Insurance Coverage for State Sponsored Cyber Attacks

By Travis Holt

While many cyber liability insurance policies provide coverage for ransomware, it’s not as clear if they will cover a ransomware attack that is state-sponsored. There have been numerous examples of state-sponsored ransomware attacks over the past few years including a recent attack impacting newspapers like the NY Times launched in late 2018.

Most cyber liability insurance policies include governmental orders or acts exclusions similar to this:

An exclusion which states the policy will not cover claims as a direct result of any action or order by any foreign administrative body or other governmental authority would seem to exclude coverage for ransomware attacks launched by a foreign government.

Given the prominence of state-sponsored cyber attacks, it’s important you know how your policy addresses these potential situations.