(Reuters) – Shares in Lloyd & # 39; s London insurer Beazley PLC jumped to a ten-month high on Friday after turning a profit in the first half of the year, saying it invested heavily in its cyber insurance business to meet growing demand in the face of ransomware attacks.
Cyber insurance has become a growing focus for specialty insurance companies such as those operating in Lloyd & # 39 ;s of the London market, although a number of recent attacks have also made some more cautious about the coverage they offer.
"We continue to invest heavily in our cyber infrastructure because it is probably the most important opportunity we have ahead of us," Beazley's CEO Adrian Cox told Reuters.
Beazley reported a pre-tax profit of $ 1
Beazley's shares rose 6.7% to 384.5 pence before 0838 GMT, their highest since September 21 last year and one of the best performing in the FTSE mid-cap index.  Jefferies analysts described the results as "surprisingly comfortable reading" and repeated their "buy" rating.
Mr. Cox, who became CEO in April, said cyber insurance currently accounted for about 15 percent of Beazley's operations and was a key contributor to a 20 percent increase in its premium rates. after a cyberattack amounted to $ 220,000 in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 43% over the last quarter of 2020, according to cyber security company Coveware Inc.
Beazley, which had estimated pandemic claims, including cancellations of events, at $ 340 million dollars in 2020, warned in May that it could receive another 50 million dollars in 2021 if there was no normality in the second half of the year.
On Friday, the company said it was comfortable with its estimates of receivables linked to
Beazley, which provides accident and property, cyber and political risk insurance, had an overall quota of 94% compared to 107% a year previously – an important measure of the insurer's profitability. A level below 100% indicates an insurance gain.