The International Underwriting Association (IUA) has created a new London market group (Developing Technology Monitoring Group) to examine the impact of technology on underwriting, and to consider how new risks may be written in London and existing insurance policies adapted to account for change. The group will consist of representatives from the IUA’s aviation, cyber, casualty treaty, liability, marine and professional lines underwriting groups.

Of particular note are the following seven emerging risks that, in the last year, have received a lot of press attention. They have also received a significant amount of investment in research and development and have led to some major international incidents:

  • Driverless cars.
  • Wearables such as “smart watches” and other similar devices.
  • Drones (consumer and commercial).
  • Advances in the internet and “apps” and its impact on invasion of privacy and data protection.
  • 3D printing.
  • Telemedicine.
  • Nanotechnology.

There is no such thing as a “standard” cyber liability or technology policy, endorsement or exclusion. While insurers have their own forms with their own wording, insureds are finding differences in language, which may have a significant impact on coverage. This has led to a number of new insurance products. Traditional “cyber policies” and data protection/breach policies are simply the beginning of the new dawn of technology risk that underwriters are acutely aware of.

Members of the IUA have been monitoring issues such as those set out above and have identified that each of these technologies has insurance implications across several classes of business. The group aims to distribute information to other IUA underwriting contacts, will consider developing their own research papers and will also respond to any relevant government consultations and proposed legislative changes.