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It's Not You, It's Me

What would happen to your business if someone stole your identity?

A sole proprietorship, a partnership or even a closely held corporation is usually very dependent on its owner's personal credit rating. If your credit rating is damaged, even temporarily, the impact on your company could be devastating. What's more, identity-theft victims can spend hundreds of hours getting their records cleared up--hours that should be spent working on their businesses.

One solution is identity-recovery insurance, says Rick Boettner, property and casu-alty underwriting manager with Capitol Insurance Companies in Madison, Wisconsin. The coverage is relatively new and varies by carrier, but typically, the insurer works to clear the victim's credit history and reimburse costs incurred to resolve problems resulting from identity theft.

"We give our insureds an option," says Boettner. "We assign a case manager to all of our insureds. We will allow the insureds to handle the process themselves with guidance provided by the case manager, or we'll have the case manager work on their behalf and take over the process, calling credit bureaus, writing letters, rewriting credit reports and keeping records."

Adding identity-recovery insurance to an existing business policy will run about $30 per year, Boettner says. It covers business owners, partners and corporate officers who own 50 percent or more of the company.

Jacquelyn Lynn is a freelance business writer in Orlando, Florida.

This story appears in the June 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »