The internet company is offering free insurance coverage to all customers of its business to counter what it says are increasing risks posed by ransomware, cybercriminals and the theft of data.
The move comes as the US and other western nations grapple with an escalating wave of ransomware attacks and thefts of personal data from businesses and government organisations.
“This is a very serious threat to our customers, and we are working with our customers to make the most of the best tools available to protect their data and to help keep our networks safe,” said IBM spokesperson Nicky Taggart.
“We are offering this program to anyone who needs it.
If you have a credit card, bank account, or other financial account you can apply for a free account if you have it.”
The insurance program was introduced in April and is intended to help people with existing insurance policies pay for medical expenses and property damage, as well as insurance claims.
The insurance covers up to $1,000 in claims per household, which is around the cost of a standard medical insurance policy.
The program also provides coverage for any loss of personal property, such as a home or car, and for damage to personal property caused by ransomware.
The offer was first announced last week by IBM in a blog post.
It is not clear whether IBM is referring to this particular policy or other insurance that is available for businesses, such a “business card” that could cover personal property damage or claims related to cybercrime.
“The insurance will be available for up to 5,000 individuals or business entities, but we can’t guarantee coverage for all individuals or businesses,” IBM wrote.
“However, we want to make it clear that the program is not a premium policy.
It is designed for small businesses, individuals, and families.”
Ransomware has been a growing problem for businesses since the beginning of the year.
Data breaches, hacks, ransomware and other cyberattacks have forced companies to cut back on their IT activities.
But cybercrims and other criminals have also been exploiting weaknesses in existing insurance plans and policies to extract sensitive data from organisations.