After what has been one of the most uncertain 12 months ever, you might be thinking about upping your cover against such events. We talk to Phil Wildman from GG Insurance Services, who answers our questions on insurance for the games industry.
Why did you start GG Insurance?
I noticed a lack of insurance support for the games industry, and as both an insurance professional and huge gamer I thought we would be able to add some real value to the industry, plus have some fun along the way…
What is different about games industry specific insurance?
Insurance changes hugely depending on the insurer and type of cover. Professional Indemnity (which covers contract disputes) from one provider can be totally different from another. It can make it difficult to compare products unless you are an expert. So it is really important that your broker and/or insurer not only understand your business, but the cover is ready to respond when things go wrong. We see so many devs and publishers with insurance that was not designed around the work they do that it is honestly scary.
What are the most common insurance claims you see?
It depends on the type of business. Publishers are usually front-line for disputes and will need to firefight Intellectual Property claims, cyber attacks, ransomware, media liabilities. Developers will mostly see contract disputes with publishers where they have missed deliverables, but also could be exposed to the aforementioned cyber and IP risks. Senior management on either side may be exposed to lawsuits directly (Directors & Officers insurance can help with this). Esports teams and brands have a different risk profile that covers streaming and their media liabilities, plus disgrace and libel.
What advice can you give to anyone who is considering getting covered?
I’d try and get a breakdown of the full extent of the cover and get this explained to you in context. Make sure you are happy that you have a comprehensive cover at a price that you are comfortable with. Also, if working with a broker, it really helps if they have experience in the games industry and understand the nuances of the games industry.
Why should publishers care about the cover their developers have?
We work with many developers who are signing with a publisher, and have been asked to get Professional Indemnity insurance. Publishers ask for this as they want comfort that should something go wrong, they can sue the developer and hopefully the insurance can pick up the claim. However, unless the developer has a decent policy in hand, this may not be worth the paper it is written on. We often work hand in hand with publishers and legal counsel, who recommend their developers buy from us as a trusted source.
Will insurance cover the impact of future pandemics and/or will premiums be going up post-covid?
The insurance industry as a whole has been hit hard by Covid, and insurers are trying to recoup losses where they can – which usually means increased premiums across the board. Many insurers have added additional caveats to new policies to exclude pandemics to protect themselves from future losses.
We work with lots of different insurers, but for our in-house product we actually increased cover for Covid related risks, most notably extending contents and equipment cover to automatically cover anything kept at people’s homes which would normally only be covered while at the office. The games industry has also been notably robust throughout the pandemic and we have been able to keep our premiums consistent across the board.
Is insurance able to cover cyberattacks such as at CDPR?
Yes, cyber insurance is a very real thing. CDPR is a classic example of a ransomware attack, and (depending on the insurer and product) could potentially be available to pay ransom demands. Often these hackers would prefer to be paid and it is rare that they would still release the files to the public. Cyber attacks are treated by our insurers as a time-sensitive crisis, and response teams are able to swoop in and consult with your team to determine an appropriate response.
Philip Wildman is managing director of GG Insurance, which prides itself on passion for and understanding of this industry. GG takes a proactive approach to learning and understanding as the industry constantly changes, on the belief that it is crucial to not only understand insurance inside out, but the games industry itself. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.