Insurer says cyber policy sales quadrupled after attacks

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(Reuters) — Danish insurer Tryg A/S has seen a rapid rise in sales of cyber insurance after last month’s ransomware attack and said this product could become as common as fire insurance for businesses.

Tryg, which reported stronger than expected second-quarter results on Tuesday, sold 2,800 cyber insurance policies in the quarter, up from 700 between January and March.

The rapid rise in demand was prompted by the ransomware attack, named “Wannacry,” that infected more than 300,000 computers in May and last month’s global cyber attack that hit across Russia, Ukraine and multinational firms.

“We think that for both big and small businesses it will become just as normal to have a cyber insurance as it is to have a fire insurance,” CEO Morten Hubbe told Reuters in an interview.

With cyber insurance still a relatively new business that also poses risks for insurers, Mr. Hubbe said Tryg planned to gradually develop new cyber insurance products to adjust policies to the client’s needs rather than launching an all-inclusive product from the beginning.

“This is virgin territory both for us and our clients,” he said, noting that he expected this business segment to grow the next five years.

Mr. Hubbe said the company was looking for opportunities to grow its cyber business through acquisitions, but had yet to spot obvious targets.

Tryg produced premium growth of 2% in local currencies over the quarter, the strongest growth in five years.