Identity Theft Insurance

Identity thieves steal your personal information to create a new “you” and then open credit cards or run up big bills on your cards, buy cars, take expensive vacations, apply for loans, get drivers licenses, etc. — all in your name and without your knowledge!

The theft can take up to 14 months to discover; and once discovered, repairing the damage to your credit and reputation can cost you time, money, and hassles.

One recent survey found that more Americans are worried about identity theft than about losing their jobs.

The more you have, the more you have to lose! Consider the case of Tiger Woods. In 2000, Woods testified that someone stole his Social Security number, applied for and received credit cards, and then ran up $17,000 worth of bills before police put an end to his shopping spree when he tried to buy a luxury car.

The explosive growth of automation technology and the Internet has triggered an identity theft epidemic. The Federal Trade Commission describes ID theft as the fastest growing crime of our time, costing some 10 million Americans $73.8 billion in 2003 (nearly $7,500 per victim). That doesn't include undiscovered or unreported thefts (many businesses don't report customer information security breaches because they don't want negative publicity).

Identity thieves can range from opportunistic amateurs, friends or relatives, and employees, to hackers and organized crime networks. To create a phony identity, all a thief needs is your Social Security number, credit card number, checking account number, birth certificate, mother's maiden name or a password — information that's all too easy to obtain.

The Solution


Identity Theft insurance can give you peace of mind. Look for a policy that offers:
  • Protection of your assets from ID fraud; a minimum coverage of $25,000
  • A low (or no) deductible
  • Reimbursement for civil and criminal legal defense costs of identity restoration (15% of ID theft victims have a warrant issued for their arrest)
  • Reimbursement for wages lost while restoring your identity (the average victim spends 175 hours straightening out the mess)
  • Reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses in identity restoration: Loan re-filing fees, DMV, passport, Social Security, long-distance phone charges, notary, postage, credit reports, etc. — together with the forms required
  • Periodic guidelines (online or mail) offering ID security tips
  • Computer virus alerts
  • 24/7 online or toll-free claims reporting service
ID Theft Insurance premiums can vary from $25 to $180 a year, depending on the coverage and benefits that meet your needs.
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Quotes

"Three groups spend other people's money: Children, thieves, politicians. All three need supervision." - Dick Armey

"Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it." - G. K. Chesterton

Resources

Federal Trade Commission
Safe Shopping
Cyber Savvy