Waffle Insurance to make gaming insurance a reality in North America
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The game is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, but it remains unused by insurance companies as a broad line of coverage. Its risks are seen in other traditionally insured fields, which means that writing coverage comes with well-established examples, but gaming is not traditionally seen as a viable area of opportunity.
“Insurance has penetrated all industries except gaming,” says Waffle Insurance co-founder and CEO, Qunetin Coolen (pictured below). “There are many technical and behavioral prevention methods available to players, but no product can protect against careless mistakes or sophisticated hackers. That’s where we come in.”
Insurance Business spoke to Coolen about why Waffle Insurance is launching gamer insurance in the US, what types of coverage it offers to prospective gamers and how the role of brokers is evolving with the changes in consumer expectations.
“There’s a lot of opportunity for gamer coverage”
Coolen and his Waffle team grew up playing video games, a formative childhood activity that matures and carries into adulthood. “We all played PlayStation and Nintendo as youth and even had a gaming channel on Slack; it’s a world we know very well,” he said.
As the industry has seen a lot of growth, especially during the pandemic years, data breaches, hacking and other malicious activities have also increased. However, for players, there are no sophisticated or standardized insurance options to help protect their assets and finances, an area of great potential that Coolen and his colleagues are interested in.
“There’s a lot of opportunity to cover players,” Coolen said.
“More experienced players can spend tens of thousands of dollars per year on in-game purchases, leading to greater opportunities for targeted digital larceny and an increased need to prevent attacks or help repair the loss should it unfortunately occur.”
Waffle has partnered with Blink by Chubb’s cyber insurance protection to offer this new form of coverage, which is available in 44 US states.
“Many gamers use headsets and chat with others when they’re actively participating in a game, and it’s during these conversations that personal information can be leaked casually,” Coolen said. .
“A more sophisticated hacker, who may be posing as an innocent participant, can use this information to hack into an account, change the email address and add multi-factor authentication, which almost impossible to recover from.”
There is also the phenomenon of downloading cheat codes to boost a player’s success rate in a game, which has become widespread among less skilled professionals. It can have malware hidden in its code and can allow a hacker to do damage easily.
“There is also the possibility that once these accounts are taken over by threat actors, that they are listed for sale online for individuals to purchase,” Coolen said.
While more experienced players may be aware of these risks and use prevention methods such as a VPN or multi-factor authentication, this does not guarantee that more sophisticated hackers will not catch them in one. opportunity to weaken or circumvent any safeguards put in place. place.
As a response, Waffle offers protection for electronic data that can be stolen and can be restored.
“Whether it’s identity theft, financial account protection, ransomware attacks or hardware threats, our coverage is broad and customizable,” Coolen said.
“It’s meant to address current risks, because we’re not making a product for problems that aren’t a real threat.”
The next steps are preventive action
While Waffle is a small insurtech operation, it has ambitions to further protect clients’ assets by focusing more on risk mitigation techniques.
“Our next phase is partnering with cyber security professionals to really strengthen our risk management capabilities,” Coolen said.
“We want to encourage our customers across all lines of coverage to take the necessary steps to mitigate any potential threats or vulnerabilities.”
Coolen and his team are looking to reward those who set up multi-factor authentication or provide help or resources to install a VPN, which for its gamer clients, should be standard practice.
Brokers will join this equation by understanding the inherent risks at play and providing cyber-specific insight into how these protective measures should be top of mind, further highlighting the evolution that passed through the position. “The broker’s role is to mature into a more nuanced risk management advisor,” Coolen said.
“It’s more of a sales-oriented position, but they have to stay on top of industry and market trends and provide clients with products based on their unique profile – like an Amazon algorithm. “
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