I would like to step back from identity theft for a moment. The main business of Taylor and Associates is to offer certain benefits to employees in all types and sizes of organizations. The company that I represent, Pre-Paid Legal Services Inc is the only underwriter of legal services plans and identity theft restoration services in America. We are growing in public acceptance precisely because of the immediate and practical value our clients receive from the benefit. That is the topic of this column, value.
The services we represent are divided into seven separate areas of coverage. In 2008 our law firms were able to save or recover for our clients $21.9 million within just one benefit area alone! Unlike EAP programs which have limited legal services built in, our services are comprehensive and are not so severely limited. In fact the popularity of EAP programs is based partly on the demonstrated need for legal services. The majority of the legal needs of a family are completely covered by the membership without spending additional money. When you combine our legal plans with our identity theft program administered by Kroll Fraud Solutions for us, the employee has unparalleled coverage for the two biggest problems Americans face, access to quality private law firms for any and all legal needs, and full protection and restoration from any type of identity theft. According to the U.S. Secret Service identity theft has surpassed the international drug trade as the most profitable crime in the world. The legal plans were designed to address the areas that families encounter the most. Things like traffic court representation to keep auto insurance costs under control, or contract review when refinancing or making purchases, to consumer issues and product liability, estate planning, IRS audit help, and more. As a victim of massive identity theft in 2000 I was first advised to retain counsel. Because I didn't have the services of Pre-Paid at the time that became a $26,000 dollar episode for me. Remember, an identity theft episode is a legal situation.
When we work with employee groups the very first thing we do is to hold a Will Workshop with all of our new clients to get them started on a will along with the advance medical directive and durable POA, for each of them and their partners. I want them to receive a benefit the very first day they have our membership. I encourage them to use their services as often as possible simply because it can be a value benefit but only if they take advantage of what it can do for them. In this current economic crisis our attorney firms are making a real difference for people who are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure, and along the Gulf Coast thousands of families have been helped in the aftermath of the devastating hurricanes. All of the law firms in our proprietary network also have privacy specialists on staff to directly handle identity theft issues. This fact has not been lost on the fifty sitting Attorneys General who have recognized us as a force for equal justice in America. The cost of these services is far less than a dollar a day for everything combined, and as we want to earn the business of each client monthly we never engage in long-term contracts.
After 37 years of continued growth Pre-Paid Legal Services is the pioneer and leader in this industry. Our position on the NYSE shows continuous growth in a volatile market. At Taylor and Associates we take great pride in delivering more value to our clients throughout the country than we receive in money from them. A benefit that people can use is a valued benefit.
I've spoken about the value we bring to employers in the past, but it does bear repeating that by offering the services of trained identity theft risk specialists and the compliance documentation we provide, there is an additional value to the company. Whether legal issues or identity theft, or both, the value to the employee cannot be calculated in simple dollar savings alone but also in terms of a peace of mind that family issues are being handled by professionals with the clients' best interest in mind. The value to the employer besides what I just mentioned is in the ongoing training and assistance we provide to help with an identity theft program as required by law for most employers. No other firm has all three components in place, identity theft protection services for the employee, comprehensive legal service plans for employees, and a program for the company to reduce its' risk from data breach and the fallout from identity theft episodes. All in all the value of the combination of these programs has a proven 37 year track record with over 35,000 employers in every type of business, local government, and non-profit. Value is at the core of how the plans are devised. Pre-Paid Legal Services has ammassed what I believe is the largest database of actuarial data in existence to bear this out.