Identity theft occurs when someone else fraudulently acquires and uses your private identifying information such as your social security number, generally for their own illegal financial gain.
While identity theft has occurred for centuries, technology has made it easier than ever for criminals to steal your identity.
How Do Thieves Steal Your Identity?
Thieves can steal your identity via a variety of methods.
Phishing and malware tactics are both used to trick people into giving up personal information online.
With phishing, the ID thieves email their victims with messages designed to trick them into thinking those messages are from legitimate businesses, leading the victim to give up access to their personal information via email or another landing page or portal.
Malware is similar in that it is software designed to trick the victim.
These programs use the lure of “something for nothing” in order to convince people to download “free” software from the internet (generally using pop up ads or similarly invasive advertising techniques).
But of course, nothing is really free and these supposedly free software programs can contain malware or malicious software which gives the ID thieves access to the end user’s entire computer, tablet, or phone.
But technology isn’t the only way that identity thieves can steal your identity.
Mail theft and associated dumpster diving can allow thieves to get their hands on documents like credit card statements, bills, tax information, and other items that can reveal your private details.
What is Identity Theft Insurance?
Identity theft insurance covers you in the case that your identity is stolen.
It can cover notary fees for the various documents you will need to provide to prove your identity and the theft, certified mailing fees that may be necessary in order to send said documents, fees for public records searches, and the cost of software programs that monitor the web for information about your identity.
Why Do You Need Identity Theft Insurance?
Identity theft is on the rise and even if your wallet and credit cards and ID are safely in your hands or home, you’re still vulnerable and could experience ID theft through various online platforms.
Note that identity theft insurance doesn’t typically cover any direct monetary damages that occur if the thieves manage to access your bank account or credit cards; they just pay for the fees associated with getting the bank or credit card company to return your funds.
What Type(s) of Identity Theft Insurance Do You Need?
Note that identity theft insurance will only reimburse for costs incurred in the process of protecting your identity and restoring your funds via your bank; identity theft insurance won’t provide direct monetary compensation.
That will be done through your bank or credit card company or other relevant parties.
How Do You Choose The Right Type of Identity Theft Insurance?
Most identity theft insurance policies are similar and can be bundled with your homeowners’ insurance or renters’ insurance policies.
Identity theft insurance usually includes assistance in straightening out all the issues that come up if your identity is stolen, such as supplying all the necessary documents to your bank or credit card company and getting things notarized and sending them through certified mail.
What Other Types of Insurance Are Related to Identity Theft Insurance?
Theft insurance in general (but not specifically identity theft insurance) might be included in your homeowners or renters’ insurance package.
Your insurance agent will be able to tell you exactly what is required to protect your identity and the type of identity theft coverage that you should have.