Willis Towers Watson cyber insurance review

About Willis Towers Watson

Willis Towers Watson creates and delivers innovative insurance solutions to help businesses manage risk.

It adopts an integrated approach to cyber risk management which it believes is essential in managing people, technology and capital risks in your business.

Its history dates back to 1828 and some 45,000 employees provide services to 140 countries, including the UK where it has several offices.

It has also been rewarded with a whole host of industry awards over the years.

Core values

Willis Towers Watson has five core values that define the way it operates as a business and treats its clients. They are:

  1. Client focus
  2. Teamwork
  3. Integrity
  4. Respect
  5. Excellence

These values are embedded into its history and it’s clear they continue to play a key role today.

How to identify risks to your business

Willis Towers Watson recognises that a cyber breach isn’t isolated within your IT department, it can take hold of your whole company and the brand you’ve worked hard to build up. With this in mind, it has developed a holistic three step approach to managing risk as follows:

  1. Assess: A set of diagnostic tools are used to understand your company’s vulnerabilities, particularly those that affect people, technology and capital. They include:
  2. Cyber Risk Profile Diagnostic
  3. Cyber Risk Culture Survey
  4. Cyber Work Readiness Diagnostic
  1. Quantify: Using its Cyber Quantified tool, you can work out your cyber loss potential, how often you might experience a breach, and the effect this could have on your finances.
  2. Protect: By utilising Willis Towers Watson’sCyber Insurance Advisory, Broking and Placement solutions that are based on extensive analytics, you can transfer the risk identified.

You remain protected even after a cyber incident occurs, through the prompt reporting that’s carried out in conjunction with claims notification and forensic accounting.

Cyber protection plan

Next, a comprehensive cyber protection plan is developed across three areas:

  1. People

Since two thirds of incidents are directly linked to employee behaviours, Willis Towers Watson’s culture survey can help to identify your employees’ attitudes and behaviours. This, in turn, can help you spot internal vulnerabilities and take steps to minimise them.

This could involve identifying skills gaps within the team and even hiring new employees to reduce risk in your business. Risk advisors, human capital consultants and a diagnostic tool are all on hand to help you find the right individual solution for your needs.

  1. Capital

Willis Towers Watson’s diagnostic tools can help you work out how much money you should allocate to cyber risks in your business. Its insurance solutions can help to minimise risk by offering maximum capital recovery following a breach.

  1. Technology

With the help of Willis Towers Watson’s advisory teams, your business can be assessed for technological risks. Its technology partners can then help to manage those risks for you.

As people and technology are so intertwined, the solutions can’t be created in isolation. This is why an holistic approach is taken and cyber threats from people, capital and technology are taken into account.

Cyber Insurance

Transferring your business’ risk comes in the form of cyber insurance which can offer you significant financial protection. Willis Towers Watson identifies the following key things that increase the chances of a cyber incident:

  • Expanding network perimeter: Supply chain risk and the volume of service providers.
  • New threats: e.g. ransomware and social engineering.
  • Regulatory risks: e.g. GDPR which has significantly increased the financial consequences of a privacy breach.
  • Internet of Things: The number of connected devices that also share data.

Its innovative cover solutions can help tackle cyber vulnerabilities across different industries. This may include ‘blending crime, property and general liability exposures into stand-alone cyber forms when appropriate.’

Unlike its competitors who have chosen to adopt a more traditional approach by having a set of cover terms, Willis Towers Watson has avoided this.

This makes its solutions difficult to define as there aren’t a fixed set of exclusions, conditions or definitions.

There is however, a strong sense that its insurance solutions have been designed to work with your business. There’s scope for the products to evolve with the increased security of your business and this will be rewarded by improved cover terms and more favourable pricing over time.

The Pros

  • Strong values and client first approach
  • Solutions are built from extensive research and analytics
  • Innovative tailored solutions that can grow and evolve with your business

The Cons

  • Undefined cover terms
  • No instant quote service
  • Lengthy process to get to the right solution
  • Too many unknowns e.g. cost, your commitments, exclusions etc

Which sectors can Willis Towers Watson cover?

Willis Towers Watson can provide cyber insurance solutions that are tailored to different industries, some of which are specialist. Here are just a few of them:

  • Property
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Financial
  • Healthcare
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Natural Resources
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Technology, Media and Telecommunications
  • Aerospace and Space
  • Global Marine

In April 2020, it launched CyNav which is a cover that’s been designed for shipowners, to align with their reliance on technology and the unique risks they face.

Ben Abraham, Global Head of Marine at Willis Towers Watson said:

 “Barely a week goes by without new cyber events affecting the maritime sector. Many are minor and unreported, but the major cases have caused consequential commercial losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars…CyNav anticipates the protection that shipowners need to mitigate their cyber risk.”

Willis Towers Watson ensures a specialist team with global expertise is assigned to each sector. These dedicated professionals have the knowledge and market insight needed to find the right cyber solutions for your business and help overcome the challenges you face.

Willis Towers Watson’s credibility

There’s an extraordinary wealth of experience within the leadership team alone at Willis Towers Watson.

While its solutions may appear overly complex and undefined, they’re also bold, unique and individual.

Willis Towers Watson has found innovative ways to manage risk and this stems from comprehensive research and analytics.

The business has evolved dramatically since its beginnings in 1828, with several acquisitions, mergers, and name changes along the way. It’s latest merge in 2016 saw its rebrand to Willis Towers Watson, yet its core values and client focus remain at the forefront.

Willis Towers Watson recognises the complex nature of people, capital and technology in relation to cyber risk and has tackled this head on. By marrying these three things together in its solutions, the outcome is better protection for your business, and successful recovery from cyber attacks.

Willis Towers Watson’s FAQ’s

Which sectors does Willis Towers Watson specialise in?

It has expertise across a vast number of industries and its solutions can be tailored to suit your individual needs. These range from Property to Healthcare and from Aerospace to Natural Resources.

What does Willis Towers Watson’s ‘holistic approach’ to cyber insurance mean?

Rather than looking at potential risks in isolation, it looks at the relationship between people, capital and technology in the workplace and how each of these contribute to risk.

It designs its diagnostic tools around each of these elements, and then creates a bespoke tailored solution for your business.

Does Willis Towers Watson offer a fixed cyber insurance solution?

No. Your results from a set of diagnostic tools are used to determine the right tailored solution for your business.

Is there anything I’m not covered for on a Willis Towers Watson policy?

There aren’t a defined set of exclusions or one size fits all approach. Cover will be tailored to your needs and any exclusions will be detailed in your insurance solution.

What business size does Willis Towers Watson’s cyber insurance cater for?

It can provide solutions for small to medium sized companies through to government institutions and global conglomerates.

Martin Lane
Written by Martin Lane, Head of Content

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