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Insurers urge anonymous database to help underwrite cyber risks

Posted On: May. 23, 2016 12:00 AM CST

The Association of British Insurers has called for a national anonymous database of cyber incidents to enable the insurance market to better assess, underwrite and price cyber risks.

The London-based ABI said in a statement Tuesday that it hoped that an anonymized database of cyber incidents, including business interruption losses, ransom demands, loss of confidential data and damage to information technology systems, could help the U.K. to become a world leader in cyber insurance coverage.

The ABI said that a database, which would be nonprofit, could build upon the E.U. European Network Information Security Directive, which will require some firms to provide notification of cyber breaches starting in 2018.

The ABI said data would be anonymized then made available to insurers to enable them to better price cyber coverage.

“Cyber losses are the biggest threat to Britain's world-leading digital economy, and we need to capture more data to get on top of the problem,” Huw Evans, director general of the ABI, said in the statement.

“We have 350 years of fire data and 100 years of motor and aviation data, but we have just a few years of cyber data. But cyber is the biggest insurable risk that the industry will have to meet, and it is critical to the economy,” he said.

“Nothing hinders the growth of an insurance market more than a lack of data,” he added. “More data can help stimulate the cyber insurance market, giving greater choice to businesses in insuring against cyber losses.”