As Cyberattacks Rise, Cyber Insurers Are Rethinking Their Business

The hacks came one right after another, sowing chaos at hospitals, idling America’s biggest gasoline pipeline, crippling a huge meat supplier and devastating hundreds of companies over the July 4 weekend.

Now, insurers are reassessing the cyber business.

With cyberattacks on the rise and demand for coverage surging, the $3 billion industry of protecting companies against hackers is at an inflection point. Wrestling with higher costs and more risk, insurers are tightening standards, boosting prices and slashing how much they’re willing to pay for a breach.

Making coverage harder to get may expose more companies to greater financial risk. Insurers are re-evaluating how to profit from cyber policies amid a broader debate about who should be on the hook when hacks occur — like those against Colonial Pipeline Co. and JBS SA — and what roles the government and private industry should play.

“The ways of the past no longer work into the…

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