Cyber insurance: The mutual benefits of helping your clients get coverage

Gaidar Magdanurov, President of Acronis

Managed service providers (MSPs) are key for the clients that need to qualify for a cyber insurance policy. A growing number of MSPs are going the extra mile by filling out insurance applications on their clients’ behalf. However, helping your clients get a cyber insurance policy is a multifaceted challenge that requires a close understanding of what cyber insurers look for.  

In previous years, cyber insurance policies were easier to obtain. But times have changed, and it’s more difficult to qualify for a policy. Insurers are tightening up on sub limits, imposing stricter qualification requirements and raising premiums in the wake of elevated cyber risk.

The questions underwriters ask applicants are both telling and practical to businesses and MSPs. 

Reading between the lines of cyber insurance applications

From the length of the questionnaire to the types of security questions asked, cyber insurance applications are carefully crafted to extract detailed information from applicants. Insurers consider the security measures that your clients have in place. They closely analyze data to accurately identify and calculate risks based on an applicant’s security posture. Cyber insurance applications are getting longer and more meticulous as a result.

When you sit down with your clients to discuss applying for cyber insurance, take notice that longer applications are exhaustive to complete — and for good reason. Insurers have designed extensive questionnaires to attract only serious applicants who will have the security measures, posture, infrastructure and resources in place to fulfill requirements. An ill-protected business will not get far in a list of lengthy and probing questions.

Each application question is purposeful. Underwriters want to study the degree of protection your client has. Whether it’s endpoint detection and response (EDR), extended detection and response (XDR), immutable backups, a 3-2-1 backup strategy or ensuring there is a privacy officer, insurance companies want to precisely measure your client’s risk — and agents are steadfast in rejecting the inadequately protected. 

Why studying your clients’ cyber insurance application pays off

Often, IT best practices you share can help your clients qualify for a policy. However, cyber insurance applications are much more than that.

Another benefit of familiarizing your MSP business with the latest cyber insurance application questions is that you can pinpoint the current in-demand security measures required and leverage opportunities to upsell your services. For example, EDR is table stakes for insurance coverage and if your client wants to qualify, sharing the importance of enhanced endpoint security can serve as a backdrop for introducing your service offering. 

Most MSPs recognize that security services are top revenue drivers and strive to help clients close security gaps to ensure all IT environments are comprehensively protected. By knowing the ins and outs of cyber insurance, your MSP business can unlock profitable opportunities to reinforce protection specific to the requirements of cyber liability insurance. 

Even though you cannot give legal advice, you can be a trusted advisor. You can demonstrate steps to satisfy the latest qualification requirements, mutually collaborate with, and together solve problems to lower overall cyber risk and obtain a policy. 

Shaping your clients’ security resilience for the future

MSPs can also use the cyber insurance application processes to forecast services that will rapidly become a necessity for cyber insurance qualification. For instance, security awareness training is a common practice that MSPs educate clients on. As a result of increased AI-accelerated threats, you can expect that phishing training will take center stage. As a trusted advisor, you help clients stay ahead of the curve in critical security technologies and services that will likely become insurance requirements before long.

The role of the MSP in the cyber insurance landscape is crucial. Service providers are their clients’ primary consultants throughout the application process, and they also guide clients as a reliable expert in IT security. The market for MSPs is rapidly expanding to include cyber insurance — and the silver lining is that MSPs can use this as an opportunity to catapult offerings and revenue.