UK’s Terrorism Reinsurance Fund Wants To Expand Coverage To Include Cyberattacks

The U.K. government’s £6 billion ($7.3 billion) terrorism reinsurance fund — set up to assist insurers paying out claims on property damage and business interruption — would like to extend its coverage to include cyberattacks on property.

According to Reuters, Pool Re, launched in 1993, is a fund financed by the insurance industry with government backing. Claims are handed out if the British government concludes an attack was terror-related. In 2002, for example, Pool Re expanded its coverage to include chemical and biological attacks after the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

The fund has already had meetings with government officials and industry executives and hopes to add cyber to its coverage in the next few months. Cyberattacks on property are especially concerning for authorities. Last year, the heating system in apartment buildings was hacked in Finland, shutting down the heat while temperatures outside dipped below zero. This incident was determined to not be terror-related.

“Insurance is there for the unimaginable — we’re here to insure the unforeseen,” Chief Executive Julian Enoizi of Pool Re said.

Any increase in premium costs to businesses could be offset by discounts for implementing government-approved cybersecurity protocols. These new security measures are expected to increase once EU legislation on data privacy goes into effect by mid-2018, which will require authorities to be notified if a company experiences a data breach that can harm individuals. This is similar to what is done in the United States, where the cyberinsurance market paid out about $3.25 billion in premiums in 2016.