Cyber-attacks are jacking up insurance rates

The dramatic increase in the number of high-profile cyber-attacks in the past couple of years, targeting the likes of health insurers Anthem or Home Depot has prompted the insurers to skyrocket cyber premiums.

This has gone so far that some companies have no other choice but to pay from their pockets, in case of a hard-hitting cyber-attack.

According to a report by Reuters, average rates for retailers surged 32 per cent in the first half of this year, after staying flat in 2014, according to previously unreported figures from Marsh.

In some cases, insurers are limiting the amount of coverage to $100 million (£65m), leaving some companies in a limbo. For example, Target's big data breach, which occured back in 2013, has cost the company $264 million. Insurance wouldn't be able to cover.

Cyber coverage helps cover costs like forensic investigations, credit monitoring, legal fees and settlements.

It is being said that the cyber insurance market will triple to about $7.5 billion (£4.88bn) over the next five years, according to a recent study by consulting firm PwC.

But even with rates jacked up to insane heights, insurers still think twice before accepting a new client. "We have turned clients away," said Tracie Grella, the global head of professional liability at insurance giant American International Group Inc.

Similar to the way homeowners are encouraged to install locks on doors and windows, now insurers are asking online shops for extra security measures.

Ben Beeson, a partner with broker Lockton Companies, says: "Retailers that don’t do that today are going to struggle to get insurance.“