Best's Review


From the Editor’s Desk
Ransomware Attacks Escalate, Push Cyber Insurers to Respond

The October issue also focuses on the auto insurtech sector and includes AM Best’s exclusive rankings of the top auto writers.
  • Patricia Vowinkel
  • October 2021
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Ransomware demands have been soaring, reaching as high as $70 million, up from several thousand dollars a few years ago. Once just a petty crime, it has evolved into a big business and a global security threat.

Recent targets have included the Colonial Pipeline, Solar Winds, and JBS, the world's largest meat packer. CNA earlier this year confirmed it had sustained a “sophisticated cybersecurity attack” that caused network disruption and impacted certain systems. Marsh confirmed a cyber breach in April but said the incident did not harm its operations. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. acknowledged a ransomware attack that took place in September 2020.

The pace of these attacks has increased dramatically. What can be done?

Best's Review asked cyber insurers what they were doing to combat the problem and mitigate losses. In “Cyberattacks: Insurers Defend Against Ransomware,” cyber insurers discuss how they are working with the government and one another to control losses and maintain a market.

Cyber is still a relatively new market and insurers have seen this as an area for growth. But cyber policies may also serve as a magnet, attracting cyber criminals. In “New Ransomware Worry: Insurance Can Present Both Solutions and Problems for Cybersecurity,” Best's Review speaks with Erik Weinick, attorney and co-founder, Otterbourg P.C.'s Privacy & Cybersecurity practice, about how criminals are using policies to their advantage.

The October issue of Best's Review also focuses on auto insurance. Auto insurtechs have emerged over the last 10 years, seeking to use technology to offer consumers better pricing and a better experience.

October is Auto Insurance Awareness Month. In “Maturing Auto Insurtech Segment Looks to Highlight Shopping Options, Education to Grow,” Best's Review provides an overview of who's who in the auto insurtech sector. The October issue includes Best's Rankings of the top auto writers by direct premiums written and by state line.

For a visual treat, we offer a photo essay on The Insurance Library. In “Browse the Shelves of The Insurance Library, Embrace Industry's Unique History,” Best's Review takes readers to Boston to visit the library and meet the people who preserve the past.

In “Locking the Treasure Chest Becomes More Popular Amid COVID-19, Tax Changes,” Best's Review examines how developments in Washington, D.C., are having an impact on irrevocable life insurance trusts.

The October issue includes a Best's Ranking of the largest U.S. private crop insurers and the largest U.S. multiperil crop insurers, ranked by market share.

In February, Best's Review will run a listing of standout college insurance and risk management programs. Let us know which schools are doing the best job of preparing young people for a career in the insurance industry. Go to to take a survey. The link is also available at

A final note: We have been updating the online edition of Best's Review more frequently, adding fresh content on a more regular basis. Check out Best's Review online at

Patricia Vowinkel, Executive Editor,

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