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Cyber cover ‘may join personal lines’

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Personal cyber insurance may become the norm as online crime escalates, London-based analytics company GlobalData says.

Recent events illustrating the risk include the Equifax data breach, exposing the personal details of credit-score customers, and a finding that Wi-Fi connections can be hacked through flaws in a universal security protocol.

“Such developments could lead to personal cyber-insurance policies becoming a necessity in the coming years,” GlobalData Financial Analyst Daniel Pearce says.

AIG and Hiscox provide such protection for high-net-worth individuals, while in the US protection is available from Munich Re unit Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, GlobalData says.

Oak Underwriting in the UK is to include cyber cover for high-net-worth individuals within its legal expenses and home emergency insurance, through a partnership with DAS.

The cover will help with investigating and rectifying damage to devices, locating and removing viruses, and advice on preventing attacks.

Customers can upgrade to a more comprehensive policy with a limit of £100,000 ($175,063) that will also insure payments liable due to an attack, misuse of personal data and ransomware.

GlobalData says cyber products will initially be offered as add-ons, but standalone policies may follow as the market develops and uptake increases.

“There is also potential for such policies to be purchased alongside new gadgets, allowing for premium prices to be more specific and reflect the level of risk posed by each gadget,” Mr Pearce says.