December 14, 2015
It's no secret that online trolling can be disruptive. Some of its most extreme forms like swatting -- where a harasser fakes an emergency to get police to raid a victim's home -- are real world safety threats.
Now a insurer is offering some customers in the United Kingdom benefits to help offset the costs of trolling. Chubb insurance will include cyberbullying coverage as part of its personal insurance package -- providing up to £50,000, or roughly $75,000, that could be used for things like help from online experts for victims and counseling, or even covering lost income if the victim is off work for more than a week due to the harassment -- according to the Telegraph.
The company defines cyberbullying as "three or more acts by the same person or group to harass, threaten or intimidate a customer," the Financial Times reported. The company did not immediately respond to a Washington Post inquiry about the coverage.
The Internet can sometimes be a pretty nasty place -- 73 percent of American adults online have seen someone be harassed online and 40 percent have personally experienced it, according Pew Research center study released last year.
In extreme cases, trolling can almost take over a victim's life. “I feel helpless,” Amy Stater, the victim of a sustained campaign of online harassment apparently linked to her son's online activities, told Fusion earlier this year. “I can’t get a job, my marriage is over. Not a day goes by that I don’t wonder if it would be easier if I take my own life,” she said.
This new insurance benefit seems to be a shift toward acknowledging just how damaging that type of situation can be.
"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," Tara Parchment, UK and Ireland private clients manager, told the Telegraph. "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."
By Andrea Peterson
Share your opinion. Would you buy cyberbullying insurance?