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Cyber Savvy Broker: Casey Sherwin

cyber savvy broker casey sherwin

As technology transforms the economy, businesses of all sizes have to navigate a new kind of risk: digital risk.

The most successful brokers will need to be prepared to help their clients navigate these complex risks. Our "Cyber Savvy Broker" series highlights forward-thinking brokers with the knowledge and skills to help their clients navigate this digital transformation.

This month, we chatted with Casey Sherwin, VP of Management Liability, Professional Liability, and Cyber Liability at Amwins. As a wholesaler who began his career as a management liability underwriter, Casey shared what excites him the most about the cyber insurance space and why open communication is the key to all of his business relationships.

What has changed the most since you started selling cyber?

The sales cycle and the speed at which information moves have changed the most. Coalition is at the forefront of these changes, where the underwriting process has been streamlined using technology. As a result, we’ve become a steward for the buyer and shown them how the underwriting process has changed. We help and coach them through these changes, which is the complicated part.

What do you find exciting about cyberspace and selling cyber insurance?

I love getting to review all kinds of different organizations. I see everything, from a smaller sports retailer in a small town to a large healthcare facility with an incredible amount of HIPAA-protected data. I’m also fascinated by the change of company exposures from deal to deal, and I like learning what companies are doing—or not doing—to get ahead of these exposures.

The most enjoyable part is showing organizations what they can do to avoid an incident from happening through real-world circumstances.

There’s a lot of educating on our end through getting on calls or meeting in person with the insured and showing them real examples to which they can relate.

What concerns are you hearing from your clients or prospective clients?

It's the cost and not understanding the value that they would see for a breach and all of the value-added services that are included during and after a breach. I have to show them the return on investment. That’s the biggest hurdle. But once we show it to them in numbers, they get it. Imagine a prospective client is concerned about spending $50,000 on a policy. In that case, it's very easy to show how even a small breach can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars by calculating the business interruption costs and the general costs they're likely to incur. At the end of this exercise, I ask clients, “If you had to spend that amount of money, would you be ready to cut that check?” That question makes people’s ears perk up and want to learn more.

What advice would you give other brokers on maintaining good broker/client relationships?

Communication is the key to our business. So if it's business that you're trying to win or write new, it requires clear communication from the start about what's required, what underwriters will need to see, and helping the client understand why these things are required. 

I'm coming from the wholesale side, so a new relationship is a retailer that I want to do business with, which (like any new relationship) means being available and always making time to answer questions. I help them to navigate potential struggles so that they can solve their own problems. 

How do you see the broker's role evolving?

In the wholesale space, I believe we’ll move into further specification. So I imagine a wholesaler will focus entirely on directors and officers’ liability, legal malpractice, or architects and engineers. They may do ancillary cyber liability, but as a focal point, having a very sharp spear in one specific space will be a differentiator in the next few years. I’ve seen this be very successful for a few people historically, and I think it will become the norm.

Improve your cyber knowledge with Coalition

Cyber insurance is one of the fastest-growing insurance products and a massive opportunity for brokers to grow their book of business. Coalition's Cyber Savvy program equips you with the tools and knowledge to deepen your cyber risk expertise and advise (and protect!) your clients.

You can access more free Cyber Savvy Broker resources to continue your learning journey.