As reports of Pokémon Go-related injuries come in from around the world, Russia's Sberbank is offering free accident insurance to the game's players. Meanwhile, the bank is also hoping to lure people through its doors by equipping branches with special modules that attract Pokémon.
As the Pokémon Go phenomenon gathers pace, the risk of injury to distracted players glued to their phones has become apparent, with people hit by cars and one even bitten by a poisonous snake as he searched for a 'Pokestop'.
While police forces have been working to make players act responsibly, even taking to Twitter with hashtags such a #DontCatchAndDrive, Sberbank is promising to let Russians "concentrate on the game fully" in the knowledge that if they hurt themselves they will be covered by accident insurance if they enter their nickname and mobile phone number at a special Pokémon Go-related site.
Maxim Chernin, head, IC Sberbank Life Insurance, says: "As the biggest life insurance company in Russia, we feel our responsibility for the participants of Pokémon Go, the game that gains immense popularity now. Considering the number of news from around the world about players being injured while catching Pokémon, we created a special product that will be free for the players."
The bank is also hoping to catch the catchers, activating "special modules" at branches during office hours that attract Pokémon. "The modules will allow players to visit a nearby Sberbank office and catch missing Pokémon without having to move around the city," says a statement.