Electronic devices and online services dominate the lives of many people in Switzerland, and many new dilemmas and fears accompany this dependency on electronics. Cyber insurance is the insurance industry’s answer to these issues.
Generali, Mobiliar, Allianz and Baloise all offer some form of personal cyber insurance. In some cases this coverage is available as a rider on household insurance policies (Mobiliar and Generali), but it is also possible to obtain cyber insurance as a stand-alone product (Baloise). Both individual and household coverage is available.
What does cyber insurance cover?
Benefits and services vary between insurance providers and policies. Swiss cyber insurance policies provide some or all of the following coverages:
1. Data loss. If a device you own and keep for personal use fails or becomes infected with malware – leading to loss of your data – the cost of attempting to salvage your data is generally covered by cyber insurance. In every case you will need to have the device analyzed and get a quote from the data restoration service provider and present this quote to the insurance company for approval. The insurance generally covers the cost of getting a quote. Baloise covers up to CHF 20,000 and Mobiliar covers up to CHF 5000 per incident.
Important: If you do not present a quote to the insurance company for approval, or if you attempt to restore data even though the device check indicated a poor chance of data retrieval, the insurance company may not cover the costs. Some insurance providers only cover the costs of services provided by specific data retrieval service providers.
2. Identity theft. If your sensitive personal information or credit card details are stolen and misappropriated, cyber insurance covers the costs incurred through fraudulent purchases made using stolen information. It also covers the costs of services needed to recover and protect your identity.
3. Legal insurance. The legal insurance which comes with cyber insurance covers legal costs associated with electronic media. If a person distributed images or videos of your person online to a public audience in violation of Swiss personal rights, the insurance may cover the costs of taking legal action – up to certain limits. The same holds true for legal processes required to recover a stolen identity or credit card information, or to bring identity thieves to trial. If you close a contract online and the other party does not fulfill their end of the bargain, cyber legal insurance may cover the cost of taking legal action against them.
Baloise cyber insurance covers up to CHF 3000 of legal costs. Mobiliar’s cyber insurance covers up to CHF 20,000 of legal costs – but requires legal interventions to be performed by a service provider of its choice. Generali provides up to CHF 10,000 of cyber legal insurance.
4. Psychiatric care. The affects of mobbing, slander, sexting and other phenomena associated with digital reputation management can take a heavy toll on your overall well being. Some cyber insurance policies cover the costs of psychiatric care, up to preset limits.
The cyber protection from Mobiliar covers up to CHF 1000 of the costs of psychiatric consultation delivered by a SBAP-certified psychologist. The Baloise cyber insurance policy covers up to CHF 3000 of the costs of psychiatric care and/or the costs of relocating to another part of Switzerland or Liechtenstein within 12 months from the time a covered incident occurs.
5. Reputation management. The cyber insurance coverage from Mobiliar covers costs associated with having content or search engine entries removed from the Internet. Baloise provides up to CHF 20,000 of coverage towards the costs of having misappropriated data altered or removed from the Internet.
What is not covered?
Cyber insurance policies come with numerous exclusions, and you should be aware of these to avoid losing coverage. For example, if you have “pirated” data on your failed device, you may not be able to claim the costs of data recovery because the content does not technically belong to you as the policyholder. The same holds true for illicit content. Online banking is generally excluded from coverage, as is the online theft of money (with the exception of fraudulent credit card use).
If you use devices or services for work or business, they normally will not be covered by personal cyber insurance. These can be covered by cyber insurance for businesses.
What does cyber insurance cost?
The costs of cyber insurance vary dramatically between policies. Annual premiums range between approximately CHF 40 and CHF 140 for an individual, depending on the policy. Family policies are also available – typically at higher premiums. You can compare the exact premiums and conditions with the cyber insurance comparison tool on moneyland.ch.
Both Baloise and Generali offer discounts when you choose terms of several years. Baloise lets you take out its Safe Pay (identity theft, credit card fraud, data theft, online shopping) and its Safe Surf (data loss, virus removal, system restoration, personal rights infringement, psychiatric care, relocation) coverage individually to avoid paying for coverage you do not need.
Is cyber insurance worth getting?
Whether or not you can benefit from cyber insurance depends on your personal habits and situation. If you use digital devices and services a lot outside of the workplace, then cyber insurance is worth a closer look.
The cost of recovering data from a hard disk or phone can easily come to several hundred francs. In relation to the relatively low annual premiums, cyber insurance has the potential to save you money
However, limits on legal coverage are somewhat low. Legal costs associated with maintaining your reputation or bringing a data thief to justice can quickly add up to tens of thousands of francs, pushing the limits of even the most generous cyber insurance policies. There is also the risk of insurers denying coverage when cases are not solely and directly linked to cyberspace. If legal costs are your primary concern, a legal insurance policy may be the better choice. You can compare legal insurance using the moneyland.ch legal insurance comparison.
Do you need cyber insurance?
Cyber insurance generally provides secondary coverage. If a hazard is already covered by another insurance policy, you will not normally be able to claim on cyber insurance. If you already have legal insurance, coverage for psychiatric care through health insurance, then you may not benefit from the coverage provided. The same holds true if your credit card comes with zero liability for fraudulent online transactions. Check the coverage provided by your current insurance policies before you take out cyber insurance to avoid paying for overlapping coverage.