What if your child is bullied at school or online?

It's something every parent fears and while financial losses are likely not their first concern, a new insurance policy to be made available later this year will at least ease those worries.

Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance will start selling an insurance policy in October that covers up to ¥200,000 per case if a child is bullied at school or online, covering counseling fees and the costs associated with transferring schools, such as buying new uniforms and learning materials.

The insurance policy will target the schools and parent-teacher associations that already have education-related insurance contracts with Tokio Marine. Parents willing to sign up will pay an additional ¥120 per month which also includes another insurance policy that covers legal fees.

To be eligible for compensation, parents need to submit damage reports filed with the police as well as consultation results with the school.

In fiscal 2021 through March 2022, 615,351 cases of bullying were reported in elementary, junior and high schools nationwide, up 19% from the previous year and more than eight times the figure in fiscal 2011.

Most of the cases, totaling 500,562, were in elementary schools, with the figure doubling since fiscal 2016.

Many people on social media welcomed the news, but some expressed concern that the hurdles could be high for parents to receive compensation if they need to submit a report to the police.