Markets/Coverages: Munich Re’s HSB Launches Cyber Insurance for Autos

April 3, 2024

With millions of connected vehicles on U.S. roads, personal cars and trucks will likely be the next big target for hackers and cyber thieves, according to specialty insurer HSB, which has launched a new cyber insurance product to help consumers respond to the threat.

Called “Cyber for Auto,” HSB’s coverage aims to help safeguard private information stored in personal vehicles and connected to cloud-based and wireless communication networks.

“Automakers continue to integrate new technologies into today’s vehicles,” said James Hajjar, chief product and risk officer for the Treaty Division of HSB, a Munich Re subsidiary. “With each added system or connection, there are new vulnerabilities that hackers and other cyber criminals can exploit. Cyber for Auto helps insurers and their customers stay ahead of these new cyber exposures.”

Cyber Hacks and Malware Attacks

Passenger vehicles built after 2020, and many older models, have sensors, computers, and other connected technology, which means there is the risk of a cyberattack, said HSB, explaining that drivers could expose their personal data and connected technology to hackers and other cyber criminals when they connect their smartphones with cars, pickups, and SUVs.

Cybersecurity Concerns

While hacking into vehicles is not yet the norm, it is only a matter of time when peoples’ cars will become the target for ransomware, identity theft, and other types of cyber-crime, HSB said.

A recent HSB survey found that 72% of consumers have synced their phones with their personal vehicles and 60% store personal information in their vehicle computer systems. (Editor’s note: HSB didn’t make the survey public, but a summary of the findings is available here).

The survey also found that 36% are very concerned their personal information will be compromised and 28% are extremely concerned. Concern jumps to 79% among those with plug-in electric vehicles.

Coverage Triggers

Core coverages can include cyberattacks, including malware and viruses, and ransomware demands to release information or threats to make confidential data public.

Identity recovery coverage and services are not limited to information stored in the vehicle but can apply anytime personally identifying information has been compromised. Additional benefits can include payment for towing, labor, and temporary transportation charges while affected auto systems are restored.

HSB’s Cyber for Auto will be available through an endorsement to the policies of insurance companies that partner with HSB.

The Cyber for Auto insurance offering described above has not yet been approved by any state insurance departments, but these approvals are pending, said HSB. Visit HSB’s website for more information.

Source: HSB