Former US security chief launches cyber crime insurance

LONDON - Former US Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge has launched a cyber crime insurance product in collaboration with syndicates operating at the Lloyd's of London insurance market, Ridge's new insurance firm said on Monday.

The insurance is designed for companies with a market capitalisation of less than US$500 million (S$639.01 million), representing 80 per cent of all US publicly quoted companies, Ridge Insurance Solutions said in a statement. Policies of up to US$50 million each are available immediately, the company said.

Citing data from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Ridge said 3,000 US companies were hacked in 2013 and the cost of cyber crime to the global economy totals more than US$445 billion annually. "This is not just about insurance, but helping and incentivising companies to manage their cyber operations more effectively," Ridge, who has also been Governor of Pennsylvania, said in the statement.

The insurance is underwitten by Brit, AEGIS London, Novae, Barbican Insurance Group and ACE. Guy Carpenter, a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan, acted asbroker. 

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