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Aon flags shortfall in intangible asset cover

Aon has warned of a “persistent protection gap” for information assets despite the growing risk of loss compared with tangible items.

In a new report, the broker says the average probable maximum loss (PML) resulting from theft or destruction of intangible assets such as patents, brand names, trademarks and copyrights is about $US1.15 billion ($1.74 billion) – about 37% higher than the figure for tangible assets.

It says organisations “estimate the likelihood that they will sustain a loss relating to information assets totalling no more than 50% of PML over the next 12 months at 5%”. The likelihood of loss for property, plant and equipment (PP&E) assets in the same time frame is 2%.

The report says information assets have a 14% higher average total value than tangible assets.

However, the broker’s research shows a notable disparity in coverage. 

“While the likelihood of a loss is higher for information assets than for PP&E, only an average of 19% of information assets are covered by insurance, while self-insurance is higher for information assets at 58%,” Aon says.

“On average, about 60% of PP&E assets are covered by insurance and about 32% ... are self-insured.” 

Only 35% of companies hold a trade secret or intellectual property liability insurance policy, with most uninsured organisations expressing interest in obtaining coverage, Aon says.

The report also notes an increase in cyber risk exposures, with 56% of study respondents reporting at least one “material or significantly disruptive security exploit or data breach” in the past two years.

The coverage warning comes as more organisations use or intend to use artificial intelligence; more than 67% of respondents report utilising such tools.

The study questioned 2462 organisations involved in cyber risk management across North America, South America, Asia-Pacific, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

Click here for the report.