According to a new AM Best report, Chubb held on to its place as the top writer of cyber lines in the US in 2019, writing almost $360 million in DPW, while expanding its market share to 17.6%, up from 16% in the previous year.
AXA XL remains the second-largest writer, a position it has held since 2018.
Its 10.2% decline in DPW—nearly $230 million—was driven by the adoption of IFRS accounting standards in the third quarter of 2019, because bulk accruals did not qualifying for local reporting.
Beazley and Fairfax saw large 36% and 70% premium increases respectively. Both firms almost exclusively write standalone business.
The rise in Fairfax’s DPW was driven in part by the revised Cyber Form Initiative from Allied World, which provided more robust coverage than previous forms.
Chubb, AXA XL and AIG – the top three cyber writers – specialise in either standalone or packaged policies, but half the top 20 writers sell substantial amounts of both.
As the top ten of the top 20 writers all lost market share, newer and smaller writers are supposedly making their presence known, while the bottom ten expanded theirs.
In terms of policies in-force, changes among the top writers have been minimal. Hartford continues to lead the pack, with more than double the writings of The Cincinnati Insurance Companies, the second-largest writer of cyber.
All but three of the top writers grew their policies in force, by an average 26.6%; Hanover more than doubled its policies in force after a decline of more than 45% in 2018.
Writings declined for only four of the top writers. Sompo Holdings US Group, Swiss Reinsurance Group, and Axis US operations had the largest percentage growth, with each of more than doubling its standalone writings.
Standalone growth is being driven primarily by a rise in demand, as well as insurers trying to eliminate silent cyber from their books, often in the form of explicit exclusions in other policy forms.
Companies appear be cautious with such an evolving line, and underwriting, pricing, and claims handling are still in their relative infancy.
Generally, the leading cyber writers are well and diversified. Except for Beazley USA Insurance Group and BCS Financial Group, the share of total premiums or surplus written through the cyber line is low.