With so many options on the market, brokers can have a difficult time selecting which benefits to recommend to employers. However, one option has been growing in popularity year after year — identity protection. Here are a few reasons identity theft is making it to the top of brokers’ benefits lists.
Identity theft is growing — and so is employee fear
2016 set a record for data breaches — a record immediately broken in 2017. 2018 could be bigger yet. While the official tally is still out for how much identity theft cost Americans last year, we can report that $16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million U.S. consumers in 2016 alone. By all accounts, 2017 damages will far outweigh those of the previous year.
Stats like these have many employees in a state of panic. Last year, Americans ranked criminal hacking as the number one threat to their health, safety, and prosperity. This fear can have a major impact on not only the well-being of an employee but also a company’s bottom line.
When workers are worried about their privacy, identity, and finances being compromised, it becomes incredibly difficult for them to perform in the workplace and productivity can plummet.
HR managers love offering identity protection
Another reason brokers should recommend identity protection is because HR managers are falling in love with this benefit. In fact, BenefitsPro recently named identity protection as the number one employee benefit leading into 2018.
The good folks over at BenefitsPro aren’t the only ones who feel this strongly. According to a recent survey, 68 percent of HR professionals agree that identity protection benefits are growing in importance, and nearly 70 percent of HR executives are evaluating identity protection coverage as a means of competing for top industry talent.
Identity protection safeguards companies as well as employees
Companies need identity protection services because, in addition to safeguarding their employees, they also help protect the bottom line. In fact, 56 percent of HR executives say that identity protection is necessary to provide extra security against a potential data breach at their organization. And many are providing these benefits proactively — before a breach has even occurred.
After all, employers can play a tremendous role in employee identity theft without even knowing it. By many accounts, as much as 30 to 50 percent of identity theft begins at the office. From local and federal data collection requirements to disgruntled employees, the risks are great, which can create a tremendous amount of liability for a corporation.
Courts are increasingly holding companies responsible for employee identity theft, even in the absence of specific laws requiring them to do so. Further, cities and states are taking matters into their own hands, suing organizations that fail to provide adequate protection for their employees. Just recently, the District Court for the Western District of New York decided that an increased risk of identity theft is sufficient “injury in fact” for a plaintiff — meaning more companies can be liable for data breach risks, not just the misuse of stolen data.
Companies that provide identity protection services also proactively combat the disengagement that can accompany the loss of employee personal data. If employees are forced to repair their identity themselves, they can quickly grow distracted and disengaged at work, and this can have a significant impact on your company’s bottom line.
Gallup’s annual State of the American Workplace 2016 report found that companies with low levels of engagement, when compared to companies with high levels of engagement, experience:
- 20 percent lower sales
- 17 percent less productivity
- 21 percent lower profitability
- Between 24 and 59 percent higher turnover
- 70 percent more employee safety incidents
Selecting a plan that’s right for your clients
When it comes to selecting the right identity protection service for your clients, a traditional credit monitoring service just isn’t going to cut it. Your clients’ employees need to know they’re protected in the event of identity theft, and to do that, they need a service that offers a robust amount of features including the following, all of which come standard with PrivacyArmor® :
- Proactive alerts that notify employees about applications for credit cards, wireless carriers, utility accounts, and non-credit accounts
- Monitoring of high-risk identity activity such as password resets, fund transfers, unauthorized account access, compromised credentials, address changes, and public record alerts
- Tools to monitor and preserve your reputation across social networks
- A dedicated advocate to guide and manage your employees’ full recovery process, restoring credit, identity, accounts, finances, and their sense of security in the event identity theft does occur
- An identity theft insurance policy that covers lost wages, legal fees, medical records request fees, CPA fees, childcare fees, and more
For additional information about the features a quality identity protection benefit should include, check out our complete list here. Download our Broker Guide to Selling Identity Protection below.