St. Paul Travelers, a provider of property casualty insurance, and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) are now offering ICBA member banks access to coverage, where approved, to assist identity theft victims in mitigating the costs associated with reclaiming their identity.
The coverage, which is available for community banks to offer to their customers and employees, reimburses victims for the most common out-of-pocket expenses incurred when someone is victimized by identity theft — including lost wages, attorney fees (for suits brought incorrectly by merchants or their collection agencies, removing criminal or civil judgments wrongly entered against the victim and challenging incorrect information in a credit report), notary fees and certified mail charges.
“Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the country. Last year more than 9 million Americans were victimized by it with a total cost to consumers and businesses of over $52 billion, and there is no end in sight,” said Joe Lester, identity theft product manager with St. Paul Travelers Bond. “Victims typically spend about $1,200 and more than 60 hours of personal time to clean up their credit mess. This coverage can help ease the burden,” said Lester.
“Identity theft is on nearly everyone’s mind at present, and this type of protection offers peace of mind that, if one becomes a victim, one can mitigate the expenses incurred to restore one’s good credit,” added Nancy Ruyle, president and CEO of Citizens Bank of Rogersville, Missouri. “Community banks can offer this to customers or even bank employees as a low-cost benefit,” added Ruyle, who also serves as chairman of ICBA’s Bank Services Committee.
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