As the first season of the Cowbell Factors Podcast comes to an end, our Podcast host, Alexis Vaughn, wanted listeners to gain more insights into the distribution of cyber insurance. So for the season’s last episode, she invited Josh White, our Territory Sales Manager of the South Central region, to talk about the responsibilities and challenges of his role.
Josh works with agents, brokers, and policyholders on a daily basis. “For brokers and policyholders, continuous education is essential, especially when it comes to risk management and industry-specific matters.”
The industry brings many challenges on the distribution side, such as a dangerous lack of awareness around cyber risk, especially from smaller businesses. “Oftentimes, businesses fail to realize that they are exposed to risk at all. In reality, almost every business has sensitive information of clients and vendors that can be compromised during a breach.”
Others think that a cyber endorsement on a Business Owner Policy (BOP) is an adequate alternative to standalone cyber. “With BOPs, we often see that businesses are severely underinsured. It’s a lose-lose situation since businesses are purchasing what they think is sufficient cyber coverage, and may even be portrayed as such. But when a cyber attack takes place, there is no one there to support the victim.”
Luckily, awareness around cyber has increased recently. “About six months ago, the biggest challenge was a lack of education around cyber risk and insurance. This has shifted. Awareness is now there. The new big challenge is compassing the hardening market.”
“Cyber insurance loss ratios are incredibly high right now. We saw Fortune 500 insurance companies reporting 100% or greater loss ratios. This creates a hard market, resulting in more challenges for policyholders to receive higher limits and comprehensive coverage, as well as more restricted underwriting guidelines, and generally higher premiums.”
Cowbell is combating that trend through technology. “Cowbell Cyber has done a great job in utilizing technology to identify third-party risks for businesses. Coupled with our streamlined underwriting approach, this ultimately leads to more affordable premiums while keeping a strong, comprehensive form.”
We believe that policyholders benefit from a holistic approach to defense against cyber risk. That doesn’t just include the policy, but consists of three pillars: assess, insure, improve.
It starts with risk assessment. “We run scans of up to 750 data points on almost every US company, even before a submission comes through. This streamlines the decision-making process for underwriting into a 5-minutes or less process.”
Those scans result in a rating of a company’s risk exposure, represented by our Cowbell Factors. Making companies aware of their risk profile helps with the next steps: insure and improve. This includes a Cowbell cyber policy, but also other services like cybersecurity awareness training for employees, meetings with our risk engineering team, and more.
For brokers and policyholders, continuous education is essential.
Should a cyber incident occur, policyholders need efficient claims handling. “Businesses need to ask themselves: do we have an advocate with our cyber carrier? Do we have an established connection with their risk engineering department? Did we get support in creating an incident response plan?”
But, Cowbell makes sure that not only businesses enjoy exceptional customer service, but agents as well. Josh has a great example of what that may look like. “Last night, I got a text around 7 PM from one of my close wholesale partners here in Dallas. A large policyholder has specifically requested their Cowbell Factors. I connected with our Data Science team on the West Coast, and together, we were able to run the scans, and get the results back to the broker within the same day. Thanks to the Cowbell Factors, we were able to identify several vulnerabilities that could be resolved.”
With renewals around the corner, agents need more support than ever. “The tough conversations, as of late, are last-minute, huge premium spikes of renewals due to the hardened market. Some renewals not only have a 300-400% premium increase but also increased limitations in coverages. Some are delivered merely days before the policy expires.
So, have a conversation with your carrier. Are they exiting the market? Are there underwriting changes? Do they anticipate large premium increases?”
Agents should have that conversation and also explore their options. “With Cowbell, it’s so easy to generate a quote, so you can simply test out quoting with us 60 days before renewal.”
If you are interested in getting appointed with Cowbell Cyber, you can reach out to us through our website, or by writing to [email protected].
This has been the last episode of the season, but you can expect new episodes in January. You can visit the Cowbell Factor Podcast to listen to other episodes and not miss new ones. It is available on most Podcast platforms (Spotify, Google podcast, Apple podcast, Anchor, Breaker, and Radio Public).
Happy Holidays and more Cowbell!