Amid national wave of cyber-crime, Anchorage’s cyber-insurance policy spikes 400%

Image emphasizes home cyber security
Image from website on home cyber security

The city of Anchorage is facing a four-fold increase in the cost of its insurance against cyberattacks, mirroring a problem that’s facing public and private entities around the world.

The city has been paying $50,000 a year for its cyber-insurance.

As it expired, Anchorage’s broker, Risq Consulting, inquired with nearly three-dozen insurance companies, according to documents submitted to the city Assembly this week.

The city’s existing carrier, Bermuda-based Allied World Assurance Company, was the only one interested in offering a quote.

Under the new policy, the city will pay $200,400 a year — four times the previous price.

The increase comes as a wave of cyber-crimes over the past few months have paralyzed businesses and government institutions around the world. That includes in Alaska, where hackers have compromised computer systems operated both by the state’s court system and health department.

RELATED: Hackers have penetrated multiple Alaska agencies this year. Here’s what we know.

The attacks are putting increasing pressure on cyber-insurers. They paid out claims worth 73% of cyber-insurance premiums they took in last year, according to a recent report by Fitch Ratings.

“A lot of insurers are pulling out of the market, and the pickings are slim,” said Tracy Mears, Anchorage’s director of risk management.

Hackers have also been increasingly targeting cyber-insurers themselves, in search of data that could help them negotiate better ransom payments if they can hack insurers’ clients.

The price increase is on the agenda for next week’s meeting of the Anchorage Assembly.

The state of Alaska, meanwhile, does not have comprehensive cyber-insurance coverage, but technology officials said last month that they’re considering their options.

Nathaniel Herz is an Anchorage-based journalist. He's been a reporter in Alaska for a decade, and is currently reporting for Alaska Public Media. Find more of his work by subscribing to his newsletter, Northern Journal, at Reach him at

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