Insurance being sold against bullying

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Insurance being sold against bullying

As the issue of school bullying rages following the suicide of a 13-year-old boy in Daegu, consumer interest is growing for private sector insurance policies that guarantee monetary compensation for schoolchildren fallen victim to violence.

Insurers say customer calls and queries about such policies have skyrocketed since the suicide of the bullied Daegu teen on Dec. 20 made national headlines, although there hasn’t been a substantial jump in policies purchased.

Most of these policies have been around for at least a year, offering some kind of monetary compensation for injuries sustained in several different types of violence young people can encounter, such as bullying, sexual assault or kidnapping.

General insurance companies such as sector leader Hyundai Marine & Fire, Samsung Fire & Marine, Dongbu Fire & Marine and Heungkuk Fire & Marine all offer some form of related coverage.

For example, Hyundai Marine & Fire’s “HI-Life Good & Good Children’s CI Insurance” policy provides up to 3 million won ($2,613) to young victims of physical or sexual assault, plus 150,000 won per day for the guardians of a child kidnapped for more than three days and up to 90.

Meritz Fire & Marine’s “Children’s Growth Insurance M-Kids” policy also offers up to 3 million won for treatment received by kids who fall victim to violence in hagwons or by human traffickers.

Heungkuk Fire & Marine offers a maximum coverage of 3 million won for younger victims of violent theft as well as physical assault, while “The Plus Love Insurance” policy offered by Heungkuk Fire & Marine Insurance provides up to 5 million won should the young victim need plastic surgery for injuries sustained during an assault.

“The coverage for assault comes in the form of a special clause in the contract that the customer selects on top of the basic coverage, which covers ailments or other health issues,” said Lee Min-jung, a spokesperson for Heungkuk Fire & Marine Insurance.

“There is no conceivable way to recompense the physical and mental anguish a child suffers,” said a Dongbu Fire & Marine spokesperson, “but the policies could provide some material help.”


By Lee Jung-yoon [joyce@joongang.co.kr]

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