Insurer predicts spend to reach £450m in five years, up from £20m

UK spending on cyber insurance is set to boom over the next five years as businesses try to offset the potentially disastrous effects of data breaches and hacks.

Barbican Insurance underwriting manager for cyber, technology and media Geoff White told The Times that UK companies spend only £20m a year on cyber security, but that he expected this figure to balloon to £450m within five years. White said the total UK cyber market was worth £3.5bn.

The growth has been put down to the new European Union rules requiring companies to report a data breach or face a fine. Barbican predicts this will spur companies to invest in insurance to cover the cost of dealing with attacks and claims.

In the US, laws were introduced in 2005 to force companies to take steps to protect themselves from cyber attacks, triggering an increase in insurance spend.

US companies spent $1.3bn on cyber insurance last year, compared with $850m in 2012. And that is expected to grow by a further $1bn this year, according to Barbican.

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