Holidays are best time for ID theft policy sales

Considering which products to push this holiday? Execs say ID theft policies protect clients and line producer pockets.

Holidays are best time for ID theft policy sales

Cyber

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The holidays aren’t quite a time of comfort and joy for those who suffer from identity theft, but producers can change that—and benefit their own bank accounts—by stressing the importance of proper insurance protection.

More than 12mn Americans were victimized by ID theft in 2012, a report from Javelin Strategy & Research found. The figure was the second highest in the 10 years Javelin has compiled the report, and escalated during the holiday season as shoppers become more lax about sharing credit card and other identifying data.

Taking advantage of the heightened risk, Nationwide Insurance Product Manager Deidre Abbitt said the holidays are the perfect time for producers to score some extra sales.

“We typically try to highlight it during the holidays because so many people are exchanging their personal information,” she said. “We’ll typically run an article on the local news or reach out to clients and remind them to watch and safeguard their personal information.”

It’s not exactly a sales push, Abbitt said, but Nationwide and its independent agents do see a spike in sales as the result of their efforts.

So which insurance products should producers push for identity theft protection?

Both Abbitt and Michael Barry of the Insurance Information Institute say the best place to start is with an endorsement on a homeowners or renters policy.

“The first order of business is figuring out the extent to which your homeowners or insurance policy covers identity theft,” Barry said. “Some insurers offer it as an add-on for a small extra charge.”

Typically, Barry said, this runs from $25 to $50 each year. Nationwide’s endorsement, for example costs $45 annually.

Nationwide and many other insurers also offer standalone coverage, which Barry says is much more expensive, at about $75 to $180 annually. As such, Barry recommends pursuing that option “only when [producers] have exhausted all others.”

Both the standalone coverage and the endorsement typically offer the same benefits, and because most identity theft issues are resolved before major financial losses occur, Abbitt said there is little chance of an ID theft claim affecting homeowners or renters rates.

Barry added that the holidays are not only a prime time for producers to push ID theft sales, but cyber risk insurance as well. On the commercial side of ID theft, cyber attacks can leave a company liable for “sharing” customer information, resulting in huge financial losses.

As such, Barry said cyber liability is a “big, growing product” that producers would do well to push this holiday season.

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