Will standard home policies protect you from identity theft?
Identity theft is becoming a major epidemic in the U.S. In fact, a 2018 report from Javelin Strategy & Research 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.
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.
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 make sure your computer spyware and antivirus programs are up to date.
- 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.
This is what you need to know about identity theft and your homeowners insurance. Do you have additional questions about your home coverage? If so, contact the experts at Gant Insurance Agency. We are ready to assist you with all your home coverage needs today.