Cyber insurtech Cowbell plans to expand in the UK insurance market

Cyber insurtech Cowbell has announced plans to further expand its footprint in the UK market with a new senior appointment and launch of its AI-powered cyber insurance programme.

With more than half (54%) of SMEs in the UK having experienced some form of cyber-attack in 2022 – up from 39% in 2020 – the need for businesses in the UK to prioritise cyber resilience is urgent.

Backed by A+ rated (re)insurers, Cowbell officially launched in the UK in Q2 this year, an operation spearheaded by Simon Hughes, VP and General Manager for the UK.

Now entering Q3, Cowbell’s rapid expansion continues with the launch of its standalone cyber insurance programme, Cowbell Prime One.

Tailored for SMEs and mid-market businesses, the data-driven technology offers underwriting at speed, allowing brokers to customise robust cyber policies for unique risk exposures, covering diverse cyber incidents, including email scams, ransomware, and social engineering.

Catherine Aleppo as Sales Director
Catherine Aleppo, Sales Director Cowbell

Alongside product innovation, the company has also appointed Catherine Aleppo as Sales Director. Bringing 18+ years of insurance industry experience to the table, she specialises in cyber risk insurance, most recently leading the cyber department at UK-based insurance brokers Aston Lark.

A committed advisor, Catherine educates brokers and UK SMEs about identifying cyber threats and vulnerabilities, ensuring effective risk management. 

Reflecting on the recent updates within the UK arm, Hughes comments: “We are welcome Catherine to team and launch Prime One in the UK. Cowbell is committed to addressing cyber risk challenges on a global scale and our expansion into the UK is a testament to this.”

The company’s success story in the US has been underscored by its substantial funding achievements, totalling $123.3 million over three funding rounds.

Throughout this time, Cowbell has expanded its continuously monitored risk pool to 36 million SMEs in the US, with 5 million of those SMEs located in the UK, representing almost 90% of SMEs across the two regions.

Cyber insurtech Cowbell plans to expand in the UK insurance market

As well as providing cyber insurance to tens of thousands of policyholders in the US, the company’s extensive data is shared with brokers, empowering them to engage in more informed discussions with their clients, and facilitate better understanding and assessment of cyber risk scenarios. This pool of data will now be available to UK brokers.

With hackers attracted to limited resources, lack of awareness and a target-rich environment, SMEs – of which there are 5.5 million in the UK – are often perceived as easier targets by cybercriminals than larger organisations. As such, Aleppo highlights how vital it is for SMEs to recognise their vulnerabilities and take proactive steps to improve their cybersecurity posture.

Both the UK and US are technologically advanced nations with highly developed digital infrastructures and as a result, they can be attractive targets for cybercriminals.

Despite this, in general, UK-based SME businesses have been slower to adopt cyber insurance than their US counterparts, due to a lack of awareness and understanding of their cyber exposures. 

With this in mind, addressing the urgent need to protect UK SMEs sits at the heart of the Cowbell proposition, and I am delighted to be playing an instrumental role in realising this ambition, alongside a truly remarkable team. By utilising our vast risk pool and educating UK brokers, we will raise critical awareness of cyber vulnerabilities and safeguard the UK’s SMEs who form the backbone of the UK economy.

Founded in 2019, Cowbell is based in the San Francisco Bay Area with employees across the U.S., Canada, India, and the U.K. In its unique AI-based approach in risk selection and pricing, Cowbell’s continuous underwriting platform, powered by Cowbell Factors, compresses the insurance process from submission to issue in less than 5 minutes.

Peter Sonner   by Peter Sonner