According to the FTC, 56% of all identity theft victims have no idea how their personal information was stolen. The most common form of identity theft is stolen credit and debit card account numbers. One of the many options of protection is insurance for identity theft.
What is Identity Theft Insurance?
Identity theft insurance is an actual insurance policy that can be purchased to reimburse an individual for any expenses that are the direct result of identity theft. These costs can include quite a number of different expenses: postage for certified mail, lost wages due to time off work, fees for an attorney, and reapplication fees for credit cards or loans. Most large insurance carriers offer an identity theft insurance policy.
Services of Identity Theft Insurance
Most of these insurance policies will provide a customer service agent with extensive experience in fraud resolution, repair, and prosecution. The insurance agent will help you contact the credit bureaus and your credit card companies. They will also help you fill out police reports and make official identity theft reports to the appropriate agencies. Your customer service specialist will also help you submit the correct receipts and claims to the insurance company so you can be appropriately reimbursed.
Finding a Policy
There are four basic ways to get ID theft insurance. You may be protected already as it is included in some homeowners or car insurance policies. It is best to check with your insurance agent to find out if that is the case. Or, you can get insurance from your credit card company, mortgage lenders, or your bank. Check with your credit card companies and mortgage lenders as they too may have some type of automatic identity theft protection that is free of charge. Another option is to purchase a separate policy. Expect to pay anywhere from $10.00 to $300.00 a year for a policy. Lastly, you could purchase a more comprehensive identity theft protection service. There are many companies that specialize in these services that cost between $5 and $40 per month and, in my opinion, are worth every penny.
Like most policies, there are policy payouts that you can choose from. The average policy reimbursement amount is between $100 and $250, but can run as high as $2,000. Some policies will offer up to $15,000 in legal fees, but rarely is a lawyer required. Surprisingly, when recovering from identity theft, most of the money lost is from lost wages. It takes a lot of time away from the office to follow to steps to identity theft recovery. This is where having insurance and someone helping you recover can really pay off.