Willis Towers Watson, a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company, today announced the launch of CyNav, a new type of cyber insurance cover designed specifically for shipowners.


The new product addresses the growing need for an explicit marine cyber solution, built from the ground up to specifically address ship-operators’ exposures, rather than trying to use pre-existing generic cyber products amended marginally to fit marine exposures.  Shipowners are increasingly reliant on technology for all aspects of their operations and their unique risks associated with this dependency can lead to significant financial damage. 


CyNav’s pioneering approach includes the following key features:

-Crisis management costs cover that protects shipowners in the face of ransomware attacks, data breaches and much more,

-Business interruption cover in the event of a cyber incident that disrupts operations (including where the incident occurs at a third-party IT service provider upon which the shipowner relies),

-Property damage and loss of hire cover arising from a cyber-attack or satellite communication interference (spoofing).

-Loss of hire cover arising from disruption to or detainment of a vessel following a cyber-attack.

-Cover for fines and defence costs arising from regulatory actions, including those under GDPR and the Network and Information Systems Directive (NISD).


As the financial impact of cyber incidents continues to increase and the ‘silent cyber’ cover in traditional marine cover is being reduced, CyNav’s clear and affirmative cyber solution is designed to plug any remaining cyber gaps.


Ben Abraham, Head of Marine at Willis Towers Watson said, “Barely a week goes by without new cyber events affecting the maritime sector. Many are minor and unreported, but the major cases have caused consequential commercial losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars. CyNav offers a genuinely pioneering marine-specific cyber solution. In an environment of increasing ingenuity of cyber criminals and increasing levels of cyber security governance in the maritime industry, CyNav anticipates the protection that shipowners need to mitigate their cyber risk.” 


Lewis Hart, Head of Marine in Asia at Willis Towers Watson said, “Previously, no one would really look at buying a trade disruption insurance against a pandemic until it was too late. Similarly, there are not enough considerations given to protection against cyber-attacks in Asia which will likely become more common than piracy. Ensuring cyber risks are addressed as part of the safety management systems from 1 January 2021 will be important as only a few Asian shipowners are prepared for the impending International Maritime Organisation (IMO) changes.”


“Cyber insurance has evolved to specifically address the emerging risk and potential financial and long-term reputation damage arising from technology. Recent examples of maritime cyber incidents have seen financial and reputational losses incurred well in excess of US$300 million. CyNav is another example of WTW’s commitment to developing solutions that meet the needs of specific industries. The combination of a deep understanding of the maritime sector and a team of dedicated cyber insurance specialists has led to a product which responds to the risks and concerns that shipowners now face at a time of great technological and regulatory change for the industry,” added Lewis.