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Aviva Will Start Insuring SMEs Against Cyberattacks

As corporates become increasingly concerned about cybersecurity, a U.K. insurance company is looking to safeguard small businesses from the threat.

Aviva said it will launch a new insurance product for SMEs later this year aimed at protecting companies against losses stemming from a cyberattack, reports said Friday (June 16). The company is said to also be planning further changes at the company, including what it described as “mulling the future” of its operations in markets like India.

As the U.K.’s largest life insurer, Aviva, which started out as a fire insurer, is in “turnaround mode,” reports added. The company posted $3.8 billion in operating profits last year, and is now looking to strengthen its presence in the corporate insurance and specialty markets space after growing in the life, home and general motor insurance spaces.

“We are smaller there at the moment, but it’s an area where we are building capability and we are looking to grow,” CEO Andy Briggs told reporters. “Now we’ve got a much stronger balance sheet, [and] we are more open-minded to deploying capital.”

The company’s strong financial standing follows a challenging period for the firm, reports said. According to Briggs, the company is also looking at M&A to drive growth. Aviva acquired Friends Life in 2015, which was headed by Briggs at the time, but its efforts to regain financial health can be traced back to 2013 when Mark Wilson took over as chief executive of the company, reports noted.

A move into cyber insurance could be a good one as analysts predict the industry to see $7.5 billion in annual premiums in cyberattack insurance alone by 2020.

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