Help Your Employees Avoid Identity Theft

A vendor survey found that 39 percent of employees want to buy identity theft insurance through their employer. Are you providing this valuable benefit?

Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s personal identifying information without authorization to open charge accounts, order merchandise or borrow money. Victims of identity fraud lose money, their reputation and their credit rating, which can hinder their ability to borrow money or find a job.

Identity theft victims spend an average of 50 to 175 hours restoring their name and credit history, according to data from California Public Interest Research. Offering your employees identity theft protection can help reduce the financial and physical toll of dealing with identity theft.

Types of Identity Theft Protection

Identity theft protection takes two forms: identity theft insurance, and non-insurance identity theft protection programs. Insurers often bundle identity theft coverage into other programs, including some homeowners insurance programs. Some offer identity theft insurance as a standalone policy available on a voluntary (employee-paid) basis. And some prepaid legal plans — available on a voluntary basis — also include services to help members deal with identity theft.

An identity theft insurance program typically reimburses victims of identity theft for any expenses they incur to correct their credit record. These can include phone, notary and certified mail costs. Some policies also provide some coverage of lost wages resulting from taking time off to deal with identity theft. Many cover attorney fees, subject to policy conditions and limits, and offer professional assistance to help plan members restore their credit. Most will not reimburse insureds for direct monetary losses due to identity theft.

Non-insured identity theft protection plans typically offer services designed to detect identity theft early and minimize any resulting losses. These include credit monitoring and notification services; some plans also provide reimbursement or coverage for costs of repairing credit records.

Many programs offer both types of protection: credit monitoring services for early detection, and insurance to cover the costs of dealing with and correcting identity theft. Contact USI if you wish to learn more.

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