Ultimate Guide to Getting the Right Cyber Insurance Coverage

In this guide, we at Cyber Sainik will discuss the importance of cyber insurance coverage for businesses. Beyond the common threats like ransomware and phishing, businesses must be aware of the evolving nature of cyber risks. Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) and state-sponsored attacks reveal the sophistication and persistence of attackers. Insider threats, whether malicious or accidental, also pose significant risks to data security and integrity.

By the end of this guide, you will have a better understanding of the different types of cyber insurance coverage available and how to choose the right coverage for your business.


Additional Insight: 

Emerging Technologies and New Vulnerabilities: The adoption of IoT devices and cloud services expands the attack surface, introducing new vulnerabilities. The interconnectivity of systems means that a breach in one area can have cascading effects across an organization. 


Key Considerations of Cyber Insurance 

  • Organizations must go beyond legal and compliance to consider the reputation impact of cyber incidents
  • Understand the scope of coverage offered by the cyber insurance policy
  • Policy Exclusions
  • Understand if the policy requires certain cybersecurity measures to be in place
  • Cost of operational downtime
  • Potential for intellectual property theft
  • Understanding the insurer’s claim response time and support services is also crucial for rapid incident response
  • Consider if the policy provides coverage for employee training and awareness programs


Additional Insight: 

Cyber Risk Quantification: Employing cyber risk quantification tools can help businesses understand their exposure in financial terms, aiding in selecting appropriate coverage limits and justifying the investment in cyber insurance to stakeholders. 


Types of Cyber Insurance Policies 

Exploring the nuances between first-party and third-party coverages, businesses should consider endorsements and riders that can be added to policies for customized protection.

For example

  • Security and Privacy Liability
  • Ransomware Coverage
  • Social Engineering Fraud
  • Cyber Extortion Coverage
  • E&O policy
  • D&O policy
  • MPL policy

 First-Party Coverage in Cyber Insurance

  • First-party coverage protects the policyholder against losses and expenses directly incurred by the insured party as a result of a covered event.
  • It focuses on the direct impact of a cyber incident on the insured business itself.
  • The policyholder (insured business) directly benefits from the coverage.
  • The primary focus is on mitigating the impact of a cyber incident on the insured business itself.
  • Examples: Data breach response, Ransomware Coverage, Data and System Restoration.

Third-Party Coverage in Cyber Insurance

  • Third-party coverage protects the policyholder against liabilities and legal expenses arising from claims made by external parties (third parties) due to a covered event.
  • It focuses on the impact of a cyber incident on external parties such as customers, clients, or business partners.
  • External parties (third parties) who suffer damages or losses due to the insured’s actions or negligence may benefit from this coverage.
  • The primary focus is on addressing liabilities and claims brought by external parties affected by the insured’s actions or negligence.
  • Examples: Network Security Liability, Privacy Liability, Media Liability.


Additional Insight:

Cyber Business Interruption: Special attention should be given to business interruption policies that cover loss of income during downtime caused by cyber incidents, including those resulting from supply chain disruptions. 


Cyber Insurance Coverage Assessment 

A detailed risk assessment should include the evaluation of third-party vendors and partners, as their vulnerabilities can directly impact your business. Cybersecurity frameworks like NIST can guide the assessment process, ensuring a comprehensive approach to identifying and mitigating risks. 


Additional Insight:

Benchmarking and Best Practices: Comparing coverage levels and terms with industry peers can provide insights into standard practices and help identify coverage gaps. 


Policy Terms in Cybersecurity Insurance

  • It’s vital to understand the implications of consent-to-settle clauses, which can affect how claims are resolved.
  • Businesses should also be aware of the international coverage scope of their policy, especially if they operate or store data in multiple jurisdictions. 


Additional Insight:

Incident Response and Recovery Services: Many policies include or offer as add-ons the services of a breach response team, covering legal, forensic, and public relations expenses. 


Tips for Choosing the Right Coverage 

  • Evaluating insurers’ financial stability and claims payment history is essential.
  • Organizations should seek insurers who offer proactive risk assessment services and cybersecurity training resources as part of their policy offerings. 
  • Determine appropriate coverage limits based on the potential financial impact of a cyber incident.
  • Confirm that the policy covers losses resulting from social engineering attacks and phishing schemes.
  • Ensure the policy covers liability arising from network security breaches and breaches of privacy.
  • Evaluate the coverage for ransomware attacks, including ransom payments and associated expenses.
  • Thoroughly review policy exclusions to understand what is not covered.
  • Regularly review and update your cyber insurance coverage to adapt to evolving cyber threats and changes in your business operations.


Additional Insight:

Customized Solutions: Engage with insurers who are willing to customize policies based on your business’s unique risk profile and cybersecurity posture. 


Case Studies on Cyber Insurance Coverage


1) Cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment (2014)

Incident: A high-profile cyberattack attributed to North Korean hackers, led to significant data breaches, including the release of confidential emails and personal information of employees. 

Coverage Impact: The incident underscored the importance of having comprehensive cyber insurance covering third-party liability and crisis management costs. Sony faced extensive financial and reputational damage, emphasizing the need for adequate protection against state-sponsored cyberattacks and extensive data breaches. 


2) Cyberattack on Merck (2017)

Incident: The global pharmaceutical company was hit by the NotPetya ransomware, causing widespread disruption to its operations, including manufacturing and distribution. 

Coverage Impact: Merck’s claim exceeded $1.3 billion, highlighting the critical role of cyber insurance in recovering from large-scale malware attacks. The incident illustrates the importance of specific coverage for ransomware and business interruption. 


3) Cyberattack on Mondelez International (2017)

Incident: Also, a victim of the NotPetya attack, Mondelez suffered significant operational disruptions. 

Coverage Impact: The claim led to a legal battle over the war exclusion clause, as the insurer denied coverage based on the argument that NotPetya was a cyber-war act. This case emphasizes the importance of understanding policy exclusions and advocating for clear terms regarding cyber warfare and state-sponsored attacks. 



In summary evolving landscape of cyber threats necessitates a strategic and informed approach to selecting cyber insurance. By understanding the nuances of coverage options, aligning policies with specific business risks, and learning from real-world incidents, organizations can better protect themselves against the financial and operational impacts of cyber incidents. Engaging with reputable insurers who offer tailored coverage and proactive support services can enhance an organization’s resilience in the face of cyber threats. 

Scroll to Top