New legal benefit includes credit monitoring

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With concerns about identity theft top of mind for employees, MetLife has added credit monitoring services to its group legal services plan for employers with 1,000 or more employees.

“The legal plan as a whole covers everything from wills, trusts, purchase and sale of homes, traffic ticket defense, tax defense, misdemeanors, adoption services, unlimited phone consultation and document reviews,” says Ingrid Tolentino, CEO of Hyatt Legal Plans, the provider for MetLaw. “The legal plan has you covered for almost anything that can happen within your personal legal needs.”

Tolentino sees brokers as a very valuable part of rolling the legal benefit out to employers because of the level of trust employers put into their adviser to make recommendations on their benefits offering that are not only in the best interest of the employer but also the employees.

Randy Stram, senior vice president of national accounts in MetLife’s group benefits business, says the number of employers offering legal services plans has doubled in the past 10 years, and popularity of this benefit continues to grow.

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“We’ve added the new credit monitoring service to further support employers as they work to meet employees’ need for resources that protect against identity theft,” Stram says. “With the growth of the gig economy, employers are intently focused on retaining and engaging their employees and workplace benefits customized to employees needs play a key role.”

Tolentino says the demand for legal services is on the rise among employers. “It is definitely something that is growing in importance in the marketplace,” she says. “The growing number of employers who believe that their employees’ financial wellness is essential, and that is where the legal benefit comes in; to make sure employees have wills, trusts and other legal matters taken care of.”

Proactive response
Through MetLaw, employees at organizations that offer the plans have the Internet and major credit bureaus to help uncover and minimize fraud in the early stages and provide members with a dashboard of credit reports to monitor their credit score.

If identity theft is uncovered, fraud specialists work to restore the user’s identity. Participants who experience an identity theft incident can also be reimbursed up to $1 million for reasonable and necessary expenses related to the incident, such as lost wages and unauthorized electronic fund transfers.

Tolentino says MetLaw has partnered with CyberScout in order to provide the new credit protection and with this enhancement to the legal benefit, clients can now offer a proactive response to fraud rather than just the reactive approach of offering legal service after the offense has been committed. “It fits in with the legal product because of the impact that it has on credit score, legal needs and assets,” she says.

MetLaw’s credit monitoring enhancement still remains in its early stages, however based on the employees that currently utilize the legal benefit, Tolentino expects employees to find the monitoring service to be just as valuable as the previous legal offerings.

“The largest groups of our members are average employees in everything from small firms to large corporations, and from frontline associates to drivers” Tolentino says. “It is a really diverse group of people.”

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