Identity theft is when someone else uses your personal information (birthdate, social security number or even just your name) without your permission. These fraudulent acts can include starting credit cards in your name, writing bad checks or even applying for health care. While state and federal laws do protect individuals from identity theft, they do not help with the costs associated with recovering a stolen identity. You could spend thousands restoring your credit history, correcting fraudulent information and combating creditors trying to collect on those fraudulent accounts.
Identity Theft: A Growing Problem
You cannot turn on the news these days without hearing about another hack—from the latest Anthem Blue Cross incident to Sony to Turbo Tax, the list goes on. In the United States, more than 11.6 million adults had to deal with some form of identity fraud in 2011, and that number was up 13 percent from 2010. In more recent years, this number is definitely higher.
Can Identity Theft Insurance in Jackson, Mississippi Really Protect You?
If you are a victim of identity theft, you could enter unforeseen costs while reestablishing your credit and good name. While the insurance does not prevent identity theft and does not cover the direct monetary losses (such as funds stolen from your bank account), it does cover the cost of reclaiming your identity. Depending on the policy, these can include making copies, certified mail, taking time off work, etc. The exact coverage will depend on the carrier and their policy terms for identity theft insurance.
How to Prevent Identity Theft
There is no 100 percent guarantee that you can avoid identity theft. There are things you can do, however, to limit the chances of becoming a victim:
- Never carry your social security card around with you.
- Shred pre-approved credit offers and bills that come in the mail before throwing them away. Using a cross-hatch shredder for credit cards and sensitive documents is a good idea.
- Only make purchases online through reputable suppliers. Consider using just one card for all online purchases.
- Put all outgoing mail directly in a U.S. Post Office mailbox.
- Check your credit report annually for any changes.
- Put a fraud alert on your credit report. This will require creditors to take extra steps to identify the individual before giving them any form of credit (including a bank account).
Most consumers do not realize how costly identity theft can be until they become a victim. The cost of identity theft insurance is nominal compared to those costs; it is often a low annual fee.
Call The Nowell Agency Inc. at 601.992.4444 to learn more about identity theft insurance in Jackson, Mississippi or to request a quote online.