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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The tiny market for cyber insurance has been slower to develop than generally anticipated, a member of Allianz's board said in an interview.
The European market for cyber insurance currently has a premium volume of around 200 million euros ($224 million), Axel Theis, Allianz board member responsible for global property and casualty insurance, told Reuters in an interview.
Allianz's cut of the market is about 50 million euros.
"I had thought that this market would grow more quickly and more aggressively than it has," Theis said. "But now it is picking up."
The recent WannaCry "ransomware" attack highlighted the risks to businesses around the globe.
A typical cyber insurance policy can protect companies against extortion like ransomware attacks. It could cover the investigation costs and also pay the ransom.
Insurance companies have been cautiously entering the cyber insurance market as they look for growth amid stiff competition and low interest rates.
"In the coming years the market could easily grow worldwide to 20, 30 or even 40 billion euros," Allianz's Theis said. "The more customers we have, the greater the coverage levels we can offer."
German reinsurer Munich Re is a global leader in insuring cyber risks, with most of business in that area in the United States. Its annual premium income has doubled over the past four years to total more than $260 million.
($1 = 0.8915 euros)
Reporting by Alexander Huebner and Tom Sims; Editing by Maria Sheahan