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Real-life hack attack highlights need for personal cyber insurance

Getting hacked is so simple, it’s no surprise it’s such a regular occurrence.

Australian journalist Karen Maley has written about her personal experience of having her identity stolen.

She made an online purchase from a site she was unaware was insecure and hackers accessed her credit card details and made unauthorised purchases. She contacted the bank, which blocked the card and she thought that was the end of the matter.

But the hackers had also accessed her personal Hotmail account and, unaware of that, she emailed her driver’s licence to a real estate agent seeking ID for a property sale.

Once they had a credit card and a driver’s licence, the criminals proceeded to set up a string of buy now, pay later accounts in her name. She then started getting requests for payment and threats of debt collection from accounts she had never opened but were controlled by crooks borrowing funds in her name!

As a victim of fraud, the journalist contacted police, had to get a new driver’s licence, close her Hotmail account, and contact a credit bureau to ask for her credit file and request they block any further credit inquiries.

She described the anguish of being “deeply entangled in this murky financial nightmare”.

“One of the most dispiriting aspects of this whole experience has been the abysmal asymmetry between the ease with which one can obtain a buy now, pay later loan, and the arduous and time-consuming process of disentangling oneself from their net,” she wrote in The Australian Financial Review.

The solution

Had the journalist purchased an Emergence Personal Cyber Protection policy, she could have avoided the pain and anguish.

The policy protects individuals and families against the costly ramifications of cyber events, including hacking, ransomware, identity theft, cyber bullying, and personal financial loss.

Emergence’s personal cyber protection insurance provides broad coverage, affordable cover (starting at $99 a year), and a simple, 30-second online transaction to purchase the cover via a broker’s website.

Emergence is the only cyber underwriter offering a standalone Personal Cyber Protection policy and it is available only through brokers.

Personal cyber insurance gives insureds access to professionals who can help re-establish credit histories after ID theft, provide credit monitoring services, and some legal costs. In the journalist’s case, they would have managed the process of obtaining new ID, cancelling credit cards, and contacting credit bureaus.

The policy also provides professional advice on cyber bullying and a wage replacement benefit and child-minding costs, while parents and carers devote time to managing cyber bullying incidents.

The policy is available only to individuals and families; Emergence has a range of cyber insurance products available to protect businesses.

If you would like to market the Emergence Personal Cyber Protection policy, Emergence has a quick onboarding process for brokers to access the Personal Cyber Express gateway. Request access here.

You can create your own branded portal that takes your clients to a co-branded site to easily obtain their Personal Cyber Protection policy and make payment through a secure gateway.

Emergence is an award-winning underwriting agency, exclusively focused on providing flexible, innovative cyber insurance solutions to help protect all Australians, including businesses ranging from SMEs to ASX-listed companies, and individuals and families.

Emergence was judged the 2019 Insurance Business magazine Underwriting Agency of the Year and was a finalist in that category for 2021.

In 2021, Emergence was awarded Insurance Business’s Brokers Pick for the sixth time in seven years and won its fourth consecutive gold medal in the Cyber & IT category of the magazine’s brokers on underwriting agencies awards.

To access the broker portal to obtain Emergence cyber quotations for your clients, email

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