Meet a broker: Eayl Machlis, Thunder Insurance – Gaming Insurance Specialists

By Anna Chatburn    January 23, 2020

To show you how brokers work, we interview specialist insurance brokers to give a deeper insight into what they do, and how they can help with choosing and maintaining insurance.

Thunder Insurance specialise in providing insurance for Gaming and Esports, one of the world’s fastest growth industries

Eayl Machlis, Co-Founder & Director, Thunder Insurance chatted to Anna from Advisr.

What’s your career background?

Over 15 years’ Executive experience within Business Development, Sales and Strategy within Banking, Finance and Insurance. My business partner, Paul Cowley, has over 20 years’ experience in Underwriting, and as an Executive within Entertainment Insurers.

Why did you choose gaming as your niche?

As Paul and I are both gamers ourselves, albeit, not very good ones, we were researching the gaming industry closely and realised the many insurance gaps within this industry. For example, whilst there are many contents insurance products, there was little product offerings focusing on what was important to gamers being their equipment, and hence, we wanted to address that need.

What are the typical demographics of gamers?

There has been common misunderstandings around the gaming demographic which we have addressed through our offering. There are certain assumptions or stereotypes that gamers are young, however, the average age of a gamer is 33 years old, with an average product lifecycle of 13 years. The demographic gender split is 55% male and 45% female which also surprises many people, and that gap is slowly closing.

We find that the insurance industry is not educating or serving the interests of the gaming and e-sports market satisfactorily.

How did you get your business started / find your niche?

We decided to grasp the opportunity while we were young enough to set up a challenger brand, such as Thunder Insurance, and seek out markets that don’t have a high level of understanding and also coverage of insurance.
We had bootstrapped our business over a period of 1.5 – 2 years, just building insurance products we felt passionate about.

What are some example client claims / stories?

We have one of the highest ratings of cyber liability in our portfolio – have seen quite a few cyber liability issues – companies like Sony, and more recently Disney + (who have just entered the Australian market) get hacked, with customers personal data ending up on the dark web. Just recently we managed a cyber liability claim for a phishing scam where the claimant made a payment of $10k to an incorrect third party. Their cyber liability policy was able to recuperate the funds.

What are the trends you’re seeing?

Within Cyber Liability, we are seeing smaller companies being targeted now more than the larger ones as they don’t have the stringent compliance a larger organisation does, and are more vulnerable to attacks.
I also think digital wallet theft is going to be an issue moving forward with all the relatively new smart payment methods available in the market as well.

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