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Survey Report

Insurance Marketplace Realities 2020 Spring update – Fidelity/crime

Financial, Executive and Professional Risks (FINEX)
COVID 19 Coronavirus

May 7, 2020

Computer fraud and social engineering schemes continue to be a significant exposure, while increased reliance on remote work access may result in additional exposure.
Rate predictions
  Trend Range
Fidelity/crime increase (purple triangle pointing up) +2.5% to +7.5% (higher for the most challenged classes)

Key takeaway

Computer fraud and social engineering schemes continue to be a significant exposure. Increased reliance on remote work access during the COVID-19 pandemic may result in additional exposure and lead to underwriters further scrutinizing insureds’ computer security systems and training.

There are no standard exclusions that preclude coverage for a loss related to COVID-19, but during the crisis, insureds should be aware of the following:

  • Companies, employees and computer systems may be more susceptible to fraudulent activity during times of uncertainty.
  • Also, an organization’s technological defenses may be more vulnerable than usual, as more employees are working remotely, potentially through less secure networks with less secure hardware.
  • Risk managers should stress the importance of employees following company policies, procedures and verification methods, and that employers remain vigilant about threats from both inside and outside their organizations.

Social engineering continues to be a focus of insureds and insurers.

  • As a result of several court decisions that found coverage for social engineering schemes under alternative insuring agreements, namely computer fraud and funds transfer fraud, exclusionary language is being added to clarify that social engineering losses will not be covered under any other insuring agreement in the fidelity policy.
  • Social engineering coverage is typically granted on a sublimited basis, whereas computer fraud, funds transfer fraud and other standard insuring agreements are subject to the full limit.
  • Insurers may charge additional premium for higher social engineering limits and/or broader coverage. The availability of this coverage will vary on an account-by-account basis.
  • Insurers continue to carefully underwrite this exposure.
  • We are seeing limited availability of excess social engineering-only coverage.

The hardening market is impacting fidelity/crime, which is generally viewed more favorably than management and professional liability.

  • Insurers are pushing for rate and focused on ensuring deductibles are adequate across the fidelity/crime space where pricing has been sitting at or near minimum rate/million for several years.
  • The most challenged sectors — gaming, casinos, crypto-related firms, the cannabis industry and ATM risks — are seeing increases beyond the range outlined above. Renewal results will vary on an account-by-account basis, depending upon risk characteristics.
  • CRIMEstar (our proprietary all-risk crime form supported primarily out of London) renewals are challenging across the board. London continues to correct pricing and deductibles while reducing capacity. Some markets have pulled out of the crime space entirely.


Each applicable policy of insurance must be reviewed to determine the extent, if any, of coverage for COVID-19. Coverage may vary depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances. For global client programs it is critical to consider all local operations and how policies may or may not include COVID-19 coverage. The information contained herein is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied upon in lieu of consultation with your own legal and/or other professional advisors. Some of the information in this publication may be compiled by third party sources we consider to be reliable, however we do not guarantee and are not responsible for the accuracy of such information. We assume no duty in contract, tort, or otherwise in connection with this publication and expressly disclaim, to the fullest extent permitted by law, any liability in connection with this publication. Willis Towers Watson offers insurance-related services through its appropriately licensed entities in each jurisdiction in which it operates. COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation and changes are occurring frequently. Willis Towers Watson does not undertake to update the information included herein after the date of publication. Accordingly, readers should be aware that certain content may have changed since the date of this publication. Please reach out to the author or your Willis Towers Watson contact for more information.

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