Nicolas Fernandez is a Trainee Underwriter at Sompo, working out of the cyber division. He is a recent graduate from Colorado State University and recently completed the Certified Cyber Insurance Specialist (CCIS) course.
1. Why did you enroll in the CCIS course?
I enrolled in the CCIS course as a part of my organization’s required training. I wasn’t aware of the opportunity until earlier this year when we enrolled in the course altogether.
2. How do you feel the course has contributed to your professional development and growth as a trainee underwriter?
The course has contributed to my professional career in a very positive way. As someone that went through a baptism of fire in their first job out of college, you hit the ground running and can’t really stop to pick up or learn the fundamentals of everything. The CCIS course definitely has given me a strong base to work from as it covers both cyber security approaches, technologies, methodologies, and so on, but also cyber insurance from both a micro, policy level and from a macro, market level.
3. What advice would you give to students or other trainee underwriters who are currently taking the CCIS course?
I would recommend circling back to previous modules and solidifying your understanding of course concepts before moving on to the next section. The course is built in a way that builds off previous chapters. Not having a hold of terms and fundamentals will hurt you in the long run as you aim to complete the final course examination. I also recommend giving yourself plenty of time to finish the course – it takes a good amount of time to work through everything – don’t procrastinate!
4. Which cyber trends and risks do you think cyber insurance professionals should be most aware of in 2023?
The biggest thing that sticks out to me is the risk landscape is constantly evolving and changing. New threats and vulnerabilities are discovered daily in our world where we heavily rely on our technology and systems. Some cyber security tools companies use today could be obsolete in a year. It’s important to keep your cyber security knowledge fresh and have the ability to adapt to next-gen threats.
5. How do you think the insurance market, in general, will change over the next few years and why?
In general, I’ve seen the cyber insurance market start to turn where rates are starting to decline and the middle market space start to “stabilize” at the time of writing. This is alongside exposures to ransomware staying roughly the same. As mentioned in the course, cyber insurance is a relatively new product and there isn’t much historical data to work off of when underwriting new risks. In the coming years, I see the industry having a better hold on pricing risks appropriately, and a deeper understanding of necessary endorsements/exclusions to include on every policy so as to pick up correct exposures on every policy.
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