Cyber insurance is now commonplace in the commercial sector, particularly the top end of town.
Claims can be expensive and the ramifications, including reputational damage, devastating.
But individuals and families are also at risk and, in an Australian first, underwriting agency and cyber specialist Emergence Insurance has launched a standalone personal cyber protection policy.
The policy protects individuals and families against the ramifications of cyber crimes, including identity theft, fraud and online scams, cyber bullying, and financial theft.
With 22 million internet users, 33 million mobile phone connections and 18 million active social media users, Australians are vulnerable.
Emergence’s personal cyber protection gives them broad coverage, affordable cover, starting at $99 a year, and an easy, 30-second transaction for insurance brokers.
Troy Filipcevic, Emergence founder and CEO, told a webinar attended by more than 1,500 brokers that internet usage is now a daily habit and all family members are using a wide range of smart devices.
The risks have increased dramatically in the Covid-19 pandemic, with statistics showing an 80% growth in ecommerce since the World Health Organisation’s declaration that Covid-19 was a pandemic.
“The pandemic has supercharged online shopping and we’re using digital technology to find efficiencies and communicate, but criminals are also using the technology to scam people and steal their identities,” Troy said. There’s also been a 40% increase in cyber bullying.
“We remember to safeguard physical assets – we lock doors and keep our wallets secure. But what about access to digital assets?”
Troy said 22% of the population had been victims of ID theft and Australians lost $634 million in online scams in 2019.
The personal cyber protection policy gives insureds access to professionals to assist in re-establishing credit histories after ID theft and reclaiming stolen funds.
The policy also provides professional advice on cyber bullying and a wage replacement benefit, and even child-minding costs, while parents and carers devote time to managing cyber bullying incidents.
Jeff Gonlin, Emergence’s Head of Underwriting & Product Development, told the webinar the more smart devices households used, the greater their “attack surface”.
The policy does not cover business enterprises, including home businesses. Emergence’s suite of commercial cyber policies covers those risks.
Gerry Power, National Head of Sales, said there was a range of measures available to safeguard individuals and families online, including using two-factor authorisation; identifying scam messages; using strong passwords; and not using public wi-fi connections.
Emergence is an award-winning underwriting agency, exclusively focused on providing flexible, innovative cyber insurance solutions to help protect Australians, including businesses ranging from SMEs to ASX-listed companies, and individuals and families.
Emergence was judged the 2019 Insurance Business magazine Underwriting Agency of the Year and is a finalist in that category for 2020. Emergence was a finalist in the same category at the 2019 ANZIIF-Asia Insurance Review awards. (There are no ANZIIF-AIR awards in 2020.)