UK General Insurance, the Leeds-based specialist and niche personal lines insurance provider, is launching a new product, personal cyber protection insurance.
The product, which has been developed in partnership with UK General’s capacity partner Munich Re and will be distributed via brokers, is one of the first in the market to be offered to ordinary members of the public. Until recently, cyber has focused on corporations and mid to high net worth policyholders.
UK General’s chief commercial officer, Matthew Schofield said: “Our cyber product is a first in the personal lines market offering protection against certain forms of cybercrime affecting ordinary people everyday. These crimes typically include online fraud, hacking and cyber bullying.”
Matthew explained that smartphones and social media have caused a significant rise in cyber bullying. A recent survey carried out by ditchthelabel.com found that 41% of the 12-20 year olds who took part in their bullying survey had had rumours posted about them online.
34% had received and unpleasant comment which was posted on their photo and 68% had been sent a nasty private message. The NSPCC says 1.26m children experience cyber bullying on a daily basis.
The recent spike in virtual crime sees impersonation and deception scams peak online. In 2016 fraudulent activity resulted in financial losses of £432.3m in the UK alone. In 2011 this value was approximately half at £220.9m1. UK General’s cyber product provides peace of mind in case of personal financial loss.
Matthew said: “This is an exciting opportunity for UK General that addresses a growing customer need. We’re responding with an innovative solution and believe there will be high demand for this form of protection.”
Tim Marshall, the lead underwriter for Munich Re for the personal lines cyber product said: “Insurance for cyber has focused on the corporate sector and high net worth individuals, but
we believe it is important for ordinary people to be able to benefit from this form of protection. Cyber bullying and other crimes such as fraud respects no boundaries, and many thousands of ordinary people have been affected by fraudsters, criminals and bullies.”
Tim said that there are plans to add extra cover in IoT (internet of things) in due course as smart home tech continues to grow in popularity.
The launch of personal lines cyber product will further expand UK General’s product portfolio. Building out its product portfolio is a key part of the company’s 2020 growth strategy.
Available via brokers as an add-on or stand alone, this product protects the whole household in the event of certain forms of cyber-attack. Among the five elements of cover included are recovery of insured data and loss from cyber bullying or defamation which are two highly valuable protections not yet available in the personal lines cyber market.
Arc Legal launched cyber cover for HNW (High Net Worth) consumers back in January 2018, and iSmartSupport Group also offer UK brokers a white label cyber solution, which can be branded for customers.