About Our Blog
Welcome to CyBIR – our Cyber and Privacy Breaches: Insurance and Reinsurance blog. Our CyBIR blog is intended to provide current and topical information as well as insightful commentary on the insurance and reinsurance implications of cyber risks and privacy breaches.
The insurance and reinsurance industries have unique opportunities to draft policy wordings for cyber risks and to shape how these wordings are interpreted. Because technology involves virtually all business and consumer transactions, cyber risks will encompass first and third party insurers across most lines of insurance. For example, allegations of breach are made almost daily against retailers, healthcare organizations and financial institutions. Equally at risk are professionals such as lawyers and accountants, government entities and educational institutions. Many of these cyber claims are being made under policies that did not contemplate cyber risks or were written before a cutting-edge technology became commonplace.
While some insurers are beginning to address these issues by writing cyber and privacy breach policies, all insurers must contend with a complex legal and regulatory environment. On one end of the spectrum, we see cyber technology advancing at a break-neck speed, certainly more rapidly than the law develops. Consequently, when technology malfunctions or information is breached, parties who pursue litigation may have to wrestle with laws that were enacted long before modern technological capabilities, often with far-reaching and perhaps unintended consequences.
At the other end of the spectrum, some courts and legislatures react to problems caused by technology by creating laws that present an entirely different set of problems for businesses and their insurers. For instance, state notification laws (which vary from state-to-state) may conflict with notice requirements in policies. A law firm whose represents a Covered Entity under HITECH now must ensure that its own vendors, such as deposition services, comply with certain HIPPA Privacy and Security Regulations. Even sophisticated insureds may not fully appreciate the cyber risks or resulting legal implications of their own businesses. Insurers can work to better protect themselves and their policyholders from damages caused by a cyber breach. To do this effectively, insurers need to stay current with developments in technology, understand how technology affects wordings and be aware of state and federal notification laws, privacy legislation and case law. A cyber breach is not just a technological issue; it is an insurance issue too.
Our CyBIR blog is intended to help all our readers, but in particular insurers and reinsurers, to better understand the nature of cyber risks and privacy breaches and their impact on wordings in traditional policies as well as cyber and privacy-specific policies. Our blog will also help insurers and reinsurers stay current with the evolving legal and regulatory landscape and analyze what these developments may mean for the insurance industry. We are excited to provide up-to-date information and analysis in this fast-paced area. We welcome your comments.
About Our Firm
Walker Wilcox Matousek LLP, a 40-lawyer firm with offices in Chicago and Houston, represents a diverse group of insurers and reinsurers in the United States, Bermuda, London and Europe.
We provide advice and counseling and, where necessary, court representation on a wide range of issues involving cyber risks, privacy breaches and their insurance implications. We counsel clients with respect to underwriting guidelines, policy drafting and risk mitigation for cyber risks faced by the banking, health, professional and retail industries. Most recently, we have undertaken to represent insurers’ interests in connection with the Epsilon breach. Over the past several months, we have delivered presentations on cyber risks and insurance to markets in London, Bermuda and in the U.S. While representing insurers and reinsurers in cyber risks, we remain true to the firm’s goals to provide our clients with timely work product and creative, effective and efficient solutions.