Canadian Underwriter

The big concern among commercial clients about cyber policies

March 15, 2019   by Greg Meckbach

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Some commercial clients are looking for more consistency across the industry in cyber policy wording.

Survey data shows cyber is the Number 1 hot topic for members of Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) Inc., said Jennifer Goodwin, chair of the RIMS Maritime Chapter.

Cyber policies can be confusing and different insurers offer different wordings, said Goodwin, whose RIMS chapter is comprised of more than 60 risk managers in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. She added that it would be good if insurers could somehow standardize cyber policies.

“What we are finding is that insurers are all offering different products to us. There is no standard cyber risk policy, so you really have to do your due diligence to determine what is covered and what isn’t covered, and of course there are risks that we are not aware of yet. So how will that policy respond to something nobody has thought of?” said Goodwin.

“If you are not the IT person, it talks in a different language,” Goodwin said, says of cyber insurance policies in general. “A lot of the language is not clear. You are just guessing at what it is they are trying to say, so it’s a real problem.”

By day, Goodwin works in the Halifax area as the risk and information systems manager of Scotia Investments Limited. Not to be confused with the big bank (Scotia Investments has nothing to do with the Bank of Nova Scotia), Scotia Investments owns several manufacturers, including CFK Inc. (whose products include paper plates) and Crown Fibre Tube Inc., whose products include concrete forms and fibre tubes for storing carpets.

New York City-based RIMS announced Goodwin’s appointment as RIMS Maritime Chapter president this past September. That chapter’s board has risk managers from J.D. Irving Limited, Empire Company Limited (which owns the Sobey’s supermarket chain), Emera Inc. and Chorus Aviation Inc., among others.

The new chapter officers plan to give their members new opportunities to share ideas and best practices. “A major focus for our discussions has been how to reach our members and what our members are looking for as technology is changing,” Goodwin said.

With members in three provinces, it can take a long time to travel to meet face to face. “So we are looking at new ways to do teleconferencing and maybe see what else our members suggest for getting involved more remotely,” Goodwin said. “We are actually looking at using Webex for our annual general meeting, and we haven’t done that before.”

Down east, the RIMS Maritime chapter aims to have at least one meeting a year each in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI. At each meeting, the aim is to have an education session and a round table discussion. RIMS Maritime Chapter plans to hold its annual general meeting in Halifax in April.

On April 28, RIMS kicks off its annual conference and exhibition in Boston. Worldwide, RIMS has about 10,000 members at more than 3,500 organizations in more than 60 countries.





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