Hiscox has reiterated the need for companies to buy hacker insurance after a survey revealed that insurance companies' IT systems are being increasingly disrupted by hackers.

In Deloitte & Touche's survey of global insurance companies and banks, 83% of respondents said their systems had been "compromised" in the past year.

This compared to only 39% of respondents in the 2002 survey.

Of the respondents who said their IT systems had been compromised, 40% said the breaches had resulted in "financial loss" to their organisation.

Hiscox UK technology manager Stephen Wares said there was a "mismatch" between the number of companies whose IT systems were being hacked and the number of companies buying hacker cover.

"Only 5% of our client base takes up hacker cover," Wares said.

"Hopefully this [the Deloitte survey] will highlight the need for hacker insurance."

Deloitte said fewer respondents in the 2004 survey had fully deployed anti-virus systems.

The survey showed that 87% of respondents had fully deployed anti-virus measures in place. This compared to 96% of respondents in 2003.

"The survey finds that companies are sliding backwards when it comes to the use of security technologies," a Deloitte statement said.