Showing Up

My three takeaways from the 2016 PLUS Cyber Symposium

By William Kelly, SVP Underwriting, Argo Pro

There’s an old saying that 90 percent of life is showing up. This expression is especially relevant in the emerging world of cyber insurance. Showing up at cyber-security conferences is the only way for underwriters of this kind of insurance coverage to gather accurate, timely data. This information is the lifeblood of all those in our profession. Underwriters need the latest intelligence to target customers, draw conclusions about different risks, determine appropriate attachment points and limits, and calculate the potential costs of various types of claims. Yet those of us in the emerging field of cyber security can’t log on to their equivalent of the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse the way D&O underwriters can to scrutinize data pertinent to their area of the insurance industry.

The good news is the number and quality of cyber-security conferences is growing. Recently, I attended one of the finest: the PLUS Cyber Symposium, held on September 27th in New York City. PLUS is the Professional Liability Underwriting Society. This year, for just the second time, the organization featured cyber security as the sole focus of a single-day event. What I liked most about this gathering is that it drew not just underwriters, brokers and others like me, but also practitioners from other aspects of cyber security — lawyers, analysts, vendors, government officials, and executives from hospitals, communications providers and standards-setting agencies. In the spirit of information sharing that’s vital to cyber-security underwriters, here are the three main points of intelligence I took away from the symposium:

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