ARC OFFERS IDENTITY THEFT

Arc Offers Identity Theft & Fraud Protection Cover

Arc Legal Assistance (Arc), the bespoke legal costs insurance provider, has launched a new service to protect policyholders against the growing threat of identity theft as new government estimates reveal the crime is costing the UK economy £1.7bn per year.

Over 100,000 people have their personal details stolen each year. These are then used to open bank accounts, get credit cards or for other fraudulent purposes, such as accessing state benefits and obtaining false documents, including passports and driving licences. Over the last three years the cost of identity theft to the UK economy has increased by £0.4bn.

Arc's new Identity Theft & Fraud Protection has been designed in conjunction with solicitors to ensure that it provides cover in all the critical risk areas faced by victims of identity theft. Cover includes:

- 24 hour telephone legal helpline - to advise customers on the immediate steps they should take to protect themselves should their identity be stolen

- Proactive 'contact service' - some organisations may seek recompense against identity theft victims for financial losses suffered from the misuse of credit cards etc. Arc's service covers the sending/receiving of up to 20 letters per claim and provide legal advice through the helpline service to deal with the issues raised in the correspondence

- Defence of civil actions against customers for amounts outstanding to an organisation arising from identity theft - this service is available provided a minimum of £50 is in dispute

- Pursuit of an action to remove County Court Judgements against customers - this service is covered, providing the insured has a reasonable prospect of being able to prove that the Judgement was made as a result of identity theft

- Debt counselling service - victims of identity theft can find themselves in financial difficulty so the cover provides for support from trained debt counsellors, 365 days a year

Arc's Identity Theft & Fraud Protection solution is available as an optional add-on product or affinity benefit or offered on a stand-alone basis.

Cover can also be combined with a Credit File Management service, providing policyholders with an early warning system of unusual activity with their credit profile, thus allowing them to identify anomalies quickly and carry out immediate remedial action. Checking credit reports for unexpected changes is one of the best ways to combat identity theft so this service combined with the Arc cover provides an enhanced level of protection.

Commenting on the importance of its new Identity Theft & Fraud Protection solution, Richard Finan, Director of Arc Legal Assistance, said: "The effects of identity theft can be devastating. What's more, because it frequently involves no physical theft, it may not be noticed by its victims until significant damage has been done - often, several months and thousands of pounds later.

"People should take basic precautions to safeguard their personal information. For additional peace of mind, our new Identity Theft and Fraud Protection solution helps them protect their most valuable asset - their identity."

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