Multinational insurance provider Chubb is offering its UK customers protection against online harassment. The company’s ‘troll insurance’ will pay out up to £50,000 (around $75,000) in claims toward physical relocation, counseling, lost income (if people are off work for a week or more), and help from online experts for victims of cyberbullying and their families.
The policy also covers the cost of hiring a reputation management team to deal with any online smears. It can even help pay for digital forensic specialists to track down the anonymous perpetrator(s); at which point it’s assumed the police will be informed, rather than some kind of vigilante action taking place.
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 reports.
The policy is primarily aimed at parents whose children may be suffering from persistent cyberbullying, but adults who lose their jobs or are falsely arrested as the result of online harassment are also covered.
"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, UK and Ireland private clients manager. "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."
Chubb said the policy was introduced as a result of “extensive research” into the type of protection its wealthy customers wanted, according to The Telegraph.
This policy obviously covers only the most extreme cases of persistent trolling, where the victims suffer psychological trauma or become fearful for their safety and are forced to move homes. In the US, some insurers offer household insurance that helps a customer if they are sued for online harassment. Chubb’s policy is thought to be the first of its kind that provides support to the victims, rather than the alleged perpetrators.
The changes will apply to policy renewals from January 1, and have covered new business since November.