Insurance group Chubb will start offering the UK’s first cyber-bullying policy – ‘troll insurance’ – through which it will accept claims of up to £50,000 to cover counselling and relocation costs, as well as time spent out of work.
Chubb, a household name for its locks and safety equipment, will provide its personal insurance policy customers the option to claim expenses ensued from online abuse. Cyberbullying is defined by the insurer as ‘three or more acts by the same person or group to harass, threaten or intimidate [paywalled] a customer.’
Chubb introduced the new policy following a survey conducted among its target audience and brokers. Tara Parchment, private clients manager for the UK and Ireland, explained that the troll insurance would aim to help customers re-establish their lives after suffering a cyber incident that has caused physical harm to their home or person.
“We wanted our policies to reflect the changing nature of the risks that policyholders may face, often against themselves rather than their possessions […] So we still help to restore homes, cars and belongings that have suffered physical harm or damage, but increasingly it’s about the person and how they cope,” she added.
While the new insurance option is targeted towards parents concerned about their children’s online activities, adults who are targeted by cyber abuse will also be able to make a claim. Chubb said that the money offered by the policy could be used to pay PR consultants and reputation management teams to work to restore a person or business’ public image. It suggested that a forensic specialist could also be hired to track the trolling source.
Online abuse aimed at high-profile individuals has been highlighted by recent trolling cases against British politicians opining on the ISIS airstrikes in Syria. Labour MP Stella Creasy reported that she had received over 1,000 Facebook updates and the same amount of tweets on Twitter, emails, calls and texts in the 24 hours following her vote. She confirmed that the majority of these had been violent and abusive.
Chubb customers will be able to opt in to the new troll insurance when renewing their policy from the 1st January 2016.