NEW YORK -- MetLife Inc. is rolling out a new program this week to provide free help in resolving cases of identity theft for all of its homeowner insurance policyholders.
Noel Edsall, director of MetLife Auto & Home product development, told The Associated Press the ID theft resolution service would be launched in New York and Florida, then expand nationwide.
While several insurers sell ID theft coverage, mainly to reimburse consumers for their costs in dealing with misuse of their credit cards or other accounts, MetLife will be the first that works with consumers to resolve their problems at no cost.
''Our research over the last couple of years indicated that people needed help and assistance, not expense reimbursement," Edsall said.
ID theft concerns are reaching epidemic proportions. In recent weeks, several data collection companies have disclosed that thousands of their records were tapped by thieves. ID theft also tops the list of frauds reported to the Federal Trade Commission.
Matt Cullina, manager of the MetLife team that developed the new service, said MetLife policyholders who are victimized by ID thieves will be urged to phone the MetLife call center listed on their policies. From there they will be directed to specialists at Identity Theft 911 LLC of Scottsdale, Ariz., which provides ID theft resolution services.