Did you know that the recent Equifax data breach affected 143 million American consumers? When these hackers breached Equifax’s system, they were able to access driver’s license information, Social Security numbers, addresses, birthdates, and more. While there are many different ways that criminals can access your personal and financial information, data breaches are one threat that can be difficult to protect yourself from.
Even if you’ve done everything possible to use the most secure websites and are diligent about password security, there’s not much else you can do when big companies experience a data breach. Luckily, with the help of identity theft insurance, you can give yourself peace of mind in knowing the identity recovery process will be much easier than it would be without proper insurance protection. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of investing in identity theft coverage and how you can work to protect your private information.
What Types of Identity Theft are Most Common?
Because there are a variety of ways that your identity can be stolen, you may not notice that anything has happened for quite some time. Criminals can steal your information through the mail, when you shop online, or even when you use your bank card at the ATM. If you start to receive bills for items that you didn’t buy, are receiving debt collection calls for accounts that you didn’t open, or you’ve recently been denied for a loan—you may be the victim of identity theft. Some common types of identity theft to look out for include:
- Tax ID Theft – In this situation, someone can use your Social Security number to falsely file an income tax return with the IRS and/or your state.
- Social ID Theft – When someone uses your name and likeness to create fake accounts on social media.
- Credit or Debit Card Theft – Criminals can steal your credit card number, PIN, and security code to access your account and make unauthorized purchases.
- Mail Identity Theft – If your mail is stolen, fraudsters can retrieve your financial account information and make purchases with your credit. Additionally, they can change your address and contact information so that you’ll never receive the bills associated with these accounts.
- Driver’s License or ID Theft – If your identification is stolen, thieves can use your information to falsify new identification cards. If you’ve recently lost your wallet or it was stolen, it’s important to update your credit file to include this information.
Do I Need Identity Theft Insurance?
Identity theft insurance can be extremely helpful for anyone who has had their personal information stolen. It provides an extra layer of protection and financial assistance that is vital to the identity restoration process. While your coverage can’t help to cover the costs of the purchases that were made using your identity, it can offer financial assistance for many of the steps needed to repair your credit. Depending on your policy, you may be able to file a claim to cover the costs of:
- Lost wages
- Legal fees
- Childcare costs
- Obtaining copies of your credit reports
- Notary fees
- Mailing sensitive personal documents
- Credit monitoring services
- And more
Even if you’ve been lucky enough to avoid identity theft up until this point, investing in this valuable insurance coverage option is the best way to enjoy peace of mind in knowing that you can pick up the pieces after a covered event.