Identity theft—it’s a significant problem that can be devastating to those whose sensitive personal and financial data are stolen by online hackers, mail thieves or on-the-street criminals. According to the Federal Trade Commission, approximately 9 million U.S. residents are victims of identity theft each year. Given that the average identity theft victim spends 600 hours and considerable money recovering their identity, it makes sense to consider not only preventative steps to reduce the risk of identity theft, but also other measures that can help you recover from such an attack.
The risk of identity theft can be reduced, but not eliminated.
Unfortunately, even with the best data protection plan, you cannot protect yourself completely from identity theft. The good news is you can greatly reduce the damage done by data thieves by acting quickly when your personal information has been compromised. However, unless you have been affected by identity theft before, you may underestimate just how complex, expensive and time-consuming the process of restoring your personal information and financial standing can be. For example, you can spend significant amounts of time getting reports and affidavits proving that you are a victim of identity theft, figuring out what’s been compromised, and contacting your bank, credit card companies and other institutions to ensure they are aware of what happened. Not to mention the time and costs involved in getting government-issued documents and credit cards replaced.
Identity theft insurance provides support and financial reimbursement to victims.
If you become a victim of identity fraud, you’ll have expense reimbursement and, depending on your policy, personal help for the recovery process.
Some examples of the expenses covered by identity theft insurance are:
- The cost of obtaining credit bureau reports.
- Fees associated with reapplying for loans, grants, or other credit instruments.
- Phone, postage, and shipping fees resulting from your identity recovery efforts.
- Notary and filing fees incurred to correct your identity and credit records.
- Legal fees resulting from identity fraud.
- Lost wages and child and elder care expenses.
In addition, depending on the insurance policy you choose, you may also have a personal representative who can do much of the identity restoration legwork for you by working with affected agencies and institutions, including credit card companies, credit bureaus, creditors, and businesses on your behalf to correct identity fraud issues.
Identity theft can—and does—happen, so let’s talk about identity theft insurance!
The risk of identity theft is very real—and with the considerable number of data breaches happening at major retailers and other entities on a regular basis, identity theft crime is something that you should be prepared to handle. Identity theft insurance can protect you from the losses related to the time and money needed to restore your financial and personal records. To learn more, contact one of our insurance professionals who can help you determine if you should include identity theft insurance in your personal data protection plan.
Crystal Haefner of Dowagiac is a Customer Service Representative at Kemner-Iott of Cass County. Crystal leads the office as the United Way campaign coordinator and in the offices’ Wellness initiatives. Crystal likes to spend her spare time gardening.
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