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2020 US Insurance Awards: Coalition Inc., Insurance Underwriting Team of the Year (management liability/professional liability/cyber liability)

Joshua Motta

Coalition Inc.’s mission as a company is to solve cyber risk, according to Joshua Motta, co-founder and CEO of the San Francisco-based cyber insurance and technology firm.

That “does not mean eliminating security failures, which is largely what the cybersecurity industry has attempted to do,” by designing and selling antivirus and other applications designed to make a company secure, he said.

“We do not believe that is possible, and at the end of the day, cybersecurity is not a technical problem. It’s a risk management problem for solving cyber risks” and helping companies survive technological and security failures, he said.

The winner of the Business Insurance 2020 U.S. Insurance Award for Underwriting Team of the Year (management liability/professional liability/cyber liability), Coalition tackles these challenges by helping its customers become productive and more competitive, enabling them to embrace technology without additional risk, Mr. Motta said.

“There is not a single company in this country not dependent on a working computer, internet connection and access to data,” Mr. Motta said. Having those taken away “can be extremely painful” and even force a company out of business, he said.

“Everything we do is oriented around solving cyber risk, how do we help them prevent bad things from happening,” but in the event of a cyberattack, Coalition “provides a safety net of insurance to recover if the worst were to come to pass,” Mr. Motta said.

He cited as an example a not-for-profit Florida organization that worked with the state to distribute funds to child-development centers and day-care facilities for early-education initiatives. 

After COVID-19 hit, the organization was forced to work remotely, and cyber criminals took advantage of this by compromising the organization’s email. The cyber criminals used an individual’s email to convince the organization to wire funds to a bank account that they controlled.

“This was very convincing” because COVID-19 was used as the pretext for the change in instruction, Mr. Motta said. As a result, $1.5 million due to go to a child development center went to the criminals instead. 

The organization had coverage under its Coalition policy, but the insurer also helped it recover all but $500, Mr. Motta said.


• American International Group Inc. — AIG draws on its expertise to provide holistic cyber coverage and incorporate affirmative cyber coverage into traditional property/casualty policies.

• AmTrust Financial Services Inc./Kovrr — AmTrust/Kvorr’s dashboard allows underwriters to run an assessment on each prospective insured that includes data on validated cyber-risk factors.

• CNA Financial Corp. — CNA’s Allied Healthcare Facilities business unit has developed risk-control strategies and provided market insight, as well as hands-on risk control assessments of major health care companies’ senior leadership. 

• CNA Financial Corp. — CNA’s Epack 3 modular management liability policy combines clear, concise language with a flexible policy structure.

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