Welcome to iLeads Insurance Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the insurance market. Last week you were reading SPAC Spree Presents Opportunities for Insurance Industry. This week we’re bringing you:
Zillow recruits Christy Kaufman as risk manager*
Christy Kaufman, former head of strategy, governance and compliance at the venture capital arm of American Family Insurance Co., has joined online real estate marketplace Zillow Group Inc. as vice president of risk management.
Ms. Kaufman, who is also a board member of the New York-based Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc., joined American Family in 2017 after 10 years at Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. where she held various positions, including head of enterprise risk management.
Being proactive in a volatile cyber insurance market*
Cyber risk is everywhere. It’s an enterprise problem that can trigger a string of loss-driving events well beyond the technology or the systems that were initially compromised. Cyber events can result in business interruption (both primary and contingent), productivity loss, reputational damage, physical damage, and significant legal repercussions and recovery expenses. As the impacts of cyber exposure are realized, the scale and frequency of cyber insurance losses continue to soar.
Ransomware is arguably the most pressing issue the cyber insurance community is dealing with today. This variation of malware allows hackers to lock people out of their business systems until they pay a ransom, usually in cryptocurrency and to an offshore bank account. In recent years, there has been a significant uptick in the frequency and severity of ransomware attacks impacting businesses of all sizes and in all sectors. Hackers have grown more sophisticated and targeted in their attacks, aiming for larger organizations that can afford bigger ransoms.
In the past five years, the average ransom demand has shot up from $15,000 to $175,000 – an almost twelve-fold increase – according to the NetDiligence 2021 Ransomware Spotlight Report. Furthermore, ransom demands crossed the $1 million threshold in 2018, the $3 million threshold in 2019, and publicly available data indicates that they crossed the $30 million threshold in 2020 – although this was likely negotiated down.
The ransomware headache doesn’t stop there. In 2020, a new wave of ransomware attacks hit the market. Known as ‘double extortion,’ threat actors are maximizing their chance of making profit by threatening the victim with an additional abuse of the information they encrypted, such as selling or auctioning it.
What I’ve learned from working in insurance*
The following is an editorial by Alicja Grzadkowska, former senior news editor at Insurance Business.
Last week, I wrapped up my work at Insurance Business and bid farewell to my team and our parent company Key Media. Over the past three-plus years, I’ve learned a lot from writing about the insurance industry, and leaving it behind has given me a chance to think about what will stay with me as I move on to new endeavors.
My main challenge when I started at Insurance Business was wrapping my head around the complexities of this sector. While I had a background in business journalism, I had never focused in on the insurance space so intently, and knew very little about it, besides what I gleaned from buying auto and renters’ insurance. Suddenly, I was writing articles on personal and commercial lines, as well as reinsurance and all of the other developments that touch this industry – my first two articles were about the aftermath of the 2017-18 US wildfire season, and a tribute to a Canadian insurance leader who had passed away. I had to learn very quickly what all of the terminology meant and how to explain it in an interesting and readable way to our audience, many of whom already had experience in insurance.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out just how open insurance professionals were to helping me personally, as well as the broader public, understand what it is that they do. This proved to be helpful throughout my entire time at Insurance Business since, as some of you can relate, there are many pockets and niches of insurance that you might not stumble upon in the course of your everyday work, yet suddenly have to know a lot about for the benefit of the end reader or customer.
I’m very thankful for all the experts who took time out of their busy days to talk to me about various insurance developments and walk me through their specific areas of focus without any ego or presumption that one should already know all of this. This patient approach is the same one that many professionals bring to their work with buyers of insurance, who, like me, are often not well-versed in insurance products before they suddenly have to buy coverage.
Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in
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