Your Homeowners Insurance Policy Might be Able to Cover Identity Theft
Some homeowners insurance policies are adding coverage provisions that allow you to protect yourself against identity theft. These changes are occurring in the wake of news from the Federal Trade Commission that an estimated 9 million people fall victim to this crime every year.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is an action that occurs when another individual takes your personal information, including your name, social security number, drivers license, and bank account information. There are a number of reasons that they would steal another persons information. They may want to obtain a credit card or apply for a loan for financial gain; they may want gain access to bank account information unlawfully; or they may even want to apply for a job with another person’s credentials.
How Will Homeowners Insurance Policies Cover You?
Those companies that choose to offer homeowners insurance policies with identity theft coverage provisions will do so either as a separate policy, or an endorsement. This coverage will likely provide victim reimbursement, which pays you back for expenses you lost during the process, including lost wages, phone bills, legal fees, or mailing costs. Whats unique about the coverage, however, is that insurance companies provide fraud specialists, instead of standard representatives, to walk the victim through the process of reclaiming their identity. But whats even better is that adding this provision to your insurance only costs in the ballpark of $25 to $50 annually.
Other Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Of course, in addition to adding an identity theft provision to your homeowners insurance policies, it is important to know other ways to protect yourself:
- Dont give out your personal information to anyone over the phone and use caution when disclosing details over the internet.
- Keep a firewall, as well as anti-spyware and anti-virus programs installed on your computer at all times.
- Only carry non-essential cards like identification badges, credit cards, medical cards and your social security card with you when necessary.
- Keep an eye on your credit report to watch for unfamiliar accounts that have been opened and/or defaulted. You can order 1 free credit report each year from the 3 credit bureaus.
- Shred all documents with personal information on them instead of simply trashing them.
By adding identity theft provisions to homeowners insurance policies, victims can successfully reclaim their lives. But the best insurance anyone can use is their own determination to prevent the act from happening to them in the first place.
Does your homeowners insurance lack this important coverage?