Individual cybersecurity insurance

Mon 17 Sep 2018 00:00:00 UTC

Individual cybersecurity insurance

Individual cyber insurance

The news in recent times has become dominated by a form of attack that is new to our times: Digital(or cyber) attacks. Cybersecurity is something that was something only businesses worried about before; they had a wealth of data and a lot more money, so they were targeted. However, nowadays, most banking/investment transactions are done online, your entire identity is linked to aadhar, which can be accessed digitally, and online services and social media are everywhere.

This prominence which online services and social media have in our lives has led individuals to worry: Is my information, my identity and my money really safe?

Cybercrime in india

One estimate puts the rate of cybercrime in India as 1 every 10 minutes. There have been 30,000 reported cases in the past 6 months alone in india. India adds 100 million(10 crore) new internet users every year, and by 2021, around 700 million users are predicted to have internet access in some form or other.

The government is also bringing its services online, and pushing for the integration of UIDAI(aadhar) into every service, as an easy KYC norm. Services such as utilities bill payments, taxes etc are already available online, and their utilisation is also predicted to increase.

This increased activity places Indians at increased risk of being targeted by hackers/scammers etc.

India is the second largest online market, and the need for security against cyber crime is only going to increase exponentially.

Retail cyber insurance

This is where retail cyber insurance comes in. It offers an individual (and, optionally, their family) cover against hacking of bank accounts/investment accounts, identity theft, email scams/fraud, and also cover from the psychological and sociological harm caused by online harassment and bullying.

There are very few insurers who offer retail cyber insurance today. This article talks about HDFC Ergo's product, but mostly the benefits are common across all the products. You can buy retail cyber insurance online here. The cover is a fairly recent release, and provides the following benefits:

Unauthorised online transactions

The policy will protect you from any unauthorised online transactions made from your accounts/cards. The insurer will:

* Indemnify you for the unauthorized online transaction
* Reimburse your expenses to resolve the breach with the banks
* Reimburse your unpaid leave to take time off work(if any) to rectify credit records
Terms & Conditions
  • In case of reimbursement by the bank for the transaction, this policy will not pay out.
  • Cash from the account, or advances made through the stolen bank account and/or credit/debit cards are not covered
  • You must lodge an FIR within 72 hours upon discovery of breach
  • You must notify bank or credit / debit card and/or E-wallets provider within 72 hours
  • You will have to provide evidence that the bank is not reimbursing
  • You will have to provide evidence of lost wages(in case you are claiming unpaid leave)
  • Covered upto full sum insured limit

Identity Theft

This benefit protects you from cases where someone has stolen your identity to use for financial purposes.

The policy pays expenses for

* rectifying credit records with bank or the authorities
* unpaid leave to take time off work
* a consulting psychologist if need be
Terms & Conditions:
  • Expenses incurred (e.g. loan application fees, telephone charges etc) 6 months after the expiry of the cover are not covered.
  • You must lodge an FIR within 72 hours upon discovery
  • You must notify bank or credit / debit card issuer within 72 hours upon discovery
  • You will have to provide evidence of lost wages
  • Covered up to 25% of sum insured

This benefit covers legal advice, and costs incurred to defend or pursue any legal action.

  • Insurer must agree that the claim is covered under the policy
  • Jurisdiction is in India only, and event/claim must both happen during policy period
  • Covered up to 255 of sum insured

Reputation damage

Any defamatory content intent on harassing you and affecting your reputation is claimable under the policy.

The policy will reimburse you for the expenses incurred

* To services of IT specialist to remove and suppress the content
* For consultation with a psychologist
  • Any loss that occurs within the first 45 days of the inception of the policy is excluded
  • Any non – digital media (e.g. In print), radio and TV broadcast is not covered
  • Damage caused by a Journalist is not covered
  • Any legal proceedings prior to commencement of this cover and consequences thereof are not covered
  • You must lodge an FIR within 72 hours upon discovering the harmful publication.
  • Covered up to full sum insured limit.


Extortion through online medium is a major risk and is covered under this policy.The policy will indemnify and reimburse

* value of any fund or property surrender as an extortion payment
* cost of professionals engaged in investigating the cause
Terms & Conditions:
  • Any loss that occurs within the first 45 days of the inception is not covered
  • Claim, legitimate demand or even confiscation of assets by government or any regulatory authority is not covered.
  • You must lodge an FIR within 72 hours upon receiving the extortion threat
  • You must keep the existence of insurance completely confidential.
  • Covered upto 10% of sum insured

Cyber bullying

Online harassment and bullying is becoming increasingly common, and it is important to take measures to control this in case something happens. This policy will cover

* Expenses for obtaining injunctive relief
* Expenses for a consulting psychologist
Terms & Conditions
  • Any event that occurs within the first 45 days of the inception is not covered
  • Any bullying/harassment claim on non digital media is excluded
  • Any act of government / authority putting the Insured under surveillance cannot be used to claim.
  • Any legal proceedings prior to commencement of this cover are not covered
  • You must lodge an FIR detailing the perpetrators to trigger a claim.
  • Covered up to 10% of sum insured

Phishing and email spoofing

Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, password and credit card details (and money), by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

This could include disguise as a genuine e-mail, or a genuine website. A retail cyber policy will cover you for the loss of money resulting directly due to phishing and email spoofing.

Terms & Conditions
  • Someone spoofing you into making a wrong Illegal transaction e.g., bribes, commissions etc. is not covered
  • Phishing resulting in revelation of personal information including passwords is not covered
  • Any payments or charges toward lottery or other similar unsolicited promises or dishonest incentives is not covered.
  • You must lodge an FIR within 72 hours upon discovery of loss
  • Email spoofing proof is required to establish the reason for payment
  • phishing covered up to 15% of sum insured, and email spoofing upto 25% of sum insured

In a time where the security concerns behind hacking of aadhar data and of online threats are high, it is highly recommended to get a cover for yourself or your family