The Co-operators Extends Identity Theft Coverage to Clients at No Charge



    GUELPH, ON, March 30 /CNW/ - In response to growing concerns about the
threat of identity theft, The Co-operators today announced it has extended
Identity Theft coverage to clients with home or farm insurance. The coverage
is effective immediately on all Co-operators Home-Guard and Farm-Guard
policies - at no extra cost to clients.
    The new Identity Theft coverage reimburses clients for up to $10,000 of
costs associated with recovering or correcting damage to their personal
identity. Insured expenses include legal fees and costs associated with
notarizing affidavits, re-applying for loans, calling or faxing long distance,
and sending certified mail. It also covers up to $2,000 in lost earnings for
clients who need to take time off work to recover their identity.
    Although a few companies are offering Identity Theft coverage, The
Co-operators product is unique. Not only is the coverage free, clients making
an Identity Theft claim will not be charged a deductible, nor will claims-free
discounts be affected.
    "Recent research indicated that seventy per cent of our clients were
concerned about having their identities stolen and used for criminal
purposes," explained Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators.
"We responded directly by providing this financial protection and peace of
mind at no extra cost."
    According to anti-fraud agency PhoneBusters, an estimated 12,000
Canadians are victimized by identity theft each year. The crime involves
stealing the identity of another person for criminal purposes. Using
information such as name, date of birth, credit card details and Social
Insurance Numbers, criminals can take over a person's existing bank account or
open new ones. They may also fraudulently apply for credit cards, re-direct
mail, rent apartments and vehicles, buy merchandise, and even secure
employment. Although most direct financial losses are covered by financial
institutions and credit card companies, some people are left with legal,
employment and other out-of-pocket expenses.
    "Being vigilant in protecting your personal information is your best
defence against identity theft - and we're taking specific steps to help our
clients protect themselves," said Bardswick. "But if you are victimized by
this crime, insurance can help soften the blow."

    About The Co-operators:

    Based in Guelph, Ontario, Co-operators General Insurance Company is the
leading Canadian-owned multi-product insurance company. The company is part of
The Co-operators, a national group of companies co-operatively owned by
Canadian co-operatives, credit unions and like-minded organizations. An
Imagine Caring Company, The Co-operators is well known for its philanthropy
and community involvement.





For further information:

For further information: Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators,
1-877-795-7272, ext. 2707


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