HARTFORD, Conn.--The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company (HSB) today announced it is offering to insurers identity recovery coverage that combines identity theft insurance with services that help victims restore their credit history and identity records.
HSB's identity recovery coverage is a turnkey reinsurance program, branded for the issuing insurer. The program is available as an enhancement to either homeowner or businessowner policies.
"HSB's identity recovery coverage has two components," said Mark MacGougan, assistant vice president for HSB. "Our identity recovery services work with identity theft victims to clear their credit history and repair their identity records. These services are offered in conjunction with identity theft insurance that reimburses victims for costs they incur to resolve problems resulting from identity theft."
HSB's program focuses on recovery assistance because most identity theft victims report the real cost of identity theft is the bewildering, frustrating and time consuming process to repair the damage. According to a Federal Trade Commission report published in September 2003, identity theft victims in the United States spent almost 300 million hours resolving their problems in the past year.
"Identity recovery services are the key component in HSB's program," said MacGougan. "Standard identity theft insurance products make the victim responsible for doing the work to restore their credit and identity records. Most people are unfamiliar with this process and find it confusing and exasperating. HSB's approach lifts this burden for all steps that a third party can legally perform on a victim's behalf."
Customers also have access to a toll-free help line where they can get answers to questions and obtain information about identity theft. Confirmed identity theft victims are referred to a case manager who is available to provide services to correct their credit history and identity records on their behalf, significantly reducing the time the victim needs to devote to the process.
The insurance component of HSB's program covers out-of-pocket costs that the insured incurs in repairing credit history and identity records. These include legal fees caused by identity theft, the cost of wages lost as a result of time taken away from work to correct identity theft problems; credit bureau reports; fees incurred when applying for loans initially declined due to falsified credit information; and phone and shipping fees.
HSB also supplies a full range of services to assist insurers in integrating the coverage into their homeowner or businessowner products so that insurers don't need to add expense or staff to provide this enhancement.
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