Ian has over a decade of experience in insurance and is now a senior cyber insurance claims handler for Howden.
Q: How did you get into the cyber insurance industry?
I initially fell into cyber, when I was allocated some new cyber claims when working in-house at an insurer. I could tell straight away that it was something different, and I enjoyed the challenge of learning something completely new, which I had never been exposed to before. So it was more accident than design, but a move which I have never regretted.
Q: What brought you to the Certified Cyber Insurance Specialist (CCIS) course?
The skills I had picked up from handling claims, were mostly self-taught, and I wanted to consolidate this knowledge by completing a formal course program, which the CCIS was the perfect fit for. Although I knew the insurance side relatively well, I hadn’t advanced or updated my technical skills since completing a Computer Science qualification a number of years ago. This is where I was really able to accelerate my learning by completing the course.
Q: What cyber trends from the past few years have surprised you?
Definitely ransomware, and in particular the rate by which it has become an industry in itself, as ransomware as a service. Despite the exposure it has recently had in the media, I still don’t feel that the industry has really taken on board the hugely damaging effect ransomware can have, particularly on the SME market, where an attack can put a small company out of business if it doesn’t have the right insurance.
Q: What doors have been opened up to you as a result of the course.
Although it’s probably one of the fastest-growing sectors in insurance, handlers on the claims side (particularly at brokerages) are still not very common. I feel that I now have the knowledge to fully specialize in this field if I decide this is a route I want to take.
Q: What do you think the CCIS course has to offer that other courses do not?
The course is extremely well put-together, but access to instructors is where the CCIS is really different from the others. All the people involved in the course really know what they are talking about. You know that, if you have a question, the instructors will definitely be able to answer it.
Q: Where do you see the Cyber Insurance market in the next 3 years?
I expect to see cyber policies being combined more regularly with Professional Indemnity policies. I wouldn’t be surprised if professionals such as solicitors and accountants are soon required by their regulators to purchase PI policies with cyber cover. Everyone is collecting more and more data, and the financial impact to these businesses of any sort of network shutdown can be catastrophic.
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