Is identity fraud insurance really worth the cost?
At the gas pump, the ATM, even swiping mail from your mailbox the outlets for identity thieves to steal your information are endless.
It's why so many consumers are willing to pay for identity theft protection. But is it worth your money?
Identity theft is such a problem, insurance companies have created identity theft policies you can add on to your homeowner's insurance. These are reputable companies like Allstate and State Farm, so you may consider buying it. Before you do, Consumer Reports says there are a few things you should know.
Identity theft insurance coverage usually includes help in straightening everything out after your identity has been stolen like cancelling accounts and cleaning up your credit report. That could mean anything from giving you advice so you can do it yourself to providing a dedicated case manager to make those time-consuming calls on your behalf. Make sure you find out exactly what the policy provides.
The insurance will not prevent identity theft or even alert you of suspicious activity with your accounts, but some policies claim to reimburse you for your losses. Before you think that's a great benefit, you should know banks and credit card companies already cover most or all of the losses due to fraud.
According to the Department of Justice, of ID theft victims who did lose money in 2014, the median loss was $70. Identity theft insurance costs between $25 and $50 a year.
ID theft protection services like Lifelock are different from insurance. Lifelock claims to monitor your credit reports and accounts and alert you of any suspicious activity. Lifelock's lowest plan is about $109 a year. Putting a freeze on your credit with all three credit bureaus is much cheaper; and it will prevent thieves from opening any new lines of credit in your name.
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