Russia's SbérBank Life Insurance company in July began offering free Pokemon Go-accident coverage to "Go" players after related accidents made headlines worldwide.
Photograph by Donat Sorokin — TASS via Getty Images
By Chauncey L. Alcorn
August 3, 2016

Mindlessly staring at a smartphone screen while playing Pokemon Go has proven time and again to be an occupational hazard, but now there’s an insurance plan for that.

Moscow-based SbérBank, Russia’s largest bank and life insurer, in July began offering free Pokemon Go-related accident coverage to Poké-players visiting PokéStops near bank branches across the city.

Company officials said they felt compelled to do something about all the “Go” related accidents making headlines worldwide.

“Considering the number of news [stories] from around the world about players being injured while catching Pokémon, we created a special product that will be free for the players,” IC Sberbank Life Insurance head Maxim Chernin said via press release.

The Pokémon calamity began shortly after the game went live last month.

 

In the U.S, Reddit user Amalthea reportedly fell into a ditch and broke her foot while playing the game. On July 12, Autumn Deisenroth, 15, of Tarentum, Penn. was pursuing a Pokemon across a busy highway near a local museum before she was hit by a car, according to Pittsburgh’s ABC News affiliate. The following day in Southern California’s San Diego County, two men walked off a cliff and were later hospitalized with moderate injuries, according to the L.A. Times.

Pokémon players have been mugged and even crashed their autos into cop cars while playing the addictive mobile game.

Baltimore Police body cameras recorded a distracted motorist playing Pokemon Go as he drove his minivan into a police cruiser on July 18, USA Today reports.

“That’s what I get for playing this dumb a** game,” the unidentified driver told police after exiting his vehicle.

So far SbérBank Life is the only insurer to offer an official Pokémon Go related policy.

Chernin says SberBank’s Poké-program has another goal as well.

“It is also important for us that the product will help to raise the financial literacy of the population,” she says. “While playing, the younger generation will be able to get acquainted with such financial tool(s) as insurance.”

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