Identity Theft Insurance
Identity theft stories regularly appear in the news. Along with practical safeguards, what else can you do to protect yourself? Consider identity theft insurance.
Identity theft occurs when others obtain and use your personal information without your permission. Once your personal information is obtained, thieves can use existing or open new credit cards in your name, write bad checks or take out loans.
Before you discover your identity has been stolen, your credit can be damaged and thieves can have racked up significant debt, all in your name.
What is Identity Theft Insurance?
Identity theft insurance can be bought as a stand-alone policy or added as endorsement to your existing homeowners or automobile insurance coverage. Though identity theft insurance does not protect against the cost of the actual theft, it is a relatively inexpensive insurance option that reimburses for the cost of reclaiming your identity. This includes:
Phone call charges, photocopying costs and postage fees
Salary loss due to uncompensated time off from work
Additionally, you gain access to a fraud specialist who can assist you in restoring your good name and protecting your identity. This service accompanies reimbursement for expenses associated with credit restoration, as noted above.
Identity Theft Protection Suggestions:
Carry only necessary personal information in your purse or wallet.
Shield yourself when using an ATM or making a credit card purchase.
Do not throw credit card or ATM receipts away in public trash receptacles.
Regularly monitor your checking statements to ensure all documented transactions are justified. If you suspect a problem, contact your bank or the company immediately.
Order a credit report from all of the three major credit bureaus. You are allowed one free credit report per year from each. This document details where you live, accounts opened in your name, how you pay your bills and more. Inspect these documents closely to expose any indiscretions or activities not authorized.
Create passwords that are not easily obtainable information on your accounts and credit cards.
Never give out your personal information to anyone you do not know.