’Cyber is still relatively new for any broker,’ says general manager 

Insurers have a ”responsibility” to help brokers enhance their knowledge of the cyber insurance landscape so they can help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) avoid underinsurance.

That was according to Cowbell UK’s general manager Simon Hughes, who told Insurance Times that brokers needed support to help them ”adequately understand clients’ concerns before addressing what policy is right for them”.

In October 2022, research from GlobalData showed that only 56.2% of medium-sized businesses, 40% of small businesses and 16.8% of micro businesses had a cyber insurance policy last year.

However, attendees at an Insurance Times’ roundtable – hosted earlier this year (26 January 2023) and entitled Cyber risk: What is it and what does it mean for the sector? – stated that brokers were struggling to explain cyber cover due to a lack of knowledge. 

Hughes said that “education is key” to help brokers develop a better understanding of cyber cover.

“Cyber is still relatively new for any broker and it is the responsibility of the insurers to support them and answer any questions,” he added.

“We can only discuss things we understand and cyber insurance providers need to work with their distribution partners to make sure they fully grasp the concept of cyber risk, cyber insurance and what businesses can do to decrease their exposure and get fair rates.

“It can be challenging for SME businesses to really understand what their cyber exposure is, which naturally leads to underinsurance or poor take up in general.”


Hughes made the comments following a rise in sophisticated cyber claims, such as ransomware and phishing.

For example, according to Howden’s Coming of Age report, which was published earlier this year (10 July 2023), ransomware attacks surged by nearly 50% in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2022.

Hughes said it was important that cyber insurers and the distribution chain could ”effectively and confidently talk about cyber exposure and the risk that almost all modern businesses face”.

“Once the brokers understand how to explain cyber coverage, providing clients with recommendations on flexible coverage policies and explaining technical concepts in simple terms can help clients grasp the importance and details of cyber coverage more easily,” he added.

“These efforts will not only help clients understand the importance of cyber insurance, but also help them make more informed decisions to protect their organisations from cyber risks.”