Hike in cybercrimes: Insurance firms eye to cover more individuals

Many people are unaware of cyber insurance plans

hacker-cyber-crime (File) Representational image

With remote working in place due to the COVID-19 crisis, there has also been an unprecedented hike in cybercrime cases. The rise in the number of cybercrimes could be attributed to increased digitisation and e-commerce transactions. The risk of falling a victim to such fraudulent activities necessitated the need to have cybercrime insurance.

ICICI Lombard General Insurance, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance and HDFC ERGO are some of the prominent players who are offering cybercrime insurance in India, with specialised products. Bajaj Allianz General Insurance was one of the first firms to introduce it for individuals in the country.

“A lot more people need to buy this insurance policy; it is under-penetrated in the country. It needs to see more traction as cybercrimes are increasing in recent times. Meanwhile, it has seen good traction in the corporate segment, but not in the individual space. Individual cybercrime cover insurance products need to be marketed more in the country to see traction in the future. Many individuals do not even know about such products,” Oorjitha Lath, independent consultant and trainer, specialty insurance, and additional director, JK Risk Insurance, told THE WEEK.

Very recently, ICICI Lombard General Insurance had announced the launch of its Retail Cyber Liability Insurance policy. This policy gives cover to individuals and their families against any cyber frauds or digital risks that could result in a financial loss and taint in reputation. The retail cyber insurance product is a form of insurance that protects individuals against losses due to various factors, including online theft and unauthorised transactions.

This product includes protection against identity theft, cyber bullying, cyber extortion, malware intrusion, financial loss due to unauthorised and fraudulent use of bank account, credit card and mobile wallet frauds, and legal expenses arising out of any covered risk. ICICI Lombard has also included claims for newer threats such as damage to reputation and restoring digital reputation which would involve removal of the harmful publication from the internet. Besides, it covers individual losses, including the wage a person may have earned if not for the cybercrime which one may have faced.

This policy can be purchased for a premium that ranges from Rs 6.5 per day to Rs 65 per day. The sum insured for the cover ranges from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 crore. The policy provides coverage to the entire family, including children for a duration of one year.

“We are living in a digital world where data is being engendered, transmitted and deposited every nanosecond. Today, data is gold. And, to protect it is paramount. While we live a digital life, the risks of cyber attacks have also grown exponentially. We have introduced this product at a time when everybody is working remotely, using social media and net banking and is digitally active,” said Sanjay Datta, chief, Claims, Underwriting and Reinsurance, at ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

HDFC ERGO has introduced E@Secure that offers protection against cyber risks and frauds carried out from any device and from any location worldwide. Different cyber risks, such as unauthorised online transactions, phishing and email spoofing, e-extortion, identity theft, damage to e-reputation and cyber bullying are covered in the policy. The policy also pays for legal cost and expenses and legal advice sought by the insured in case of a legal dispute arising out of specified risks covered in the policy.

This policy also covers the entire family as children are also increasingly present on social media and susceptible to online stalking or harassment. The policy covers the expenses incurred on counselling sessions with a psychologist due to the stress one may undergo as a result of cyber bullying or harassment. The sum assured for the cover ranges from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 crore.

The Bajaj Allianz Individual Cyber Safe Insurance Policy provides insurance cover to an individual to pay for losses that could arise due to cyber attacks and covers aspects such as identity theft, cyber stalking, IT theft, malware, phishing, and e-mail spoofing among others. Any person above the age of 18 can buy this policy and the plans usually start from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore.

In case a cybercrime is discovered, the insured person has to give a notice to the company within seven days of the event and not later than 14 days. Additionally, one will need to fill in a claims form and submit a copy of a FIR from the police and the cyber cell along with transaction details in case of correspondence with a financial institution, besides other documents as per the requirement of the insurance company.