FAQ: Answers to HR’s Most Pressing Questions About Identity Theft Protection Benefits

This is reprinted with permission from AllClear ID.

If you are thinking about adding employer-paid identity protection to your benefits package, you may have questions about the value such a benefit brings to both your employees and your business.

As a benefits manager, you’re responsible for vetting an array of options to find benefits that provide the perfect mix of utility, necessity, and affordability. Our FAQ reflects routinely asked questions and concerns we hear from benefits managers and sheds light on how identity protection benefits can bring value to your organization.

Q: What are identity protection benefits and why should my business care?

A: Identity protection benefits help to prevent and mitigate the impact of identity theft on your employees at work. Just like a health benefit protects employee wellness and keeps them on the job, an identity protection benefit protects employees’ financial wellness by sending alerts when a thief tries to open fraudulent accounts and can stop most identity theft before it starts. Because the rates of identity theft and fraud are so high — 1 in 20 Americans will be victims this year — more and more companies are adding employer-paid benefits to protect against the resulting loss in worker productivity.

Q: What’s the difference between ID theft prevention and repair?

Some plans are only focused on preventing identity theft, while others are focused on identity repair. Some plans offer both. Prevention includes services such as credit monitoring and fraud alerts to stop a theft or fraud before it can start. Should the worst happen, covered employees with a repair benefit are a phone call away from a fraud investigation team that works to resolve their case from beginning to end.

At a minimum, employers should purchase ID repair as it requires virtually no upfront work and is very affordable. ID theft protection, however, offers better overall financial protection for employees.

Q: My company already offers employee-paid identity protection benefits. Why should I consider employer-paid coverage?

A: Some plans are offered as a voluntary, employee-paid benefit. This leads to low enrollment by employees, which makes it a hassle for you to manage while making it unlikely that the employee is actually protected when identity theft strikes. An employer-paid plan means all employees are covered automatically, increasing engagement and value to your employees while protecting you from any loss of productivity.

Q: I don’t have the bandwidth to juggle a time-consuming implementation or to educate employees on the service and enrollment process. What support can I expect?

A: Identity protection benefits should integrate easily with your existing benefits platform, and require no additional heavy lifting from you. Using a 1-800 number specific to your organization, employees can quickly and easily opt-in. Look for a provider that offers monthly reports on employee usage and ROI, and can serve as your partner in all things related to identity protection, including content on latest trends in identity theft and updates on where identities may be exposed from the latest breaches.

Q: If one of my covered employees experiences a fraud incident, what does the resolution process look like?

A: When an employee suffers from identity theft, the last thing they or you want to do is jump through hoops to start getting help. An identity protection benefit provides employees with a direct line of communication to a licensed fraud investigation team. The investigator then eliminates as much of the manual effort and stress from the victim as possible and works to return the victim’s identity to its pre-fraud state. Often, a single phone call is all it takes.

Q: How do I justify the investment?

A: All it takes is for a couple of employees to utilize the benefit for your business to achieve a complete return on your investment. For an executive or high-billing employee, lost productivity can add up to thousands of dollars in lost revenue, while for rank-and-file employees lost productivity can impact your operations, customer service, and product quality. If your goal is to keep employees on the clock instead of spending their working hours cleaning up a financial mess then identity protection benefits are a smart investment.

Q: My company recognizes the value of employee financial security benefits to the productivity and performance of our team. Why should we add ID protection benefits to our current financial wellness package?

A: Employer-sponsored financial wellness programs provide employees with the tools they need to be educated about their financial situation and to help them develop the skills and habits that lead to financial security. This ensures that employees are secure and focused on their jobs. But what good is getting your financial life in order if it can all be ruined through identity theft? A financial wellness benefits program is incomplete unless it also includes a benefit to protect the financial security tools you have implemented.

Q: If employee information is compromised in a workplace identity breach, will providing ID benefits protect my business?

A: If an employee’s identity theft takes place due to a workplace incident, having an identity protection benefit in place can help employees get back on track faster while showing that you made an effort to proactively mitigate damage. This can help reduce the chances you’ll be found negligent in the case of a lawsuit or exposed to massive fines.

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