By Melissa Luz T. Lopez, Senior Reporter
A HONG KONG-BASED insurer has secured a license to operate in the Philippines, as it looks to provide cover against cyber threats and terror acts for local businesses.
Jing An Special Risks (JASR) said the Insurance Commission has given it a license to operate in the country to offer risk insurance to corporates.
“Our products intend to cover businesses against the following threats: war and terror, cyber, kidnap and ransom, marine piracy, and crisis response,” Gene Yu, JASR chairman and co-founder, was quoted as saying in a statement published yesterday.
JASR is the first to provide special risk insurance brokerage in Asia and has set up operations in Manila, together with its partner Blackpanda, which specializes in crisis management and security consulting.
The global insurer will provide firms with a comprehensive security assessment to measure exposures for physical, cyber and organizational risks, which will then be the focus of insurance policies.
In particular, JASR said it offers “cyber products” that should mitigate risks drawn from emerging cyber-attacks, at a time of increased threats in the digital space.
Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa has long called for insurers to develop cyber insurance products, at a time of rising cyber-extortions and attacks in the online realm. He made the remarks in the aftermath of the “WannaCry” ransomware attacks, when hackers targeted big businesses to paralyze their computer systems in exchange for huge sums of money.
Most insurers doing business in the country are focused on life and pre-need products. What the market needs are products that would offer protection from losses due to technology-related risks, database breaches or theft of computer hardware, Mr. Funa said back in 2017.
The Insurance chief had also pointed out the need for insurance coverage from terrorism attacks, amid pockets of unrest from armed rebels. Among the more recent incidents include the bombing of a church in Jolo, Sulu last month, as well as the five-month firefight between soldiers and Maute rebels in Marawi City in 2017.