Identity Theft Insurance
Identity Theft is an ongoing concern to all Americans. Indeed in the past two years millions in the United States have had a portion or all of their identity stolen. Seemingly rare is the individual who did not receive a breach notification notice and see their credit cards replaced and pull their credit reports up for a quick review.

Consumer Reports Magazine (February 2017) took at look at the world of Identity Theft Insurance offerings and determined that such insurance is not worth acquiring, as resources are available for an individual to restore their identity without the assistance of a middle-man.  Typically these insurance policies are add-ons to homeowners or rental policies at a rate of $25-50/year.

The downside of these services?  They don’t prevent or alert you to problems, they will reimburse your expenses or losses up to a stated limit ($25,000 is the norm). Consumer Reports points out that banks and credit card companies already protect you, the consumer from fraud.  They continued, quoting the Department of Justice, how the median loss was $70, largely due to the banks/credit card issuer coverage.

Know the difference between identity monitoring services and identity restoration services. The former is designed to give you a heads-up on your identity being at risk or stolen and the latter is designed to help you restore your identity after it has been stolen.

Now, the upside to this type of identity theft insurance, is a dedicated case manager is able to assist and walk you through the identity restoration steps.

Identity Theft Resource CenterWho can help me restore my identity?

You can also use the services of the Identity Theft Resource Center (a non-profit) organization.  If you have a question or are unsure of what your next steps should be, call them 1-888-400.5530 (or click on their logo and visit their victim assistance page)

Our advice

Compare what you are able to do yourself, and if you think you will need to have a guiding hand, look into the resources of the ITRC, still stymied or unsure, dig into what your identity theft insurance coverage includes and be sure it includes a dedicated case manager?

Source: Consumer Reports looks at value of ID theft insurance