You probably don’t need cyberbullying insurance


When you own a $300,000 purse, a million dollar watch, a custom car or a collection of Picassos, you need insurance. But what about if your beloved pet is hurt is a bizarre accident, or if you are the victim of online bullying? Well, there is a policy for that too.

So-called “endorsements,” policy add-ons in insurance speak, have become big business for insurance companies looking to cash in on relatively low risk scenarios.

Say you are planning to yacht to Rio de Janeiro for the Summer Olympics, your yachting insurance may not cover it, according to the New York Times. That’s because most insurance is limited to specific navigable waters, meaning you’ll want to expand your coverage. But it’s in the realm of “lifestyle”-related risks that the waters become murky. Experts say that most of the time they are redundant or unlikely to be used.

Take for example, insurance against psychological damage from online bullying. Chubb Personal Risk Services added it to a suite of coverage that includes carjacking, hijacking, child abduction, stalking, home invasion and air or road rage. However, the plan does not provide coverage if your child is the bully. That would need to be covered under an excess liability policy.

“Only one in 10 teens tells a parent if they’ve been a cyberbully victim,” Mark Galante, chief marketing officer of Pure Insurance, told the Times. “We need to do more to create conversations around these incidents than creating products that aren’t necessarily going to help people reclaim their lives.”

“Cyberbullying or cybersecurity or enhanced fraud protection or travel insurance — they’re all good things to have,” Jonathan Crystal, executive vice president of Crystal & Company, an insurance broker, added. “But they’re part of a broader effort for insurance companies to differentiate themselves. That’s going to go against what clients need, which is something tailored to them.”