StarHub launches insurance plan to help customers deal with e-commerce issues

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SINGAPORE – Customers who don’t receive items they buy online can take advantage of an insurance plan launched by telco StarHub to cover their losses.

Known as CyberCover, the insurance will also pay for costs related to identity theft and cyberbullying.

While there are other personal cyber insurance plans, StarHub’s initiative, which is underwritten by Chubb Insurance and touted as a first for a telco in Singapore, also covers unauthorized transactions made with payment cards.

“Cybercrimes are on the rise, and as cases hit closer to home, we want to give our customers peace of mind knowing that StarHub will be there to help them get back on their feet during tough times,” said said Mr. Johan Buse, who heads StarHub’s consumer business group, in the telecom operator’s statement on Friday (February 4).

Items purchased online that are not delivered or do not match the seller’s description will be covered up to $750.

The insurance will also cover unauthorized transactions made with payment cards such as debit and credit cards, also capped at $750.

For cyberbullying and identity theft, the plan will pay up to $8,500 to cover legal fees and up to $1,000 for counseling fees to help victims deal with trauma.

Victims of identity theft can also claim the costs incurred to recover their stolen digital identities.

For example, victims can claim up to $1,000 to cover loss of personal income caused by taking time off work to restore or correct their identity records.

However, StarHub’s plan does not cover someone who is scammed into transferring money from a bank account directly to fraudsters, or those who purchase items in exchange for future commissions or refunds that are never paid – a common tactic in employment scams.

StarHub customers will have to pay $9.99 per month each for coverage. To cover yourself and immediate family members living at the same address, it will cost $12.99 per month.

Coverage renews on a monthly basis, but claim limits under the plan are for a rolling 12 month period.

Chubb’s National Chairman for Singapore, Kevin Bogardus, said there had been an increase in digital consumption amid the Covid-19 pandemic, with users spending more time on social media platforms and engaging more in digital payments.

“As the digital footprint grows, so does the likelihood of exposure to cyber risks,” he added.

Personal cyber insurance policies are nothing new here.

For example, for $107 per year, the insurer Etiqa covers costs up to $25,000 in total for all situations of cyberfraud or extortion, identity theft as well as the restoration of lost or corrupted data. by a cyberattack.

American Express — also in partnership with Chubb — offers plans that include coverage for up to $15,000 in legal expenses for identity theft and cyberbullying situations.

Customers must pay an annual premium of up to $96 for an individual or up to $144 for a family.

Cybercrimes have been in the headlines lately.

In a series of phishing scams targeting OCBC Bank customers that began in December 2021, 790 people lost a total of around $13.7 million.

The bank said last month it had made arrangements for “full goodwill payments” with all the victims.

Separately, the victims lost at least $120,000 in total last month due to a scam involving a text message that claimed there were problems with recipients’ credit or debit cards.

Victims were tricked into providing their card details and a one-time password in order to “fix” alleged problems with their cards, police said in a statement.

Fraudulent transactions were then made on their credit or debit cards.

According to Straits Times audits, scam victims have lost more than $965 million since 2016, including a record $268.4 million in total in 2020.

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