Crypto Insurance: Should You Buy It in 2024?

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It has become evident that the decentralized finance (DeFi) industry will not be going anywhere, with a continuous launch of new projects, innovative financial instruments, and expanding user adoption.

As of 2024, Triple-A estimated that there are around 560 million cryptocurrency users worldwide. The number could be higher, as tracking an exact estimate is challenging due to cryptocurrencies’ decentralized nature.

However, the more the crypto industry expands, the more it becomes susceptible to hack attacks and exploitation. According to data published by TRM on Friday, by June 24, 2024, the value of stolen crypto doubled within a year from $657 million to $1.38 billion.

Running Total of Crypto Hacks & Exploits

Such a stark increase might push crypto investors to consider purchasing crypto insurance.

What is it, and how does crypto insurance work? Here are what experts are saying.

Key Takeaways

  • The ever-growing crypto industry faces increased risks, including hacking and theft of assets, which makes crypto insurance essential.
  • Cryptocurrency insurance coverage policies typically cover theft, hacking, regulatory breaches, and professional errors.
  • Insurers tend to work with regulators to ensure compliance and comprehensive coverage.
  • Increasing user adoption and higher asset values drive the demand for larger coverage limits and innovative insurance solutions.

What Is Crypto Insurance?

In essence, crypto insurance follows the same principles of effective risk management as traditional insurance, Joseph Ziolkowski, the CEO and co-founder of Relm Insurance, an insurance provider specializing in the digital assets and Web3 industries.

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The main focus of crypto insurance companies is to protect cryptocurrency holders and businesses against risks such as theft, hacking, and technical failure. It provides financial coverage for losses incurred due to such incidents and offers a safety net.

However, due to DeFi’s volatile nature, crypto insurance coverage might side-pass volatile market swings or accidental mistakes by the user, Anndy Lian, an inter-governmental blockchain adviser, added.

Additionally, Lian brought up the idea of DeFi insurance explaining that it utilized blockchain technology to create a community-driven pool for coverage losses thus eliminating the need for a traditional insurance company.

Demand For Crypto Insurance Heating Up

With the increase of cyberattacks on crypto exchanges and wallets, the demand for crypto insurance is surely on the rise which also coincides with the overall growth and mainstream adoption of the cryptocurrency industry.

Relm Insurance’s Ziolkowski noted that the company has observed significant growth in the crypto insurance market, particularly following the emergence of new regulations and as the ecosystem continues to build innovative solutions.

He added:

“The demand for crypto insurance has remained consistently strong, demonstrating resilience even through bear markets. In fact, due to this strong demand, Relm released a Web3 suite of products, including tailored and comprehensive insurance coverage for clients exploring or utilizing Web3 technologies.

“Our five distinct products directly address the nuanced risks faced by cryptocurrency exchanges, asset managers, technology developers, miners, token issuers, institutional staking providers, and other businesses operating within the ecosystem.”

However, Ziolkowski noted that the rising number of insurance claims is also prompting insurers to reduce their willingness to cover such types of risks.

Protection Against the Wild West of Crypto Risks

Unlike traditional coverage, crypto insurance tends to focus on eliminating specific threats the crypto industry may be more susceptible to, such as theft and hacking, lost crypto and keys, as well as cyber and tech errors and omissions.

Crypto Insurance Coverage Might Include

Lian called crypto insurance’s coverage the protection “against the wild west of cryptocurrency risks” and noted that some of the most popular solutions include the protection against hacking and theft, which covers and safeguards crypto assets that may have been stolen during a security breach as well as the accidental or tech glitch-induced loss of custodians.

Relm Insurance’s Ziolkowski added that some of the most prevalent types of crypto insurance include Directors and Officers (D&O), Cyber and Technology professional indemnity, and Investment Managers Insurance coverage.

D&O insurance protects crypto companies and their executives from lawsuits, typically arising from alleged mismanagement, and includes three layers of coverage:

  • The protection of individual directors if they are sued and the company cannot indemnify them.
  • The reimbursement of the company for identifying executives’ names in lawsuits.
  • The coverage of the company’s expenses when both the company and executives are sued.

Cyber and Technology professional covers technology-related liabilities stipulated in contracts.

Finally, the Investment Managers Insurance coverage provides specialized coverage for investment managers overseeing cryptocurrency assets.

It typically includes protection against claims arising from professional errors, mismanagement, breaches of fiduciary duty, and regulatory violations. It can cover legal defense costs, settlements, and damages, safeguarding both the managers and the investment firm from financial losses due to these risks.

Crypto Insurance Companies “in Cahoots” With Regulators

Relm Insurance’s Ziolkowski noted that Relm works together with regulators worldwide to navigate the insurance requirements embedded within their legislative frameworks.

“It is crucial to recognize the substantial variation in these requirements: some jurisdictions mandate a single type of insurance, while others stipulate the necessity of eight or more insurance types.”

Ziolkowski brought up Hong Kong as an example which mandates that 50% of all assets under custody must be insured, a requirement not uniformly applied across all regulations.

Such regional disparities underscore the evolving landscape of regulatory frameworks, where insurance mandates increasingly establish credibility and legitimacy within the crypto industry.

Lian added that regulatory frameworks can often influence the types of risks covered by crypto insurance, thus highlighting the importance of cooperation.

“For example, regulations addressing smart contract vulnerabilities could pave the way for insurance against bugs or exploits within these digital agreements. Conversely, a lack of regulations around specific crypto activities might leave them uncovered by insurance.”

Crypto Insurance: A Promising Concept?

While speaking to Techopedia, Lian highlighted that crypto insurance is “a promising concept, but it is still navigating uncharted territory.”

“Unlike traditional insurance built on decades of data, crypto’s new and ever-changing landscape makes it difficult for insurers to assess risks and price coverage fairly.”

Additionally, crypto’s decentralized nature further clashes with traditional insurance models, which could make insuring digital assets a little more challenging as they are often spread across a number of digital wallets.

Relm Insurance’s Ziolkowski highlighted that a prominent trend observed by Relm is the increasing demand for larger coverage limits in slashing insurance, which reflects heightened risk awareness and exposure.

“Additionally, there’s a notable surge in dynamic insurance offerings entering the market, driven by client innovation. Companies’ exposures are expanding at a pace far exceeding that of traditional finance.”

Thus, the insurance for cryptocurrency may see more growth moving forward.

The Bottom Line

Crypto insurance has emerged as a crucial component in the rapidly evolving digital assets and DeFi industries. As the number of users and the value of digital assets continue to rise, so does the potential for risks such as hacking, theft, and regulatory challenges, forcing more investors to look into what is available in terms of asset safety.

Despite the challenges of insuring digital assets in a decentralized and volatile environment, the demand for comprehensive coverage is growing. By collaborating with regulators and developing innovative products, the crypto insurance sector is poised to play a pivotal role in securing the future of digital finance.

As the industry matures, the protection provided by crypto insurance will be indispensable for fostering trust and stability in the crypto world.

FAQs

Is there insurance for cryptocurrency?

How much does crypto insurance cost?

How to get crypto insurance?

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Iliana Mavrou
Crypto journalist
Iliana Mavrou
Crypto journalist

Iliana is an experienced crypto/tech journalist reporting on blockchain, regulation, DeFi, and Web3 industries. Before joining Techopedia, she contributed to a number of online publications, including Capital.com, Cryptonews, and Business2Community, among others. In addition to working in journalism, she also has experience in tech and crypto PR.  Iliana graduated from the City University of London with a degree in Journalism in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Communication.