Steven Stoeger-Moore Takes Action: How This Risk Manager Installed Crucial Cyber Resilience for Higher Ed Clients

Funneling dividends right back into risk mitigation made all the difference for these mutual members.
By: | July 14, 2023

When a turning cyber market pre­sented chilling increases in coverage premiums, Steven Stoeger-Moore and his colleagues at Districts Mutual Insurance and Risk Management Services knew they had to take action.

As an insurer and risk management consultant to 16 Wisconsin technical colleges, the mutual had a seat at the decision-making table, and it took full advantage of it.

Stoeger-Moore lobbied for and found approval from the mutual’s board of directors to allocate $1.3 million in funding over two budget cycles to bolster cyber risk mitigation at the mutual’s 16 member institutions.

“The idea resonated very positively with our board of directors’ members,” Stoeger-Moore said.

From a patchwork approach to risk management, mutual members used the funding to up their game, incorporating endpoint managed detection and response systems, cyber risk assessments and penetration testing, as well as a number of additional tools, to make them a better risk.

“Sometimes, the colleges had to come up with some seed money, if you will, but that process over a two-year period provided us with a very significant improvement in cyber health across all 16 of the colleges,” Stoeger-Moore said.

Cyber premium rates remain persistently high, but the program has resulted in premium reductions for mutual members.

In the most recent cyber insurance renewals for mutual members, Districts Mutual Insurance kicked in an additional $352,000 to help smooth out any premium increase. Instead of a 60% increase, the mutual members faced an increase of just 20%.

“This project is not typical of an insurance company. In fact, this is the opposite of usual insurance company behavior,” risk consultant Joseph DesPlaines wrote in his application nominating Stoeger-Moore.

Speaking on behalf of Gallagher, one of DMI’s risk management partners, Jeremy Gillespie, national director, area senior vice president, cyber liability practice, had this to say about Stoeger-Moore’s work: “These changes had a material impact on the insurability of the technical colleges, resulted in the preservation of full policy limits and reduced the premium that otherwise would have been charged. This is above and beyond what any other insurance companies have done to promote cyber hygiene.”

The cyber risk mitigation piece was one step.

But Stoeger-Moore and his team are implementing others. On the property side, DMI provided the members with the support to get better evaluations for more than 200 buildings.

“I think DMI is very, very unique in that we are not only an insurance company, but we are the risk management service provider for our college members,” Stoeger-Moore stated succinctly. &

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See all the 2023 Risk All Star Winners here.

Dan Reynolds is editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected].

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