Access to voluntary benefits is critical to your success as a full-service benefits broker. The larger the volume of voluntary benefits you can offer clients, the more valuable your services become. Considering that, we want to begin putting the spotlight on some voluntary benefits that deserve more attention based on consumer demand. Let's start with identity theft protection.
Before we discuss the benefit itself, a couple of important statistics about voluntary benefits are in order. A Voya Financial survey published in 2022 reveals that 70% of U.S. employees eligible for employee benefits are more likely to work for an employer offering voluntary benefits in addition to standard health insurance and retirement plans.
That isn't so surprising. On the other hand, you may be surprised to learn that only 49% of those employees with access to voluntary benefits take advantage of them. This is possibly a result of a disconnect between what the employer thinks employees want versus products that actually meet their needs.
Identity Theft Protection as a Voluntary Benefit
One of your tasks as a full-service broker is to seek to understand the needs of both your clients and their employees. You are looking for benefits that employers want to offer. But ultimately, what you are after are benefits that their employees need, want, and will utilize. Enter identity theft protection.
From 2017 through the end of 2021, the number of identity theft complaints recorded by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rose from less than 400,000 to more than 1.4 million. Some 25% of all the consumer complaints the FTC investigated in 2021 involved identity theft.
The identities of American workers are under assault like never before. Not only that but thieves and bad actors continue searching for and finding creative ways to get better at what they do. In 2021, 31% of all identity theft incidents were related to government benefits. Credit card fraud took second place at just over 29%.
Identity theft is a real problem in need of real solutions. While government officials and the private sector work to prevent identity theft, you can also help by offering your clients the opportunity to include identity theft protection in their basket of voluntary benefits.
Research the Many Options
You'll be happy to know that there are quite a few options for identity theft protection coverage. BenefitMall has done the research and offers some best-in-class solutions. Keep the following in mind as you look at what the different plans offer:
- Coverage Scope: ID theft protection runs the gamut from mere credit monitoring to dark web scanning and identity restoration. The greater the scope, the higher the price tag.
- Credit Reporting Agencies: The law requires all three of the major credit reporting agencies to share data. However, they don't always do so in a timely manner. Therefore, employers need to decide whether they want credit monitoring through one, two, or all three agencies.
- Portability: Just as with health insurance, there are portability questions with identity theft protection plans. Individual carriers handle this issue differently.
- Family Plans: Some carriers offer family coverage. You need to know what that means for each plan and who is considered a family member.
In the search for the ideal benefits package for recruiting and retaining top talent, companies are increasingly looking to offer voluntary benefits to set themselves apart from the competition. Being a full-service broker, you can help by offering benefits that employees will use. A good place to start is ID theft protection. It's something Americans want and need.