Not so long ago, the term “financial wellness” didn’t even exist. But years of volatile markets, a rollercoaster economy and an increasingly informed public have all helped to make financial wellness offerings a staple in employee benefits packages. Financial wellness programs and advice have traditionally been built on four pillars: budgeting, saving for emergencies, eliminating debt and planning for retirement.
But in our world of e-commerce, online banking, digital wallets and multiple social media platforms, our automated lifestyle has made us all increasingly vulnerable to fraud and cybercrimes.
Identify theft is one of the fastest growing of them all, and the statistics are shocking. According to a study by Javelin Strategy & Research, more than 16 million people became victims of identity fraud in 2017. According to renowned money expert Clark Howard, there’s a new victim of identity theft every two seconds!
That’s why identify theft protection has become the fifth pillar of financial wellness.
In this day and age, employees have a host of financial stresses like budgeting, paying the rent, investing, paying for college and figuring out how best to use benefits such as 401(k)s and health savings accounts (HSAs). And for most, the threat of identity theft is getting higher and higher on the list of financial stresses.
Employers see it too. They see how distracted and unproductive employees can be when their minds are on personal money problems instead of work. And they know identity theft is on everyone’s mind.
With today’s threats, identity theft protection should play a crucial role in any financial wellness package.
New data breaches pop up constantly, and identity thieves are getting more sophisticated. If you want to help your employees protect their finances, reputation and identity, your financial wellness benefits should include identity theft protection. In fact, here are five reasons it should be an integral part of your voluntary benefits offerings:
- Talent. Attracting and keeping the best talent is a competition, and today’s employees expect an attractive benefits package. Offering robust financial wellness options as part of your voluntary benefits can make you stand out.
- Productivity. Stressed employees are distracted, less productive employees. Reducing their financial stress can make a huge difference in attitude, morale and productivity.
- Security. If an employee's personal information gets hacked from clicking on a dangerous link or opening a bad email attachment while on a work computer, your company’s entire network could be at risk. Offering robust identity theft education along with identity theft insurance can help employees avoid putting themselves and your company at risk.
- Relevancy. A competitive benefits package is one that stays current with the industry and with employees’ lifestyles and needs. Employees today are more aware than ever of the dangers of having their lives turned inside out by an identity thief, so they see identity theft protection as an attractive option offered by employers who are keeping up with trends.
- Easy Win. Identity theft protection is generally inexpensive, and employees can continue their coverage after they leave the company.
Are you offering your employees this financial peace of mind?
According to Identity Force’s 2017 Progressive Benefits Survey, two-thirds (68 percent) of the HR professionals surveyed felt identity theft protection is an increasingly important benefit, but only half were offering it to their employees at the time of the survey.
Identity theft protection is a voluntary benefit that appeals to employees of all ages and economic statuses and can provide real peace of mind. That’s good for them, good for you and good for business. Talk to Higginbotham insurance today about adding identify theft coverage to your voluntary benefits.