DES MOINES, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller warned Allied Insurance and Nationwide Insurance customers Tuesday about a recent data breach in which computer hackers accessed the personal information of more than 91,000 Iowans.
The Columbus, Ohio-based companies said that the October 3 data breach affects approximately 1.1 million people nationally and may include the breach of Social Security numbers.
"This hacking case affects a large number of people, including Nationwide customers and non-customers alike," Miller said.
Nationwide said that the data breach compromised the personal information of both policy holders and non-policy holders. The information included Social Security numbers, dates of birth, driver's license numbers and other identifying information.
Non-policy holders who directly or indirectly sought insurance quotes from Nationwide may be affected by the data breach as well.
"Many Iowans are probably confused about how they could have gotten caught up in this massive data breach," Miller said. "That's because sometime over the last year or so someone may have sought a competitive insurance quote through a company or third party agent, and that agent may have obtained quotes from several companies, including Nationwide, on their behalf. In fact, they may not have even realized the agent checked with Nationwide. To get that quote, the agent provided the consumer's personal information to Nationwide, and that's what we now know has been stolen."
On November 2, Nationwide internally verified the identities of the people whose personal identification could be compromised and started sending out notices to affected people on November 16. While the company is not aware of the information being misused, the company is offering free credit report monitoring and identity theft protection services to the affected people for one year.