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ICBA/St. Paul Travelers Offer Identity Theft Insurance Coverage

Reimbursements Mitigate Costs of Identity Theft

Washington, D.C. (January 11, 2006) - The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), the nation's largest banking trade organization, has teamed with the St. Paul Travelers to offer banks insurance coverage to help customers whose accounts have been compromised by identity theft to mitigate the costs associated with reclaiming their identity.

The coverage, which is available for community banks to offer to their customers and employees, reimburses policyholders for the most common out-of-pocket expenses incurred when someone is victimized by identity theft -- including lost wages, attorney fees for suits brought incorrectly by merchants or their collection agencies, notary fees and certified mail charges.

"Identity theft is a major concern today and this type of protection offers peace of mind that if something happens to someone, they have a way to help defray the expenses associated with resolving the problem," said Nancy Ruyle, president and CEO of Citizens Bank of Rogersville, Missouri, and chairman of ICBA's Bank Services Committee. "Community banks can offer this to our best customers or even bank employees as a low-cost benefit."

"Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the country. Last year more than 9 million Americans were victimized by it with a total cost to consumers and businesses of over $52 billion, and there is no end in sight," said Joe Lester, identity theft product manager with St. Paul Travelers Bond. "Victims typically spend about $1,200 and more than 60 hours of personal time to clean up their credit mess. This coverage can help ease the burden," said Lester.