Threats to cybersecurity are becoming more severe as more people work from home, deepening reliance on the internet. Ransomware attacks, in particular, have become incredibly common. These cyber attacks wrest control of critical data or systems from an organization and then demand a ransom in exchange for the data. Some experts predict that ransomware will cost companies a combined total of $265 billion by 2031.*

As the crisis gets worse, companies have been looking for cost-effective solutions.

In the past, standalone cybersecurity companies would often contract with those looking to protect themselves from cyber attacks, providing back-office tech protection and other managed services intended to prevent widespread damage or data access due to a cyberattack.

Insurtech is creating a new approach to this classic internet-era problem. By combining cybersecurity with insurance protection, insurtech is helping companies to holistically manage their own risk.

Insurance companies that underwrite cybersecurity have an inherent and vested interest in keeping their clients safe, because successful hacks directly affect their bottom line. It's one reasons that the synergy between insurance companies and cybersecurity works so well — which insurtech companies have started taking advantage of in recent years.

But, in this new and evolving space, how can clients make sense of not only a provider's cyber capabilities but their insurance bonafides as well? It's going to require some new approaches and education on the part of clients.

What Is Insurtech, Really?

Insurtech is less of a defined field than a way of reinterpreting a classic problem. Simply put, it's an approach to insurance that tries to find new ways to use cutting-edge technology to disrupt the traditional insurance field.

Traditional insurance groups people into tiers based on risk and exposure, and then sets rates for each tier. By design, people on the higher and lower ends of each tier receive a slightly worse deal, simply because a larger group of people form an average. These people at the edges end up paying slightly more for less.

But insurtech can disrupt this process by working with significantly more customer data than their traditional counterparts. So instead of using tiers, some insurtech companies have sophisticated enough information-gathering processes that they can put each customer on a separate point on the overall spectrum. If you know enough about the customer, you can avoid the problem of unfair grouping altogether, creating a method that's more work intensive, but fairer for everyone.

But insurtech companies don't necessarily need to hire more employees to do more work: Many have been developing custom-built AI specifically to solve this problem.

The insurtechs that have entered this market have a natural advantage. And traditional carriers are starting to follow these newcomers’ leads in incorporating scanning and additional AI-enabled technologies into the underwriting process.

Steve Robinson, RPS nation Cyber practice leader

Disrupting Insurance With Increasingly Complex AI

Insurtech companies have turned to artificial intelligence (AI) programs that can automate many of the processes that traditional insurance companies have long relied upon employees to do. Not only can AI decrease overhead costs of processing and underwriting claims, AI can often handle these processes more accurately than humans.

AI is currently being used to make almost any kind of insurance quote or cost less expensive by making them more accurate. Some experts predict that AI programs will be able to automatically process claims and adjust rates in real time, fully eliminating the need for human interaction. While this stage of machine control is still quite a ways off for the greater insurance industry, companies have shown great interest in moving in this direction.

Of course, a trend to AI doesn't mean that insurtech companies are trying to automate the customer service elements of their business. On the contrary, this increased emphasis on AI work and machine learning frees up employees at insurtech companies to focus on delivering higher quality human-to-human services.

A Focus on Overall Security

The good news for companies as well as individuals is that, by combining the power of new technologies with traditional coverage, the interests of insureds as well as their insurance companies are aligned as never before. Not only can today's insurtech providers cover potential losses associated with a data breach, they can help their customers better protect themselves in the first place, saving both parties time and money in the long run.

This protection can include best practices as simple as requiring multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all covered systems or as advanced as firewall and traffic analysis protections. By requiring new controls on customers' tech stacks, costly hacks can be avoided and mitigated before they become major problems.

That's a big promise. Can today's insurtechs live up to it? It depends.

There is no question that the cyber liability market is challenging. And just as workplace technologies will continue to evolve, so too will cyber exposures.

Nick Carozza, RPS area vice president

It's no secret that tech companies tend to shoot for the stars and offer the moon when it comes to signing new customers. Often, the reality of cutting-edge technology doesn't always live up to the promise. When considering a tech-enabled insurance partner, keep those expectations in check by asking a few questions:

  • What's their track record? Insurtech is a relatively new segment of the insurance market, but that doesn't mean established and experienced providers aren't out there. Ask around to see who has the best reputation for successful implementation. Insurtechs that have been around the block know how to spot and prepare for the next challenges.
  • Do they ''get'' your industry? As is the case with traditional insurance, no two customers are identical, and insurtech solutions are tailored to a wide range of different industries. Make sure you work with a partner who understands your unique technology needs and limitations and has experience working with others in your field.
  • Are they on top of tomorrow's threats? The range of cyber threats facing companies today is wide and ever growing. The best insurtech providers understand this reality, always look ahead to what's coming next and develop strategies to mitigate those risks.

Insurtech companies like RPS understand that insurtech itself combines ideas and synergies that yield better results for everyone involved. The combination of increased cybersecurity and tech advancements means that insurtech companies are moving further into cyber space, as the entire global economy moves in a very similar direction.


*Braue, David. "Global Ransomware Damage Costs Predicted to Exceed $265 Billion by 2031," Cybersecurity Ventures, 2 Jun 2022.