Sunday, April 4, 2010

Should You Buy Identity Theft Coverage?

Its 2010, so I know that if you're smart enough to figure out the internet and stumble across a blog (like this one as an example), then you're smart enough to know what identity theft is. You know it's out there happening to people every minute of every day, but will it happen to you? With more than 10,000,000 identity theft victims in 2008 alone* chances are it could happen to you, and since it takes an average of 330 hours of work to repair the damage** you should be prepared for it! The easiest way to protect yourself is with Identity Theft Protection, but where's the best (and cheapest) place to get it?

Google the words "Identity Theft Protection" and you'll get around 52 million results, which makes the question of where to get the best protection for the best a price more than a little overwhelming. Your bank, credit card provider, AND a myriad of on-line companies are all happy to help you protect yourself for $10 - $20 per month, but they usually don't include coverage for your family. One of the best (and most affordable) places to stay protected is through your local, professional insurance agent.

Most insurance companies that sell home insurance also sell identity theft protection as an additional rider on your insurance policy. Not all coverage is the same so you'll want to talk to your agent about specific coverage and exclusions, but most companies include the following benefits for the insurance clients:
  1. Coverage is included for everyone in the family for one set price. No need to pay fees for each member of your household.
  2. Coverage usually includes monitoring so you can be notified early of any fraudulent activity.
  3. You'll have a multi-million (or multi-billion) dollar company AND their team of attorneys working on your behalf to fix any problems.
  4. Coverage typically includes incidental charges like lost wages in case you have to miss work to help clear up any problems.
  5. Insurance companies are regulated by each state where as independent identity theft protection companies may not be. The result, more consistent results from insurance companies and a place to turn (the state insurance commissioner's office) if your protection plan does not do what it is supposed to.
The best part about getting your identity theft protection through your insurance company is the competitive pricing. At about $7.50 per month for the entire family the price is tough to beat. Insurance companies already have a vested interest in protecting your family, and if they can add on a service that you might buy elsewhere then it solidifies your relationship and keeps you as a client for longer. It's a proven fact, the more things your insurance company takes care of for you, the more loyal you are and the longer you remain a customer. Besides, insurance companies already have teams of attorneys on staff; having them take care of identity theft cases is another way to maximize the money they're paid.

There are plenty of places to get your identity theft coverage. Should you have it? That seems like an easy question to answer...YES! And since you can protect your entire family with a dedicated team of attorneys and the resources of a billion dollar insurance company, $7.50 per month seems like the best deal around.

Talk to your local, professional agent today about adding on this important coverage for your family.

*Javelin Strategy and Research, 2009
** ITRC Aftermath Study, 2004

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