Leeds-based UK General Insurance has today unveiled a new personal cyber protection product, which it says is aimed at ‘the man and woman on the street.’
Developed in partnership with the MGA’s capacity partner, Munich Re, the offering is a departure for the cyber insurance market which has been predominantly focused on corporations and mid to high net worth clients.
The rise of smartphones and social media and the continual advancement of technology has led to a significant increase in cybercrime and cyberbullying, UK General’s chief commercial officer, Matthew Schofield, told Insurance Business.
“It’s a rapidly growing area and it’s a product that’s in response to that,” Schofield said. “Our cyber product is a first in the personal lines market offering protection against certain forms of cybercrime affecting ordinary people every day. These crimes typically include online fraud, hacking and cyber bullying.”
The cyberbullying component of the product will see policyholders covered for having a specialist service provider remove online material, such as images or defamatory information. The recovery of insured data is also covered.
“Once [the information] is out there it’s typically very difficult to pull back, but the technology that we use can actually pull that back quite quickly and quite easily,” Schofield said.
As well as covering online sales and shopping fraud, policyholders are offered protection for the online theft of personal funds – which is becoming more common as phishing emails become harder to spot.
“As cybercrime gets more and more sophisticated, people are being duped into giving away their card details…these are now very sophisticated emails that you do have to stop and think twice about when you see them,” Schofield said.
“If you do give them your card details, your bank won’t cover you because you’ve given away your details. That’s when our product will respond.”
Alongside significant intelligence from Munich Re, the product was developed with the input of a focus group of brokers – resulting in a “bespoke” product that will be distributed by brokers as an add-on or stand alone.
In the future, there are plans to add extra coverage around the IoT (internet of things) as smart home technology continues to grow in popularity, and Schofield predicts that the wider personal cyber market will expand rapidly in the coming years.
“This is an exciting opportunity for UK General that addresses a growing customer need,” he said. “We’re responding with an innovative solution and believe there will be high demand for this form of protection.”