With an £18m aggregate policy limit, the insurance product aims to combat cyber threats to superyachts using ‘preventative mitigation services, traditional asset indemnity and immediate response services to incidents’

Specialist insurer Beazley has launched a new affirmative cyber insurance product for superyachts, designed to mitigate system failures and prospective cyber attacks to vessels’ increasingly interconnected and digital networks.

The Cyber Defence for Superyachts product, created by Beazley’s underwriting, claims, risk and breach response specialists, aims to protect policyholders against physical damage, loss of access, threatened and actual ransom of the vessel, as well as provide risk prevention and immediate response services if there is a cyber breach.

The insurer will also work with computer security service Cyber Prism to offer cyber risk mitigation and preparedness services that helps ensure superyacht owners and managers are aligning with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 2021 guidelines. The IMO is a specialised agency of the United Nations that regulates shipping.

Speaking on the new product, Richard Young, marine underwriter and head of hull at Beazley, said: “Following guidelines introduced this year by the IMO, the onus is now greater on vessel owners and operators to demonstrate robust cyber risk management and to understand, assess and manage risk to improve overall operational resilience in shipping.

“Reducing the cyber threat to superyachts is at the heart of our policy, which provides a triple defence mechanism of preventative mitigation services, traditional asset indemnity and immediate response services to incidents.”

Tackling ‘unintended complexity’

A further driver behind the creation of Beazley’s cyber-centric superyacht product is the increased use of digital technology for onboard and shore-based systems, which the insurer believes can lead to “system failures and opportunities for prospective cyber attackers to exploit a vessel’s network and leave it more vulnerable to infiltration than ever before”.

To combat this “unintended complexity”, the Cyber Defence policy employs a comprehensive risk assessment to help “identify and mitigate potential gaps in security that could leave new policyholders vulnerable”.

Furthermore, in the event of a cyber breach, the cover will provide immediate response services accessible to policyholders via a 24-hour claims hotline.

The Cyber Defence for Superyachts product includes:

  • Additional cover for loss of use of vessel and, by endorsement, cover for extortion.
  • Defined cyber event peril, including malicious and non-malicious events, not including crew negligence.
  • Service limits for a temporary replacement yacht, emergency accommodation and privacy crises response.
  • Post-bind risk assessment preparation services.
  • Post-event 24-hour response services, including forensic investigation and restitution.
  • $25m (£18m) aggregate policy limit.
  • Crew training provided in partnership with Warsash Maritime School, part of Solent University.