Travelers Property Casualty Corp. announced the availability of its new master policy to cover identity theft expenses.
Financial institutions or other commercial businesses can purchase this policy on behalf of their account holders or customers, or for use as an employee benefit offering. The new policy furnishes expense reimbursement limits from $500 up to $25,000 per covered person to assist in the restoration of his or her financial health and credit history that has been damaged by identity theft.
This offering – the Identity Fraud Expense Coverage Master Policy – covers expenses such as attorney’s fees, lost wages, mailing and notary costs, loan re-application fees and telephone charges. Travelers itself is among the first companies to include this offering as part of its comprehensive employee benefits program.
Walter Grote, vice president, Travelers Bond, said, “We are very excited to offer identity fraud protection to our corporate clients, as well as to our own employees – and take pride in the fact that Travelers was the first company to provide this product. In 1999, as a result of the personal experience of one of its employees, Travelers pioneered this protection for identity fraud victims by covering the costs of clearing their names and correcting their financial records if they became the victims of this burgeoning crime. Financial institutions and businesses can now purchase identity fraud expense protection for their customers as well as for their own employees.”
The crime of identity fraud is reportedly one of the fastest growing white-collar crimes in America.
It is one of the few crimes where victims not only must prove that they have been harmed, but are also responsible for reclaiming their stolen identity. It is estimated by the Identity Theft Resource Center that it takes more than 600 hours of personal time and an average of $1,495 in out-of-pocket expenses for an individual to restore his or her credit after being victimized.
The Federal Trade Commission report released in September 2003 estimates that in the past five years, 27.3 million people were victims of identity theft, with 9.9 million people victimized in the last year alone. According to the report, last year’s identity theft losses to businesses and financial institutions totaled nearly $48 billion, and consumer victims reported $5 billion in out-of-pocket expenses.
For more information on Travelers’ Identity Fraud Expense Coverage Master Policy, visit www.travelersbond.com .
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