Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

British Firm Now Offering 'Troll Insurance'

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

British Firm Now Offering 'Troll Insurance'

Article excerpt

A high-end insurance company in the United Kingdom is now offering a "troll insurance" policy designed to cover expenses that result from being cyberbullied, as well as offering counseling and teams of online sleuths to track down anonymous trolls and bring them to justice.

While Chubb Insurance in Britain is not the first to offer troll- related insurance - AIG's Lexington Insurance Company holds that distinction with a policy protecting parents of would-be trolls from lawsuits - this policy is the first to offer policies to the victims, the Financial Times reports.

Chubb's clients may claim up to $76,000 in expenses for counseling, moving home from college, and work leave. In extreme cases the policies also offer the service of a team to repair an online reputation, and a cyber team equipped to track down anonymous trolls.

"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, Chubb's 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," she said. "But increasingly it's about the person and how they cope."

A 2014 Lexington Innovation Report concluded that, "At least 25 percent of teenagers with tech access report being cyberbullied -- and that number is growing. With this rise in cyberbullying has come a significant increase in cyberbullying cases in federal and state courts."

Sameer Hinduja, professor of criminology and criminal justice at Florida Atlantic University and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center says in an interview, "What our research is showing with kids and young adults is that while cyberbullying isn't increasing but it isn't decreasing either. That's the problem. It's hanging in there."

Dr. Hinduja notes that Chubb's intended clients are wealthy families, but he questions the effectiveness of such policies. …

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