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Protecting businesses from cyber-threats with cyber insurance

A look into one company’s mission to help SMBs strengthen their cyber resiliency.
Published on Nov 2, 2020

With continuous advances and innovations in digitization comes additional threats of cyberattacks. There is nothing more important than the cyber resiliency of businesses — helping them minimize the risk of a cyber incident or return to normal operations in the aftermath of a cyber incident as quickly and cost efficiently as possible.

One company, Cowbell Cyber, an Avanta Ventures portfolio company, is on a mission to provide just that type of solution to small and medium businesses (SMBs). Cowbell Cyber’s technology-forward platform acts as a “cowbell” for signaling reports of cyber risk. We recently sat down with their team to learn more about their mission and how they are proactively helping to protect customers’ digital assets and online business operations.

How do you impact your customers’ lives?

Cowbell Cyber helps SMBs build cyber resiliency by providing them financial protection against cyber incidents in the form of cyber insurance. Our insurance programs help businesses return to normal operations quickly by bringing incident recovery experts and covering for many of the expenses triggered in the aftermath of a cyberattack.

Cowbell Cyber contributes to the stability of the SME ecosystem — their employees, their supply chain, and their community overall. As businesses of all sizes become more digitized, the protection of their digital assets through insurance is more critical, making Cowbell Cyber an incredibly relevant company for the modern business conversation.

Tell us about your company. What is your solution or product?

Cowbell Cyber designs and develops standalone cyber insurance programs distributed through a network of local independent agencies and national brokers. Cowbell Prime delivers relevant coverage to small and mid-size businesses with up to $250 million. Our insurance programs bring clarity of coverage, offer policy terms that are easy to understand, provide agents and brokers with a fast and straightforward way to assess clients’ cyber risk and enable them to prepare quotes that match the unique technology footprint and risk exposure of each business. Customizing a policy requires only a few clicks, and binding is done automatically through Cowbell’s AI-powered platform. The entire process is done online and can be completed in a few minutes.

Tell us about the industry you are targeting.

Cowbell is focused on the small and mid-size business (SMB) segment which has traditionally been underserved by cyber insurance. Cowbell’s 2020 research report on the adoption of cyber insurance in the SMB market shows that 65% will likely spend more on cyber insurance in the next two years, making the SMB segment a perfect fit to drive the digitization of cyber insurance. We offer SMBs simplified insurance applications and an accelerated process to obtain coverage. The use of technology, data, and artificial intelligence brings speed, accuracy and consistency in the quantification, selection, and pricing of the risk covered.

Cowbell delivers relevant, industry-specific policies for nearly every industry, including manufacturing, construction, healthcare, retail, and others. Our platform presents out of the box three packages — basic, popular, elite — that are unique for each industry and can be further customized by agents and brokers in a few clicks. We go even further by offering insurance coverage unique to industries such as a Missed Bid endorsement for Construction and a Contractual Damage endorsement for Manufacturing.

Customization is one example of the flexibility brought by our platform. Coupled with the ability to deliver bindable quotes in minutes, Cowbell is transforming the cyber insurance industry. Moving the process online also enables us to receive direct feedback from all users — brokers and policyholders — we can then improve and adapt our product to the market’s needs incredibly quickly.

What current technology trends in the insurance industry and world at large have an impact on your business?

Given the prevalence of remote work, as well as the increase of digital based activities during the Covid-19 pandemic, every organization is in need of cyber insurance. It is no longer an option to have financial protection from cyber events; it is now a necessity. If a company or an entity does not have it, it can’t guarantee the cyber safety of its customers, vendors, partners, and employees. The increase of cybercrime and ransomware attacks has also resulted in rising demand for our cyber insurance solutions.

What’s the market size/opportunity for your company?

According to the report published by Allied Market Research, the global cyber insurance market was estimated at $4.85 billion in 2018 and is expected to hit at $28.60 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 24.9% from 2019 to 2026. With Covid-19 and increased digital activities, it is doubtless that this is only a launch point into the untapped security funds, which businesses will inevitably invest to protect themselves in the war against hackers and cyberattacks.

How has partnering with Avanta Ventures and CSAA Insurance Group impacted your business growth, go-to-market strategies etc.? Can you provide an example?

Our partnership with Avanta Ventures and the CSAA Insurance Group has nurtured and fostered our growth, allowing us to scale and become a company with products in over 19 states. We currently have 35 employees and anticipate additional growth in 2021 and in the coming years, as we expand our products to offer them in all 50 states.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We are grateful for our partnership with Avanta Ventures and the CSAA Insurance Group. We truly believe that Cowbell Cyber is bringing a much-needed product to the market, one which will improve the quality of life for the small business owner, as well as for their clients, by offering them financial safety and protection. Cowbell Cyber bundles cyber risk management with extremely solid cyber coverage. It doesn’t get much better than this in the cyber insurance market.

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We remain eager to explore new opportunities, partnerships and collaborations with promising start-ups. If you have an idea or proposal that aligns with our mission, we encourage you to reach out to us.

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