Identity theft is one of the most subtle and violating crimes in our society today. Basically, a thief steals everything about who you are and uses it for his personal gain. And worse yet, he leaves you stuck with the expense of recovery in order to get your name back in order. There are measures you can take to prevent identity theft and there are identity theft insurance companies that can help you. But if you want total protection of your personal information there is identity theft insurance. Identity theft insurance allows you to cover all your bases when it comes to protecting your personal information and will give you peace of mind. Here are some facets of this type of insurance protection.
What Coverage is Available to You?
Different insurance carriers offer variations in what they offer. However you will see many of them offer some level of coverage related to:
- Reimbursement for monetary losses (with limitations)
- Attorney fees
- Reimbursement for telephone expenses related to the incident
- Mailing fees (certified, registered mail)
- Lost wages while focusing on recovery (with limitations)
- Notarization fees for fraud affidavits
Coverage should cover not only credit card fraud but other types of crimes related to identity theft such as child identity theft and social security fraud. Different companies will have variations in rates and deductibles but you can probably estimate a cost of $100-$150 per year for coverage.
Do You Really Need Identity Theft Insurance?
You will see experts on both sides of the fence with this question. However, consider this. Let’s say that you have several credit cards where you are carrying a balance. Maybe you’ve decided to reduce your balances thus you set up a budget. In this case, an identity theft incident would wreak havoc in your budget because of the added expense in trying to recover from the damage done by the crime.
On the other hand, maybe you have several credit cards and carrying little or no balance on them. Then, an identity thief changes all that by running up high fraudulent balances. Until you get everything straightened out, you are liable for those balances. What if you don’t have the money at the time to pay all of the recovery expenses? Here again, with this type of insurance, you don’t have to worry about the added expense.
What Identity Theft Insurance Does Not Do
This type of insurance does not prevent identity theft from happening just like auto insurance doesn’t protect you from an accident. It is intended to be coverage to ease your financial pain should you be victim of this crime. Just as drivers should practice good defensive driving techniques, you should still be vigilant in doing what you can to protect yourself against identity theft. You should take measures like checking your credit report, guarding your credit cards, tracking your mail, shredding discarded documents with sensitive information, and protecting your online passwords.
There are also identity protection services available that can provide you with instant alerts when it detects someone is trying to open accounts in your name or fraudulently use your credit card. Combine your own measures with identity theft protection and identity theft insurance adds icing to the cake for a total defensive solution against this crime.