Feeling unsafe amid digitisation push? Go for a cyber insurance cover

Photo: Reuters
The government’s thrust on financial digitisation has had an unwanted byproduct – a rise in cybercrime. According to recent reports, the government is planning to set up a cyber-forensic laboratory-cum-training centre for police officials in each state.

Cybercrimes have risen consistently in the past few years. According to data, 144,496 cyber attacks took place between 2014 and 2016.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) registered a total of 13,653 cases of frauds involving credit cards in 2016-17, and 12,520 cases between April and September of 2017 alone. And, with the number of financial apps increasing, more and more people are becoming vulnerable to the risk of cyber frauds.

Insurance companies, for their part, are gearing up to provide protection against cybercrimes. Recently, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance came up with a policy to protect individuals from cyber risks.

The policy covers 11 types of cyber risks, which include identity theft, malware attack, loss arising from IT theft, phishing, email spoofing, cyber extortion, and cyberstalking. Having this type of insurance cover will reduce the financial impact of such risks. Other players like Reliance General Insurance, too, are gearing up to launch these products.

Bajaj Allianz’s policy also covers expenses related to problems that arise from cyber attacks. For example, if there is prosecution involved, the policy will cover that. Online financial losses of money suffered by the policyholder due to a cyber attack are also covered in the policy up to the sum assured.

It also takes care of consultancy fees, court expenses and legal fees related to cyber attacks. “The need for insurance product is felt only after people fall prey to such incidents and losses, but recent malware attacks have alarmed customers about the extent to which cyber risks can grow,” says Sasikumar Adidamu, chief technical officer, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.

Suresh Sadagopan, the founder of Ladder7, a financial advisory company, says that this cover will protect a person from the financial fallout arising out of a cyber attack and cyber frauds.

The sum insured for the cover ranges from Rs 100,000 to Rs10 million and the premiums range from Rs 662 to Rs 8,933, respectively. Limits are applicable to all types of covers. For email spoofing, a maximum of 15 per cent is covered. In case of phishing and IT theft, a loss up to 25 per cent is covered.

All other covers have a limit of up to 10 per cent, and only one kind of claim can be raised at a time. “There can be a problem in establishing the genuineness of claims. Estimating the amount of damage is another challenge in such policies,” says Naval Goel, founder & chief executive officer, PolicyX.

This kind of policy is especially meant for people who are avid users of the internet and mobile phones for all their financial and official transactions. It will help them get some compensation if important documents are leaked, leading to prosecution, or if there is a financial loss. It is certainly ideal for senior management of companies travelling a lot and using a number of apps or emails for various transactions.  

The exclusions include non-payment if the attack was intentional, a fraud, or a dishonest or malicious act. The policy also doesn’t cover any attacks that a policyholder might have faced prior to buying the policy, nor does it cover the loss of personal data or pictures. “The best way for an individual to continue to enjoy the benefits of continuous technological advances and still stay protected from risks is to opt for a cyber insurance cover,” says Rakesh Jain, CEO, Reliance General Insurance.