METLIFE AUTO & HOME TO ENHANCE IDENTITY THEFT RESOLUTION SERVICE OFFERING
March 18, 2008
MetLife Auto & Home today announced that it is the first national insurer to expand the scope of its Identity Theft Resolution Services provided to renters, condominium, homeowners, and automobile customers in most states. The expanded service will provide assistance for the growing area of medical identity theft, as well as proactive protection for a variety of life events where the risk of an identity breach is the greatest. Unlike some other insurers that provide similar or related services, MetLife Auto & Home’s enhanced services are provided to its customers at no additional cost, in all states where approved by regulators and with most policy forms.
The suite of enhanced services provides protection in the following areas:
- Medical identity theft services, which provide assistance for victims of medical identity theft, a growing area of fraud. Working within the guidelines of state and federal regulations, the service helps clear up medical identity theft issues with collection agencies, insurance companies, government health agencies, law enforcement and health care providers.
- Child risk identity services, which help parents and guardians prevent against, and resolve, fraud involving the misuse of a dependent’s personal information, which is increasingly happening to young people—even newborns. This service includes safeguards to suppress the credit file of a dependent until he or she reaches the age of 18.
- For active duty military personnel serving overseas, military identity theft services, which provide assistance in suppressing sensitive personal data at a time when there is a heightened threat of identity theft, since the act is more likely to go unnoticed for a longer period of time.
- In the event of a move, relocation and notification assistance, including preventative identity safeguards that help consumers protect financial, credit and identity data.
- In the event of the loss of a loved one, estate identity services, which will help a surviving spouse/civil union partner or dependent safeguard financial records and protect the identity of the deceased from potential misuse.
- While traveling to another country, identity travel services, which help travelers recover lost or stolen documentation, work with family members and friends to secure emergency funds through secure channels, if necessary, and work to avert potential identity theft from occurring, both on a proactive basis, before the journey begins, and after the trip.
- In the wake of a disaster or catastrophe, disaster recovery services, which help individuals get their lives back in order by helping to quickly recapture critical information (such as social security information and driver’s licenses), and help defend against identity theft and related fraud at a time when one’s personal information is most vulnerable.
The Identity Theft Resolution Services feature has been a popular product enhancement for MetLife Auto & Home since it became the first national insurer to offer the service to its automobile, renters, condominium, and standard homeowners customers, in states where approved. The service is now available to its auto and home customers in 48 states, plus the District of Columbia, and is also available to home customers in New Hampshire. The service differs from “ID theft insurance” coverage, which typically focuses on ID theft reimbursement of expenses and losses arising from identity theft, and is often sold for $35 - $45 or more annually. Instead, MetLife Auto & Home’s service focuses on helping customers regain their identity, and comes at no additional cost to the consumer.
“According to a recent survey conducted by Zogby International, people are more worried about being a victim of identity theft than having their cars stolen,” said Bill Moore, president of MetLife Auto & Home. “We often hear stories from customers who have been impacted by identity fraud, who appreciate that we were there to simplify the process, and help put their lives back in order—just as we do when they are impacted by a reckless driver or from a fire.”
The services are provided by IdentityTheft 911™, one of the nation’s foremost providers of identity-theft crisis resolution, defense, and education services. There is no premium for the service and no deductible to pay. Upon discovering something suspicious regarding their credit, MetLife Auto & Home customers simply call the company’s toll-free number. The company will transfer that customer directly to IdentityTheft 911, where a counselor will be assigned to the case.
“We’re proud to offer this enhanced service to our customers,” said Moore. “MetLife Auto & Home is committed to removing, whenever possible, coverage gaps and many of the surprises that both auto and home insurance customers face when filing claims. This service provides an additional level of comfort, and allows us to provide customers with proactive solutions designed to prevent identity theft from actually occurring, as well as help individuals avoid an unpleasant experience that can be time consuming and causes a great deal of anxiety for its victims.”
For more information about preventing identity theft, including tips and a downloadable checklist to avoid being victimized, visit www.metlife.com/identitytheft. Consumers can also call 1-800 Met-Auto for additional information.
MetLife Auto & Home is one of the nation’s leading personal lines property and casualty insurance companies. MetLife Auto & Home has developed a reputation for innovation in product design, being the first insurer to introduce product enhancements that provide greater value to consumers, including Identity Theft Resolution Services to both its auto and home insurance customers, offered at no additional charge, which is available in most states. MetLife Auto & Home is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), a leading provider of insurance and financial services with operations throughout the U.S. and the Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. For more information, please visit www.metlife.com.