The U.S. workforce has never been more culturally diverse, and that’s a great thing. However, this means that finding the perfect benefits for your employees has never been more challenging. It’s also never been more important — four in five employees say they’d prefer benefits over a pay raise. 

These changing times create many questions for HR directors. How many employees might utilize pet insurance? What percent of employees have student loan debt? What benefits will provide value to both millennials and baby boomers?

Not every employee has a pet, unmanageable student loan debt, or plans to retire in the next few years. But they do share one commonality — they all have an identity. This is why more employees than ever are looking to their employers to provide identity protection. Here are three more reasons. 

1. Employees understand the risks of identity theft

Your employees have never been at a greater risk of identity theft, and this is a fact they’re acutely aware of. How could they not be? It seems each week brings a new invasion of their privacy. 

The Equifax breach that effectively doxed nearly every working American. Numerous Facebook blunders that have compromised billions of users the world over. Even video games are betraying us — and our children. And it’s not just recent revelations that put people at risk — compromised information from hacks or leaks that happened years ago are still instrumental in nefarious activity happening today.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the majority of Americans now rank criminal hacking, which often leads to fraud and identity theft, as the number one threat to their health, safety, and prosperity

If your employees do become victims of identity theft, a quality identity protection service will ensure the theft is caught and resolved as quickly as possible. 

2. Employees want to reduce stress

We are all looking to reduce stress — both on and off the clock. And it’s in every employer’s best interest to help their employees limit stressful factors. Offering identity protection is a great way to proactively limit risk. 

Without the proper assistance, identity theft can throw even the most well-balanced employee into a chaotic, prolonged nightmare. When the Identity Theft Resource Center spoke with 2017 identity theft victims, the results were overwhelmingly clear:

  • 64.3 percent reported stress

  • 37.1 percent reported an inability to focus or concentrate

  • 26.6 percent reported panic attacks

  • 48.3 percent reported sleep disturbances

  • 15.6 percent said they would have sought help but couldn’t afford it

Offering identity protection can help significantly reduce employee stress levels. In fact, when Employee Benefit News asked employees why they love identity protection, stress reduction made the top of the list. 

3. Your employees’ number one concern is protecting their families  

Offer identity protection to partners and children

Above all things, employees want to protect their families and provide them the best life possible. 

It’s why we are willing to pay more for safer cars. It’s why we work long hours, late nights, and weekends. It’s why we sacrifice our most valuable resource — our time — so that our family and loved ones can have a better life. 

Quality identity protection plans will offer coverage to your employee’s entire family. This is one area that can vary greatly among providers, so be certain to ask how the identity protection company defines “family.” 

Many will stop covering an employee’s children the second they turn 18, even if they still reside at their parent’s home. Others will use age as a means of disqualifying even legally recognized dependents. These aren’t companies you want to work with. 

Protecting an employee’s family means protecting their finances 

It’s equally important that your identity protection benefit protect an employee’s finances.

Identity theft impacts people of any class and job level, and the time required to resolve identity theft on one’s own can financially cripple hourly workers for whom taking time off to make calls during work hours is not viable. Any identity protection plan worth its salt should also provide several layers of financial protection. When evaluating providers, be certain they include the following. 

Identity restoration

The identity protection agency should take on the most tedious and time-consuming elements of the restoration process for your workers. Otherwise, your employees could spend hundreds of hours on the phone (and off-the-clock) fighting with collection agencies, credit bureaus, and the IRS. 

Financial monitoring

A quality employee identity protection benefit will monitor an employee’s finances and alert them to any suspicious activity. Remember that time is of the essence when it comes to identifying and stopping identity theft. Therefore, you’ll want to inquire about alert or notification speed. If the provider doesn’t offer notifications in near real time, the benefit won’t provide any real value. 

Identity theft insurance and stolen fund reimbursement

An identity protection benefit should also include a comprehensive identity theft insurance policy. Costs can add up very quickly, so only consider plans that include at least a $1 million coverage. And look for stolen fund reimbursement policies that will reimburse funds stolen from accounts like 401(k)s and HSAs. Even better, ensure that the benefit will advance tax refunds in the case of fraudulently filed tax returns.

Offering identity protection to employees

If you'd like more information about how easy it is to implement and administer these plans or have questions about the ongoing support our employer clients receive from our team post-implementation, please reach out. Our expert client teams can manage the onboarding process seamlessly and securely in as little as one to two short phone calls, and there is plenty of time to do so for your upcoming 2019 new year!