Parents can now take out insurance to protect their children from the rising scourge of cyberbullying.
iTOO – a collective of industry-leading experts across a range of special risk insurance – is offering cyberbullying cover of up to R50 000, which includes a Trauma Benefit of R5 000.
“Cyberbullying is alarmingly prevalent in South Africa and severely affects thousands of adolescents and teens on a daily basis,” says Candice Sutherland, Cyber Insurance Underwriter at specialist risk insurer iTOO.
“Children’s access to electronic devices and the internet has created the unfortunate risk of online abuse, which can have profound health and psychological impact on the victim.”
She says iTOO insurance cover assists in alleviating the reasonable financial burden incurred for the treatment of emotional trauma by a licensed professional, as a direct result of cyberbullying, cyberstalking, or publication of harmful material.
The cover also includes additional school costs of R5 000 for school fees, school uniforms, and educational material, should a licensed physician or psychologist determine that an insured child needs to be placed in an alternate school.
“In addition, cyberbullying insurance also covers the fees, costs, and expenses to remove the relevant online material and costs to pursue legal action against the third party who committed the cyberbullying or cyberstalking,” says Sutherland.
She adds that iTOO will cover the costs for an expert to manage and protect your reputation, will make an upfront financial payment to you for the treatment of emotional trauma and the costs to move your child to a different school, if required.
“With the increasing number of people falling victim to cyberbullying daily in South Africa, it is clearly evident why cyberbullying insurance cover is becoming key to enabling victims to fight back against those who take to the internet to abuse others,” Sutherland concludes.
The proliferation of technology and social media was found to have given rise to the scourge of cyberbullying.
In 2018, a study found that South Africa tops the list in terms of the overall highest incidence of cyberbullying.
Marketing group Ipsos, interviewed 20 793 people from 28 countries, found that more than half (54%) of South African parents know of a child in their community experiencing cyberbullying, which is a substantially larger percentage than the overall average of 33%.
The study also showed that in the majority of cases (51%), cyberbullying was carried out by a child’s classmate, while for South African parents this figure stood at 67%.
Other perpetrators included other youths who were strangers to the victims (29%), familiar adults (15%) and unknown adults (14%).