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Insurers, reinsurers must work with insurtech on cyber risk


Incumbent insurers and reinsurers need to be open to working with insurtech businesses if they are to better price cyber risk, according to a report Monday from Willis Towers Watson PLC.

The call to collaborate on cyber risk came as the broker reported 63 insurtech deals were announced worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2018 with a total value of $1.59 billion.

Deal count was up from 57 in the third quarter, but still down from first and second quarter levels, while funding increased significantly, the broker said in its Quarterly Insurtech Briefing.

Compared with the fourth quarter of 2017, deal count in the fourth quarter increased by 24% while funding volume was up 155%, the broker said in the report.

“The past few quarters have shown a steady increase of insurtech funding, and Q4 2018 is no different,” said Willis Towers Watson in the report.

At $1.59 billion, fourth-quarter insurtech funding volume, including all-stage investments in property/casualty and life and health ventures, was at its second highest level since the $1.86 billion recorded in the second quarter of 2015, the broker said in the report.

A total of 11 insurance-sector investors injected $218 million into insurtechs in the fourth quarter, an increase of 230% from the third quarter, the report said.

Currently, there are 31 strategic partnerships between global reinsurers/insurers and technology companies, the highest number ever recorded, the broker said in its report.

There were 41 property/casualty insurtech transactions in the fourth quarter, up from the 40 in third-quarter 2018, but up 52% from the fourth quarter of 2017, the report said.

Of the 41 fourth-quarter deals, 46% were in the insurance sector, while 51% were in the business-to-business sector and just 3% in the distribution space, the report said.

The fourth-quarter briefing also included a report on insurtechs that focus on managing cyber risk.

Cyber is a multifaceted risk that requires a multifaceted approach by the industry, Andrew Johnston, global head of insurtech at Willis Re, said in a company statement.

“Insurtechs offer our industry a huge opportunity through strategic commercial partnering to allow incumbent insurance firms the ability to become part of a broader, more resilient jigsaw puzzle,” Mr. Johnston said in the statement.









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