Witt and the council members also sought guidance from City Manager Joseph Helfenberger.

The six-figure payment, one of several that US cities have handed over to hackers in recent months to retrieve files, made national headlines.

"At the end of the day, it really boils down to a business decision on the insurance side of things: them looking at how much is it going to cost to fix it ourselves and how much is it going to cost to pay the ransom."

While insurers do not release information about ransom payments, ProPublica has found that they often accommodate attackers' demands, even when alternatives such as saved backup files may be available.

A spokesperson for Lloyd's, which underwrites about one-third of the global cyber-insurance market, said that coverage is designed to mitigate losses and protect against future attacks, and that victims decide whether to pay ransoms.

"Coverage is likely to include, in the event of an attack, access to experts who will help repair the damage caused by any cyberattack and ensure any weaknesses in a company's cyberprotection are eliminated," the spokesperson said.

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