Identity theft, the act of stealing other people’s personal information to commit fraud, typically for financial gain, has been occurring with increasing frequency over the past several years. In 2020, the number of incidences reached an all-time high, with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) receiving over 1.4 million identity theft complaints, nearly double the number of fraud occurrences reported in the prior year. As your insurance partner and risk management resource, Fred C. Church would like to share information about how to spot identity theft, what to do if you suspect you are the victim of fraud, and the many benefits of having identity theft insurance in case you or a family member becomes a target.
The Impact of Identity Fraud and How Having Identity Theft Insurance Can Help
Identity thieves can gain access to your personal information in a variety of ways, especially now that these details are in numerous places all over the internet. Plus, criminals are constantly cooking up new and sophisticated identity theft schemes, like the emerging and fast-growing synthetic identity fraud. This makes it practically impossible to shield your personal information 100% from identity thieves.
Following prevention tips like the ones suggested in the infographic and staying alert for identity theft warning signs may help you reduce your exposure to identity theft. However, if even a short period of time passes before you notice fraud, the impact to your finances, time, and emotions can ratchet up quickly.
- You could end up having to spend months tracking, reporting, and resolving fraudulent charges on your debit or credit card.
- You could face legal consequences while you try to clear up an erroneous criminal or arrest record.
- You might need to hire a lawyer or other professional who can help you negotiate with creditors and fix the damage done to your credit record.
In addition, there is no guarantee once you’ve gotten through the process of recovering your identity that you won’t be targeted again. In fact, one out of every five identity theft victims has experienced this crime more than once.
The consequences of identity theft can be far-reaching, time-consuming, and expensive if you have to address the aftereffects on your own. Fortunately, many of the top insurance carriers Fred C. Church works with now offer identity theft insurance. This coverage solution can not only help you pay for the costs associated with identity theft incident recovery but may also provide you with access to restoration services to make the process easier and faster.
Policies vary by insurer and state but typically include the following coverages and services.
- Assignment of a consumer fraud specialist or case manager.
- Replacement of government-issued identification.
- Assistance with civil judgments, criminal charges, audits, or hearings.
- Resolution services to help reclaim your identity and restore credit.
- Reimbursement of attorney’s fees.
- Reimbursement of administrative fees and expenses, e.g., mailing costs, phone charges, and notary fees.
- Reimbursement of lost wages, travel expenses, and additional dependent care costs.
Many of our carriers also include preventative measures with their identity theft insurance program to help stop identity theft before it happens. These measures sometimes include credit monitoring, internet surveillance, Social Security number tracing, and automated alerts and details on actions you should take if a threat is detected.
If identity theft insurance coverage is starting to sound like a priceless layer of extra protection against criminals who are set on stealing your personal information and money, we agree. However, you may be surprised how affordable this endorsement can be when added to your current personal insurance products. Please contact the Fred C. Church team for more information about the identity theft insurance solution that might be right for you.