John Lewis is now offering specialist home insurance customers cover for cyber-fraud up to a value of £50,000.
Customers of John Lewis Specialist Cover for high value homes will now have the protection added automatically to their policies.
The cover includes push payment fraud - when people are tricked by a fraudster into authorising a payment to be made to another account.
Unlike credit card scams, victims of authorised push payment fraud have not been entitled to the same level of protection. Banks frequently refuse to refund victims of this type of scam on the grounds that they authorised the transaction.
In order to claim, policy holders will have to prove that money has been taken from their account as a result of a fraudulent communication such as an email.
John Lewis also says that before claiming you must have first attempted to recover the money from the bank or financial institution it was transferred out of.
Mike Jackson, partner and director of financial services at John Lewis & Partners, says: “Cyber crime is incredibly distressing and can have devastating consequences on finances. Should our customers fall foul of this upsetting crime, they can have confidence we will support them through it.”
Figures from UK Finance show that during the first half of 2018 consumers lost £145.4 million because of authorised push payment scams, while just £31 million was returned.
Push payment fraud criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated, frequently posing as someone who has been employed by the victim, such as a builder of solicitor.
The criminals then send the victim a fake invoice to get them to send money to a bank account controlled by the fraudster.
Chris King, head of home insurance at comparethemarket, says: “Cybercrime poses a growing threat to households, so it is encouraging to see that insurance providers are taking the issue seriously. John Lewis’s Specialist Home Insurance Policy seems comprehensive, in that it offers cover for restoring home systems as a result of a cyber attack and also covers cybercrime, offering help if you’re a victim of fraud or identity theft.
"Whilst everyone has a responsibility to look after their own devices, having the peace of mind that your insurer offers professional assistance and expert help if something goes wrong will be invaluable for many customers.
"Cybersecurity protection is still fairly limited across the general insurance market. If you are planning on taking out a policy, it is important to read the terms and conditions carefully.
"They may include important stipulations and requirements for making a claim, such as reporting the cyber event to the police within 14 days and getting a crime reference number."
Cybercrime covered as standard?
The new policy cover comes as a part of the John Lewis Specialist Home Insurance Policy, a policy designed for higher-value properties. But the move could see other insurers follow suit if consumer demand for such cover is proven.
Saga also launched cybercrime cover for customers last year to help guard customers against fraud and scams.
However, the policy only covers the legal expenses relating to cybercrime and does not pay out on stolen money.
The cover is available as an add-on to its home contents insurance policy and costs £27.50.
Saga says it will restore all electronic devices to the state they were in before to the cyber-attack and it will also cover the cost of a 12-month subscription for credit monitoring after the attack.