As more and more parents worry about the effects of bullying, one Tokyo insurance company offers a solution.

A study by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology found 410,000 cases of reported bullying among elementary, middle, and high school students in 2017, an increase of roughly 90,000 reports compared to the previous year. While it’s not clear if the increase is due to meaner kids or a greater willingness to report incidents, there’s no question that bullying has become an increasingly talked-about subject in Japan, with many parents and educators struggling to find the best way to address a problem that wasn’t so commonly or openly discussed in their youth.

Tokyo-based Yell thinks it may have a solution, or at least a way to improve the situation. However, Yell isn’t an education or psychology institute, but an insurance company.

As of this week, Yell is offering bully insurance, and is thought to be the first company in Japan to provide such coverage. However, Yell isn’t handing out payments whenever someone lobs a schoolyard put-down at their clients’ children. Instead, the service offers financial support in the case of legal or medical fees stemming from bullying.

▼ Promotional image for Yell’s bully insurance

For starters, parents who purchase bully insurance can consult with Yell’s partner lawyers, free of charge, if they feel their child is being bullied, and want to explore legal options for rectifying the situation. The lawyers can advise parents on how to go about documenting and compiling evidence that will prove the situation constitutes bullying, as establishing that understanding is the first step in compelling schools or the bullies’ parents to take actions to stop the bullying.

Bully insurance, which costs 2,640 yen (US$24) a month, also provides partial compensation for more involved legal services and representation which require payment of lawyers’ fees. Medical fees are also covered, whether for injuries a client’s child sustained at the hands of bullies, or for injuries the client’s child caused by fighting back, as is compensation for personal property damaged or destroyed as part of bullying-related events.

Some might argue that nothing is going to more quickly make a kid the target of ridicule from his peers than them knowing that he his parents have purchased bully insurance for him, so odds are clients are advised to keep their coverage on the down-low. And while still others may hold that the better way to deal with bullies is a swift fist in the mouth, Japan is general doesn’t go for violent problem-solving, and it’s likely that Yell’s service is going to be an attractive solution to some number of Japanese parents.

Source: Yell, Niconico News via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Yell
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