We may not be able to catch all the trolls on the Internet, but now, we can get insured against them. In a move indicative of just how prevalent the Internet has become in our day-to-day lives, multinational insurance company Chubb is now offering British citizens the chance to protect themselves against cyberbullying. Known as “troll insurance,” this 21st-century personal plan gives individuals the opportunity to claim up to £50,000 (about $76,000) to pay for expenses incurred as a result of cyberbullying and trolling, including counseling, time off from work, or even relocation.
“We see insurance as helping our clients get back to how they were before the incident occurred — whether it’s an incident that affects their home or as a person,” said Tara Parchment, U.K. and Ireland private clients manager, in an interview with The Telegraph. You can bring a PR team aboard to help you restore your name if it’s been smeared, and in cases of a wrongful arrest or a lost job, Chubb has you covered as well.
Noting that it’s often the emotional and mental damage that’s most difficult to address in the aftermath of a cyberbullying attack, Parchment said that while the company will “still help to restore homes, cars, and belongings that have suffered physical harm or damage … increasingly it’s about the person and how they cope.”
While Internet trolling has been around since, well, the dawn of the Internet, the advent of social media and the sheer amount of time the average person (particularly younger people) spends online has made cyberbullying a much larger problem. And worse yet, much of this online harassment has now moved offline as well — in a new phenomenon known as “swatting,” perpetrators will send an anonymous tip to law enforcement officials with the hopes of inciting a police raid. Recently, a 15-year-old was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for his antics, now considered domestic terrorism.
“Insurers have been monitoring the growth of cyber risk for some time, and recent high profile events mean the general public is becoming much more aware of how they could be affected by hacking, data theft or cyber bullying,” said Matt Cullen, the head of the Association of British Insurers’ strategy team. “Insurers are innovating all the time to offer people and businesses products to help them manage new and existing risks.”
After all, if you prepare for the worst to happen when it comes to your home or your car, shouldn’t you also be preparing for yourself, too?