Cyberbullying: Chubb offers UK 'troll' insurance against digital threats

Having a difficult time on Twitter or harassed on Facebook? Chubb may help.

US insurance company Chubb is offering UK residents the chance to sign up for a new kind of personal insurance which also protects consumers from cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying has been a long-standing problem in the online community. Wrapped under the guise of anonymity, some individuals will launch hate campaigns against others rather than confront them in the physical realm, whether it be Facebook messaging and posts, tweets or campaigns designed to smear their reputation.

While some examples of cyberbullying are rooted in personal conflicts, other types, such as "trolling," can also encompass hate messages, never-ending public abuse on forums and even scenarios such as "swatting" for very little reason.

Swatting, for example, is a trend among teenage gamers. The troll in question would file an anonymous police report against another gamer and hope the SWAT team would raid their rival's home as they livestream their play.

However, trolling is being taken more seriously than ever, with a 15-year-old recently sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for "swatting" another player, which is now considered "domestic terrorism."

When cyberbullying and trolling can lead to a fear for personal safety, the destruction of reputations and psychological damage, insurance can now play a part to help rectify the situation.

US insurance firm Chubb has taken the step to include online threats against a person as part of their personal insurance policies offered to UK residents. As reported by the Financial Times, Chubb will give customers up to £50,000 ($75,000) towards everything from professional help and therapy to covering time off work in the case of particularly nasty cyberbullying campaigns.

While the policy is aimed at concerned parents, adults can enjoy a payout, too.

The company may also hire specialist companies to clean up your reputation after an attack or hire forensic experts to track down the source of online abuse, as long as there are three or more incidents of online bullying by either a single person or group of people.

In cases where policyholders feel there is a real threat to their person -- such as when address details are punted across the Web -- the company may also cover some of your relocation costs. If customers lose their jobs or are wrongfully arrested because of online harassment, they may be entitled to compensation.

From 1 January 2016, customers can opt-in for the new 'troll' insurance, which enriches the company's current coverage for digital issues, such as identity theft.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Tara Parchment, Chubb's UK and Ireland private clients manager said:

"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.

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 sold insurance claims worth £612 million in the UK last year, and was recently bought by Zurich-based rival firm ACE for £18.6 billion, in one of the biggest insurance firm takeovers to date.

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