Understanding your home insurance coverage and identity theft.
Identity theft is becoming a major epidemic in the U.S. In fact, a 2018 report revealed that 16.7 million people were victims of identity theft in 2017, resulting in over $16.8 billion in losses. With these startling statistics in mind, many homeowners wonder if they have coverage for the losses associated with identity theft. Here's what you need to know about your home insurance coverage and identity theft.
Insurance for Identity Theft
Unfortunately, identity theft protection is not included in standard home insurance policies. However, in response to this emerging risk, many insurance providers offer policy endorsements specifically designed to protect against the losses associated with identity theft.
On average, these endorsements cost between $25 and $60 a year. Because identity theft can have a negative impact on your credit and cause other financial problems, home insurance identity theft endorsements usually focus on recovery costs and restoration services. This means that your endorsement will help you cover the cost of replacing important documents, monitoring your credit, and so on.
Please keep in mind that identity theft endorsements will not offer coverage for the money you lose as a result of the identity thief withdrawing funds from your account or making purchases in your name. You will have to handle these financial losses on your own by working with your individual financial institutions.
Reporting Identity Theft
If you become the victim of identity theft, then you need to file a report with the police and your financial institution as soon as possible. The faster you report the theft, the quicker you can protect your various assets and credit. After you have reported the theft to the authorities and your bank, then you can file an identity theft claim to your insurer. If you have the endorsement, then your insurer will connect you with a professional who can help you replace the necessary documents, correct credit reporting errors, and address other issues.
Preventing Identity Theft
Even if you report instances of theft immediately and secure coverage through an identity theft endorsement, it can still take months or even years to recover from the effects of identity theft. This is why it's in your best interest to prevent theft in the first place. Here are some of the precautions that you should take.
- Safeguard your social security card and never give your social security number or other personal information to a company or individual that you do not trust.
- Keep the number of credit cards and forms of ID you carry at a minimum.
- Cover your ATM pin number whenever you have to enter it.
- Always update your computer spyware and antivirus programs when prompted.
- Only shop on secure websites.
- Shred all important documents before throwing them away.
- Use strong passwords to protect your financial accounts. The best passwords contain a random sequence of lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Always review your bank and credit card statements to confirm the accuracy of transactions.
- Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion annually.
- Ask that fraud alerts be placed on your credit file, so you are alerted to any fraudulent activity.
This is what you need to know about home insurance coverage and identity theft. Do you have additional questions about your home coverage? If so, then contact
the experts at Fuller Insurance Agency in Los Angeles. We are ready to assist you with all your home coverage needs today.