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March 27, 2024

Michelle Chia

New York-based chief underwriting officer for cyber in the Americas, Axa XL, a division of Axa SA

New York-based head of professional liability & cyber, Zurich North America

The outlook for the cyber segment of insurance is exciting. As a society, we have increased our awareness of cyber risk. Organizations are taking steps to strengthen their cyber resilience as the risk evolves. The insurance industry is sharing risk insights to help organizations manage what is within their control and continues to innovate robust solutions to support transferable risk. Insurers are using digital technology to glean insights in real time, to provide the best products the industry has to offer, and to provide innovative risk management strategies so that clients can focus on their core business.

I’m excited to continue increasing awareness around cyber risk, to continue helping clients strengthen their cyber resilience, and to bring relevant cyber risk management strategies to organizations. Most of all, I’m excited to collaborate with an amazing team.

The evolution of traditional risk typically plateaus by the time we have developed insurance products. For example, workers compensation insurance products were developed after the Industrial Revolution and worker safety regulation stabilized. On the other hand, cyber insurance products are refined alongside a dynamic risk landscape. At Axa XL, we are committed to providing relevant cyber risk management services and solutions to our clients. This means we need to appreciate the shifting threat landscape and collaborate with cybersecurity experts, law enforcement and government agencies.

I joined an underwriting training program shortly after graduating from college. The training program taught me insurance fundamentals: the technical components of underwriting and the relational aspects of building a book of business.

Ask questions. There’s so much to learn. Find something that gives you joy, and run with it. Though work is a four-letter word, it’ll never get stale if you find what gives you joy.

Anyone who knows me well knows I love insurance. So this is a tough question to answer. Maybe a restaurant reviewer for Michelin? I love food.

I studied economics at Tufts University, but my studio art minor classes were a bit more exciting.

Meeting the team, colleagues, new brokers and clients, and building new relationships and strengthening existing ones. People make the company; they make the industry.

This is probably the toughest question for me to answer. I love eating. I would do it professionally, if I could. I have a very eclectic taste in food, ranging from fast food to experiences like that in the movie “The Menu”.

“The Importance of Being Earnest.” Oscar Wilde’s wit is unparalleled.

My hobbies besides eating, traveling, going to museums and concerts? Board games. I love playing strategic board games. My current favorite board game is Brass: Birmingham.

All time: “The West Wing.” I enjoy the banter between the characters. Currently: “Survivor”.

I’m glued to a TV screen if Arsenal is playing a match.

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