Geneva Association Report Analyses Cyber Risk and Cyber Risk Insurance


  • Report compiles and analyses a database of 211 of the most significant industry reports and academic papers on cyber risk and cyber risk insurance.
  • Cyber risk represents a tremendous new market and an opportunity for the insurance industry but also creates a number of challenges to insurability.
  • The report discusses various ways to overcome cyber risk insurability limitations and makes recommendations to the insurance industry and governments on preventing cyber risks and supporting cyber insurance.

Zurich (Dec. 7, 2016) – The leading international think tank of the insurance industry, The Geneva Association, has published a new report, Ten Key Questions on Cyber Risk and Cyber Risk Insurance.

The report provides an overview of the main research topics in cyber risk and cyber risk insurance and is intended as a ‘primer’ on this emerging and dynamic field. It provides an overview of the main areas of research and the key studies conducted in the field to date and makes some initial recommendations about the potential role of insurers and governments in addressing cyber risks. In doing so, the report lays the groundwork for discussion and future research on the development of cyber risk and the cyber insurance market. The report been compiled for the relevant stakeholders in the insurance industry, governments, academia and policymakers, as well as for the wider public.

Information and communications technology (ICT) has become an essential contributor to our daily lives. Not only is it the engine of trade and of the global financial system, but it is also a vital component of our most critical infrastructure. However, with our exponentially increasing dependence on ICT come risks related to its security, integrity and failure—so called cyber risk. Currently, cyber risk is still in its infancy, but it has the power to constrain the forward momentum of technology and adversely impact the world economy. The insurance industry will play a fundamental role in addressing these risks in its capacity as the key risk management and mitigation service in our economies and society.

The report is the first product of a new Geneva Association research programme on Cyber and Innovation to deliver insights and provide a platform for industry discussion on cyber risk and insurance. The papers analysed in the report illustrate the challenges to insuring cyber risk, especially due to a lack of data and modelling approaches, the risk of change and incalculable accumulation risks. It also discusses various ways to overcome these insurability limitations and makes recommendations to the insurance industry and governments on how to prevent cyber risks and support cyber risk insurance.

Deputy Secretary General of The Geneva Association and editor of the report, Dr Fabian Sommerrock said, “We are very pleased to publish this report which provides an insight into the current level of understanding about cyber risk and cyber risk insurance. Society’s ever-growing reliance on ICT means that the risks of its failure, be it from malicious acts or system malfunction, are increasingly significant. This report has been provided to increase understanding of the risk and support the insurance industry’s role in mitigating and managing it for the benefit of individuals, institutions and governments alike.”

Professor Martin Eling, co-author of the report and Director of the Institute of Insurance Economics at the University of St. Gallen said, “The report provides us an opportunity to become part of the global dialogue on effective cyber risk management. Future work is necessary not only for the insurance industry and the government, but also much more academic research is needed to improve our understanding of this new and important type of risk.”

The report and a summary of its contents are available on The Geneva Association’s website:

About the Geneva Association

The Geneva Association has been carrying out its research role for the past 40 years and established a global reputation for serious and forward-looking work. In its role as the leading international think tank of the insurance industry, The Geneva Association:

  • detects early ideas and emerging debates on political, economic and societal issues concerning our industry, notably financial stability and regulation, extreme events and climate risk, and global ageing;
  • inspires and initiates further research into and analysis of such issues;
  • organises debates on the issues detected;
  • disseminates research results and analysis and pushes underlying ideas among clearly defined target groups.

Source: The Geneva Association