Equifax, one of three nationwide credit-reporting agencies that track and rate the financial history of consumers, recently announced the company suffered a data breach. Approximately 143 million U.S. consumers could be affected by unauthorized access that took place from mid-May – July 2017.
Cybercriminals stole information including names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and the numbers of some driver’s licenses. They also report that criminals accessed credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers.
Unfortunately, anyone with a financial or credit history could be affected; however, consumers may not know what personal and financial information Equifax may have. And Equifax will NOT be notifying all potentially affected consumers.
West Bend has posted information about the data breach, along with a series of questions and answers that may help your customers determine what to do. You may wish to refer them to thesilverlining.com to access that information.
West Bend offers identity theft coverage to our Personal Lines Home and Highway®customers. Here are some things you can do to help them.
- If you can verify your customer has purchased West Bend’s Identity Theft Coverage for the Home and Highway policy, please direct them to call Cyber Scout (the provider) toll free at 1-877-432-7643. If you aren’t sure your customer has West Bend’s coverage, please do not direct them to Cyber Scout (see #4 and #5).
- You and/or your customers can determine if they have identity theft coverage by reviewing the dec page of the policy. It’s listed as Identity Theft Coverage.
- Coverage includes up to $30,000 of coverage for expenses incurred by an insured as the direct result of an identity theft. Expenses include lost wages if it’s necessary to take off work to address issues surrounding the identity theft; costs for notarizing documents, sending information via certified mail, and loan application fees if it is necessary to re-apply for loans when an original loan application is rejected due to incorrect credit info resulting from the identity theft; and reasonable attorney fees.
- If you cannot verify coverage on a customer’s policy, we ask that you call DirectConnect® to verify coverage.
- If you can verify your customer does not have coverage, please direct that customer to our post on thesilverlinining.com where they can obtain helpful information. You may also suggest the customer add Identity Theft Coverage to their policy.
- The Claim Free Award is not impacted if there is no actual payment on the claim. Please refer to the coverages for more information.
This article was brought to you by West Bend the Silver Lining.