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The Biggest Cyber Coverage Decisions of 2021


Case law about cyberinsurance coverage continued to rapidly evolve in 2021, with courts finding coverage for cyber incidents available under policies ranging from property to commercial crime to general liability.

Here, Law360 breaks down the biggest decisions on cyberinsurance coverage in 2021.


Ransomware Payments May Be Covered Under Crime Policies

The Indiana Supreme Court, in reviving G&G Oil Co.'s lawsuit against its insurer, found that ransomware payments may be covered under computer fraud provisions in commercial crime policies. The decision bolsters the idea that ransom payments are not voluntary actions that break the causation link between a ransomware attack and a company's losses.

The Indiana high court's decision is the first to find that ransomware payments can constitute a fraudulent payment that would be covered by a crime policy, said Jim Carter, a policyholder attorney at Blank Rome LLP. The court's holding that there was a direct link between the use of a computer and the ransomware payments was "innovative" and particularly important as insurers often challenge coverage claims based on whether there is such a link, Carter told Law360.

"What constitutes directness is not specifically defined in the policies," Carter said. The decision also was notable because the oil company had rejected coverage for computer hacking and viruses when negotiating its policy, and the court still found coverage under the policy the company did purchase, Carter said.

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“The Biggest Cyber Coverage Decisions of 2021,” by Daniel Tay was published in Law360 on December 21, 2021.