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Munich Re adds war exclusions to cyber policy wordings

Reinsurer confirms that wordings need to be clearer amid concerns over Russian cyber attacks

Munich Re is tightening its cyber insurance policy wordings to exclude war. The move, first reported by Reuters, is to avoid disputes over what is covered.

Most cyber policies cover companies against business interruption losses and the repair of hacked networks following a cyber attack, but exclude war. However, grey areas in the wordings leave insurers open to claims as a result of cyber war.

A Munich Re spokesperson told Insurance Day: “For us it is important to emphasise that war is already excluded in most cyber insurance contracts but that the wording needs to be further improved, especially for incidents which are war-linked but not easily attributable to a specific, state-sponsored attacker."

“The discussion about clearer wordings has started long before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, so our initiative is not a reaction to this war, but of course it has gained momentum by the Russian attack.”

'For us it is important to emphasise that war is already excluded in most cyber insurance contracts but that the wording needs to be further improved, especially for incidents which are war-linked but not easily attributable to a specific, state-sponsored attacker'

Munich Re

The war in Ukraine has sparked a number of warnings that the Russian government could start a cyber war in retaliation for the increasingly strict straitjacket of sanctions that have been imposed on Russia.

On March 28, US president, Joe Biden, said US businesses have a “patriotic obligation” to protect themselves from cyber attacks. Businesses must “harden [their] cyber defences immediately”, he said.

The insurance industry must get a better grip on the threat cyber attacks pose to the shipping industry, industry experts said in a webinar hosted by Insurance Day and sister publication Lloyd’s List in March this year.

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