLink members and the insurance companies that they work with in those markets.

Cotterell said educating brokers, insurers and companies about the new product is a challenge in Latin America. "The client requirement is now, but the broker and insurer knowledge is still limited."

Besides education and growing awareness of cyber risks, the executive said that in developed countries, regulators have implemented security standards that force companies to buy coverage against cyber risks. Cotterell expect this to happen in Latin America as well, as cyber crime is getting increased media coverage, which in turn put pressure on regulators to act.

Safeonline was formed in 2000 by Cotterell and other partners. The company provides broker services for financial and professional liability, healthcare, tech, IP/patent and cyber risks.