At Triple-I’s Joint Industry Forum last week, I had the opportunity to meet with Jack Kudale, CEO and founder of Cowbell Cyber, and learn more about how the startup aims to simplify and demystify cyber insurance for small and medium enterprises.
Cyber remains a tough sell among smaller companies. Many believe their risk profiles don’t warrant the cost of the coverage, and some complain the policies contain too many exclusions. A 2019 Advisen survey of brokers and underwriters – all involved in cyber insurance – found “not understanding exposures” (73 percent), “not understanding coverage” (63 percent), and “cost” (46 percent) to be the top three obstacles to writing and issuing cyber.
‘We eliminate the application’
Cowbell this morning announced the launch of Cowbell Prime 100 – the company’s A.I.-powered platform that promises to assess customers’ cyber exposures in real time and match them with the most relevant coverage for their business – all in about five minutes.
“Basically, we eliminate the application,” Kudale said. “The coverage is highly individualized for each specific business.“
And, if that isn’t enough, instead of an annual process of writing and renewal, Cowbell Prime 100 will continuously monitor customers’ exposures and recommend coverage changes in real time.
“For smaller companies, the concern is about speed and simplicity,” Kudale said. “Do I have to fill out long forms or answer intrusive questions? We remove all that friction and provide coverage tailored to their exposure.”
Larger companies, Kudale said, “are more interested in insights. Our continuous underwriting will help them better understand their cyber risks and how the recommended coverage addresses them.”
“The more customized the policy,” he continued, “the less concern there is about excessive exclusions.”
The platform’s proprietary “Cowbell Factors” assess:
- Projected loss costs based on hundreds of thousands of cyber cases,
- Risk signals from internet-exposed infrastructure,
- The customer’s cyber security practices,
- “Dark web” intelligence,
- Industry-specific business-interruption data, and
- Regulatory compliance data.
Kudale’s background includes 25 years in enterprise software and five in cyber security. He led three startups before founding Cowbell with partners from the insurance and tech worlds.
Cowbell Prime 100 offers an A.M. Best ‘A’-rated admitted policy backed by Boost Insurance and prominent reinsurance partners, including Markel Global Reinsurance Company, Renaissance Re Holdings, and Nephila Capital. The company currently is appointing brokers and agents in California, Colorado, Arizona, Illinois, Oregon and Nevada.