Aussie insurers worried about cyber attacks

While their global peers may see changing regulatory environments as one of the greatest risks they are facing, Australian insurers currently see more risk from cyber attacks.

Indeed, the risk of regulatory change in the minds of Australian insurers, fell to 16th position in the latest Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation(CSFI)/PWC Insurance Banana Skins survey.

The survey is a global exercise which identifies the key risks facing the insurance industry and is conducted every two years.

Discussing the changing Australian insurer attitude to regulatory risk, the survey analysis described it as being a significant fall from the previous survey conducted in 2013.

It said that, instead, the response from Australia was dominated by concerns around technology such as cyber risk, distribution channels, change management, and product development.

The research cited one respondent as describing cyber attacks as "a major threat" and referencing the fact that the firm repelled more than 20 serious attacks every day.

It said other respondents bemoaned a lack of innovation in the industry, from not taking advantage of new ways to reach customers — "a great loss of business and business opportunities" — to an inability to adapt products that are "way too complex and misunderstood [and need to be] better linked to lifestyle and personal circumstances".

The analysis said the pace of change was creating anxiety about whether existing business models could remain viable.

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