Digital health sector underinsured?

A new survey reveals the extent of underinsurance in the burgeoning digital health sector, as some firms struggle to navigate the complex risk landscape.

Despite broad optimism about the future and an influx of capital into the sector, many businesses are unnecessarily exposed to financial and reputational damage through underinsurance. Of concern is the lack of specialist insurance in place to protect against the particular risks this sector faces. This includes the risk to physical health that can be caused by lost or false data, system failure or cyber breach leading to misdiagnosis, inappropriate or failed treatments.

These are among the findings of Beazley’s Spotlight on Digital Health and Wellness report, which highlights attitudes to risk and insurance among telehealth and telemedicine, mobile health, health software and life science technology companies in North America, Asia and Europe.

Jennifer Schoenthal, global virtual care product leader at Beazley, said: “Digital health and wellness leaders have said they want our industry to improve how we communicate, share knowledge and collaborate, to deliver more appropriate coverage, more effectively. There is a huge opportunity for brokers and insurers to heed these messages. In particular, we need to work together to build holistic insurance solutions that focus more closely on the integrated risks these clients face to help them avoid risky gaps in their coverage.”

Evan Smith, global head of miscellaneous medical and life sciences at Beazley, added: “Since we wrote our first telehealth risk in 2009, the digital health sector has continued to evolve in line with technological advancements and changing attitudes towards remote care among patients as well as health practitioners, governments and investors. However, the sector has grown exponentially from the beginning of the pandemic, fuelled by an impressive track record in innovation, a wave of fresh capital, expansion plans and demand.”

Key report findings: Digital health, insurance and risk (Source: Beazley)

• Although 89% perceive the sector to be relatively high risk, optimism is high, with nine in 10 businesses expecting to grow this year

• While 85% are confident they know what insurance coverage they need, 70% are only covered for one or two of these key risks

• Despite the risk of something going wrong with the technology, more than two thirds lack insurance coverage for bodily injury claims arising from system failure or cyber breach

• 36% have struggled to find insurance that is right for their business

• 33% don’t know what types of risk they need to be covered for

• More support from the insurance industry would be welcome – a third want more education on the risks they need covered.

We will examine the findings of this report in more depth in the next issue of CIR Magazine.
Register to receive the May-June 2021 issue here.

View the current issue (March-April 2021) here.

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