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Interesting Niches | Tech Insurance
With Eddie Rodriguez—Tech Insurance Specialist, Tech Insurance Ontario
T ech Insurance Ontario is the Technology & Cyber Insurance division of Marhen Insurance Brokers. The boutique brokerage focuses on serving clients with specialized insurance needs including tech, cyber and professional liability, and has been serving clients across the province since 1976.
How did your brokerage get involved with this specialty?
Some time ago, we tuned in to a couple growing trends: the unstoppable growth of the IT industry and the associated demand for specialized insurance coverage. With so much innovation and disruption taking place, traditional business insurance was not a suitable risk-transfer option for IT companies and the unique, unprecedented risk exposures they face. We saw these trends as an opportunity to deliver value to IT firms seeking brokers who understand the emerging insurance coverage and the intricacies of an IT firm's operations, products and services.
What are some of the unique challenges to insuring tech clients?
Referring to the information technology industry as a niche is a bit misleading because, when you zoom in, you find companies that are very different from each other. Your local IT Managed Services firm is very different from a Telecom IT consultant, who in turn is very different from an AI Software Developer, a medical technology company, Fintech startup or data centre. What's more, pick a subcategory like Software Developer and you'll uncover a long list of sub-subcategories ranging from AI software and autonomous vehicle software to healthcare software and video games.

Understanding the operations, technologies and risk exposures of such a wide array of businesses can be challenging and demands a lot of listening and research. Getting coverage for IT companies can also be challenging, especially if their product/service category didn't exist a year ago or if their clients are in high-risk industries. Because of these and other hurdles, bespoke coverage is often necessary.
What are some of the common claims issues they face?
The most obvious risks are errors and omissions, contract delays and the failure of technology products or services. IT firms of all kinds are also exposed to issues related to Intellectual Property (IP) infringement, exacerbated by the actions of copyright and patent trolls. There's also the ever-rising threat to information security and privacy, data theft and even bodily injury or property damage due to hacked IoT devices.
How has the pandemic impacted this niche?
Canada's IT industry has experienced both stability and growth. And while some IT companies have been affected by project cancellations due to the impact of the pandemic on their clients' businesses, the circumstances have given rise to numerous opportunities fueled by the widespread adoption of remote work, the imminent need for Medtech solutions and increased frequency and severity of cyber risks. Needless to say, to sustain the long-term growth of the IT sector, tech insurance and our economy in general, we all need to get to that stable, post-pandemic reality successfully.
What do you do to target this segment?
We’re embedded in the IT sector and actively participate in their events and communities across the province. Thanks to constant networking, relationship nurturing and having a genuine interest in our clients' and potential clients' success, we receive a lot of word-of-mouth referrals. Often, when a referral comes to us, they'll say something like "my friend said to talk to you because you understand what I'm talking about."
VOLUME 21 | ISSUE 1
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Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario
1 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700
Toronto, ON M4P 3A1
416.488.7422 | 800.268.8845
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