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Cyber Security

Should you consider personal cyber insurance?

Mar 19, 2024 | By: Mahan Azimi, Senior Policy Advisor, IBC
Should you consider personal cyber insurance?

During tax season, many Canadians receive an email or text claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) with an ominous message about owing money and a warrant issued for their arrest. During the holidays, notifications of non-deliverable packages become a daily occurrence. Recipients are urged to click a link to learn more about the supposed purchase that might be lost forever.

These are just two of the many ways Canadians are losing money to online fraud. The scammers behind the phony CRA messages hope you panic and provide them with your personal information, including name, birth date and social insurance number, which can be used to open accounts and take out loans in your name. The bogus delivery service wants you to click on a link to a fake website to capture your password or credit card details and perhaps install malware on your device.

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, there were 41,111 reported victims of fraud in 2023, with a total loss of $554 million – up from $531 million the previous year. While your home insurance will cover items stolen during a break-in, loss from cyber crime is a different story.

In the past few years, cyber threats have skyrocketed, driving many businesses to protect themselves with cyber insurance. But as cyber criminals are increasingly targeting individuals through their internet-connected devices, it is becoming just as important to protect yourself and your family from cyber threats. In response, insurance companies are offering personal cyber insurance, a relatively new product designed to protect individuals and families from these online risks.

What does it cover?

Personal cyber insurance can cover most forms of cyber attacks, such as theft through a network, computer or digital device and having digital property destroyed, altered or shared. Victims may be reimbursed for losses and expenses associated with recovering from the attack.

These expenses can include restoring data and systems after a malware attack, hiring professionals to manage extortion demands or threats, and fees incurred from identify theft, such as replacing identification documents and credit monitoring.

Who should consider personal cyber?

While anyone could experience a cyber attack, a cyber policy may be even more critical under a few circumstances.

Families with young children may consider cyber protection as it may cover costs from being cyber bullied, including counselling, legal costs, social media monitoring and other expenses to help a child recover.

Does my home insurance cover cyber risks?

While a standard home insurance policy may cover certain types of fraud, it likely will not cover the full cost of a cyber incident.

Prevention is the first line of defence

Cyber insurance can be an effective way to help mitigate the impact of cyber crime on individuals or a business, and it should be considered as part of an overall risk mitigation strategy. The Government of Canada has free resources to help individuals learn more about online risks and ways they can protect themselves, such as:

Small business owners interested in learning more about cyber insurance can access IBC’s resources at

If you would like to learn more about cyber risks and personal cyber coverage, contact your insurance representative.

About This Author

Mahan Azimi leads the cyber risk portfolio at Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). He coordinates IBC’s Cyber Working Group, which is composed of senior industry leaders, and is dedicated to advancing policy solutions to foster a sustainable cyber insurance ecosystem within Canada. Mahan also leads work on strategic planning and disaster risk and serves on IBC’s commercial insurance team.

Prior to joining IBC in 2021, he held positions in the federal government and private sector consulting.  Mahan holds a master’s degree in political science from York University and a bachelor of arts from the University of Toronto.