One of South Korea’s largest insurance companies is to begin offering a policy for victims of school bullies, as part of a government campaign to stamp out the problem.
The policy from Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance will likely debut in March, a company spokesman said on Thursday.
“The priority isn’t really on making money with this product, but more on providing a public service that helps build up social security networks,” he said.
As well as bullying, other policies will be introduced offering protection to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and food adulteration – or what President Park Geun-Hye has collectively condemned as the “four social evils” afflicting the country.
According to the state regulatory Financial Services Commission (FSC), the bullying policy will help cover costs for physical injuries as well as counselling fees for those traumatised by school violence.
Monthly premiums would be a maximum of 20,000 won ($A20.25), but the FSC said it would raise joint funds with municipalities to pay premiums for those unable to afford them.
According to a survey conducted by the Education Ministry last year, more than 77,000 school students of all ages said they had been bullied, with nearly 10 per cent of those saying they had considered suicide.
Nearly 140 South Korean school students killed themselves in 2012, mostly as the result of family problems, exam stress and bullying.
* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 (for young people aged 5 to 25.)