The Meyer Group Blog
One of the most popular new benefit being offered these days is identity theft. According to 2018 IdentityForce Benefit Broker Survey, “57 percent of benefit advisors are receiving regular requests from their clients for benefits that provide identity theft protection for their workers.” Here at the Meyer Group we can agree with this study as requests for Identity theft coverage requests has increased significantly each year for the past 4 consecutive years in our offices. For this reason it is important for employers to be educated on this benefit and see the value it can deliver to both the employers and employees
Identity theft is a growing concern for many Americans and based on statistics of how often it is happening it should be a concern for everyone. It is said that about 1 in 4 Americans will experience identity theft.These days everything from checking your bank balance, to reading your Facebook feed to buying a new pair of shoes is all done from the convenience of our phones and computers. With more and more things being done digitally, your information is more accessible for hackers and thieves to access and use fraudulently.
For those who are not familiar with identity theft and various ways it can occur, here is a list of the major types of identity theft.
The stress is not just the fear of becoming a victim but the stress associated with resolving the identity theft once it has occurred. According to the Federal Trade Commission that tracks identity theft statistics, “They estimate that recovering from identity theft takes an average of six months and 200 hours of work.” In more complicated cases it may take even longer for the issue to be resolved. For employers this is a real problem because the agencies and authorities that must be contacted to resolve identity theft are not open in the evening or on the weekends. Therefore employers are left either paying for employees to resolve their issues while on the clock or paying for lack of productivity when an employee has to take time off to rectify the situation. Either way the employer ends up paying into the cost. By providing identity theft coverage the employer can help to save time and money and reduce stress for the employees.
Identity theft coverage is a rather new type of employee benefit being offered so employers and HR professionals need to be familiar with the types of features often provided by identity theft providers and how those features can help to reduce employee stress and time. When selecting an identity theft provider, here are some of the types of services you want to make sure are offered.
Employers looking to offer identity theft coverage can offer this benefit on a voluntary or employer paid basis. Back on December 30th, 2016 the IRS announced that identity theft coverage being offered to all employees could now be offered as a tax free benefit if the benefit is paid for with payroll deductions or is offered as an employer paid benefit. Prior to the December 2015 IRS announcement, this benefit was only able to be provided on a tax free basis if the employer had a history of breach. With this announcement, the IRS is working to make it easier for employers to offer this.
With identity theft it is not a matter of if it will happen but rather when it will happen. At some point all individuals will need to have this type of coverage so the sooner it is offered the better. With rates for this type of coverage starting a low as $3 a month with some carriers, can employers afford not to offer this coverage?