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Munich Re company announces plans to offer cyber insurance for autos

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Announcements | Insurance | Technology
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HSB, a Munich Re specialty insurer, recently announced it plans to sell insurance that will cover consumers involved in auto-related cyber attacks, according to a company press release issued Tuesday

“Automakers continue to integrate new technologies into today’s vehicles,” said James Hajjar, HSB Treaty Division chief product and risk officer, in the release. “With each added system or connection, there are new vulnerabilities that hackers and other cybercriminals can exploit. Cyber for Auto helps insurers and their customers stay ahead of these new cyber exposures.”

The insurance has not been approved by any state departments, the release says. If approved, consumers will be able to receive the insurance through insurance companies that partner with HSB, the release says. 

“Cyber for Auto” will cover cyber attacks, including malware and viruses, ransomware demands, or threats.

“Identity recovery coverage and services are not limited to information stored in the vehicle but can apply anytime personally identifying information has been compromised,” the release says. “Additional benefits can include payment for towing, labor, and temporary transportation charges while affected auto systems are restored.” 

 A Mozilla report released in September reviewed privacy policies of 25 car brands and found all of them failed to meet minimum privacy and security standards.

According to Mozilla research, popular global brands — including Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, BMW, Ford, Toyota, Tesla, Kia, and Subaru — can collect deeply personal data such as sexual activity, immigration status, race, facial expressions, weight, health and genetic information, and where you drive.

Mozilla’s report prompted responses from some automakers, including BMW, which stated in a Sept. 14 news release that customers are provided with comprehensive data privacy notices that inform them about the collection of their personal information, which allows vehicle drivers “to make granular choices regarding the collection and processing of their personal information.”

And amid mounting personally identifiable information (PII) and data privacy concerns across the board from devices to vehicles, Porsche shared it has added a privacy center to its My Porsche portal.

Data from an Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety survey found that many individuals value advanced vehicle safety technologies, but worry about the privacy risks, accuracy of the technology, cost, and data transfers to third parties. Respondents also said they generally trust carmakers’ data practices more than online companies and the government. However, they worry about vehicle systems that collect information about occupant behavior. 


Photo courtesy of Funtap/iStock

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