COLUMBUS, Ohio--Nationwide Insurance and Washington D.C.-based ID Theft Assist are joining forces to offer ground-breaking identity theft protection and recovery service that surpasses IDtheft policies currently on the market.

"Nationwide's new identity theft coverage takes the legwork out of recovering your stolen identity," said Scott Cummins, property director for Nationwide's Property and Casualty Personal Lines Product Office. "Offering a combination of insurance with a real-time identity recovery system is unlike anything currently in the marketplace.  We are proud to join ID Theft Assist in a partnership that provides our customers 'real time' assistance as they work to restore their good name.  It's just one more advantage of On Your Side service."

ID Theft Assist will be providing their full-service, comprehensive identity recovery system as part of Nationwide's effort to combat the devastating effects of identity theft. These recovery services include 24-hour, seven-days-a-week access to an emergency call center; instantaneous access to credit reports -- customer will not have to pay extra, as with some other products on the market; worldwide service that includes language translation and emergency cash advances; and emotional, and legal support.

By including the ID Theft Assist service in their policy, Nationwide ID Theft policyholders will have an experienced advocate working on their behalf-in real time-should their identity become compromised. Instead of a myriad of phone calls and letters, the victim will only need to make one phone call to receive the one logical solution to identity theft-ID Theft Assist's full-service support.

Recent reports from the Federal Trade Commission and the Identity Theft Resource Center indicate that identity theft continues to be one of the fastest-growing crimes in the country. Nationwide has identified not only the need to provide financial relief to identity theft victims, but the need for expert action on behalf of the victim to save countless hours of frustration.

"For about $45 annually, policyholders have protection provided by one of the most trusted companies in the U.S.," said Deb Harmon, product manager for Nationwide's Property and Casualty Personal Product office.  "To purchase the recovery service alone from ID Theft Assist would cost $150 a year.  With our combined product, policyholders get the recovery service and insurance coverage at a bargain rate. "

Nationwide plans to make the new coverage available in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut starting May 1, 2005 and to most other markets by July 2005.  It will also be available to Allied Insurance policyholders.

Source: Nationwide Insurance Co.

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