Insurance comes in many different forms but it all has a similar purpose: protection. In today’s world, there are a lot of things to remain protected from as technology grows and we continue to become more and more integrated with it. Identity theft insurance is a great way to receive inexpensive coverage that protects you and your family against a crime that is already costing Texans hundreds of millions each year. Learn how you’re insurance for identity theft protects you, the cost of your protection, and who can benefit from such policies.
What Is Identity Theft Insurance?
Identity theft insurance helps you in the event your identity is stolen by providing reimbursement for the out-of-pocket expenses that occur when recovering your identity. It’s a great way to not only mitigate costs but to ensure that there is a team of experts looking out for potential fraud and helping you should the worst come to fruition.
Homeowners in Texas can add an insurance rider to their home insurance policy to receive this protection for their household. Which is a good thing considering the risks that Texans are susceptible to for such losses.
There were 146,095 identity theft cases in 2021, alone in Texas. This makes the Lone Star State one of the more susceptible states to such losses and more likely to have someone submit an identity theft insurance claim.
What Does Identity Theft Insurance Cover?
Your identity theft insurance is going to protect you against the cost of restoring your identity. This is important to note because it does not cover money you may lose due to such fraud. But there are two key considerations as to why this is:
- In many cases, homeowners don’t need identity theft insurance to cover lost funds because their banks will restore the losses anyways.
- However, especially for more complicated scenarios, homeowners are covered for things such as lost wages, certified mail and notary charges, fees, phone bills, and the cost of an attorney.
These expenses are never welcomed, but when fighting to restore your identity, they can compound. It can take as much as six months to restore your identity and in the meantime, you will find yourself jumping through hoops to not only recover but even access your hard-earned money.
Reimbursement is a lifeline in many cases and protection that shouldn’t be ignored as scams continue to increase. With this in mind, and in addition to these coverages, some policies even include credit monitoring services.
These services will keep an eye on your credit report and alert you to potential fraud should it occur. By doing so, policyholders gain an extra eye and can stop identity theft sooner to prevent losses from growing even larger than they initially are.
How Much Does Identity Theft Insurance Cost?
On average, your costs for identity theft insurance in Texas are around $25 to $50 per year. This makes identity theft insurance coverage a very affordable option for homeowners. Overall, the cost of adding this rider to your home insurance policy is only a part of what you’ll be paying in premium.
This is because home insurance protects much more than just the structure of your home depending on your coverage. Adding an identity theft policy endorsement will mean more coverage and, therefore, an increase in premiums.
There are several factors that can raise the amount you pay on premiums. Your location, the age of your home, and your claims history are a few common examples. When it’s all said and done, homeowners with more risk and more coverage will pay higher premiums than less risky homeowners with less coverage.
Your home insurance policy should save you money but it will also need to protect you from viable risks to help mitigate potential losses. In other words, while less coverage can equate to lower premiums, you still need adequate coverage to protect against risks.
Skipping on coverage because you are looking to save on premiums can cost you big in the long run. When it comes to identity theft, the expenses can add up all at a time when your money is in limbo.
Shopping around for your coverage is the best way to save. Homeowners that enroll with the right insurance carrier enjoy lower rates and can apply for the best discounts to save even more. When searching for identity theft insurance, it’s always recommended that you speak with a licensed agent for the most affordable coverage.
The Top Ways Texans Suffer From Identity Theft
Losing your identity can occur in many different ways. Criminals continue to get more and more creative as innocent victims simultaneously have more and more access points to their personal data.
Thieves are stealing your information for financial gain, however, this can come from many different angles:
- Using your identity to access bank, savings, and investment accounts.
- Falsifying records to open up accounts, lines of credit, etc.
- Creating complex legal situations by using your identity when they are dealing with legal issues themselves.
No matter the reason, it’s going to end in major hassles for you, the victims. But understanding the risks can help you mitigate them. Here are the most common ways Texans should stay alert while protecting their personal information:
In the digital age, scammers have more tools than ever to steal your hard-earned money, and phishing is at the top of the list. Traditionally, phishing scams came via email in which unsuspecting victims would provide sensitive data to what appeared to be a legit company.
There are some that also use attachments and links to get the receiver to open. Afterward, malware would invade their device and steal personal information. But while these scams still exist, there are several similar scams in play today.
This includes smishing, which is the same concept but uses text messaging to steal your info. There is also vishing, in which scammers use fake caller information to connect over the phone from anywhere in the world while appearing to be local or a trusted company.
Everything from the offer or prizes to threats is in play here and they all end the same way. Once you turn over your personal information, your identity will be stolen.
Think about the sheer amount of accounts, devices, and logins you use every day. These conveniences provide many different functions in our everyday lives, however, they are threats to our security.
There are tons of passwords to keep up with and places online that require you to sign up when shopping, playing, or communicating. When these organizations are hacked by criminals, your identity is at risk as your personal information can now be accessed by thieves.
Scams From Impersonation
Just as phishing scams can use malware or techniques to entice you to provide personal information, scammers create seemingly legit websites for the same reason. Once visiting, your device can be infected or potentially give up personal information to criminals. These scams, however, can also come in various forms through criminals pretending to be government agencies such as the IRS.
Identity Theft in Public
There are several ways to have your identity stolen while in person. Here are some of the most common:
- Skimming is a popular method. This is when your information is stolen after swiping a debit or credit card through a reader that has been tampered with. Sadly, thieves can also steal your identity simply by being next to you with an RFID reader. This means even if you don’t swipe, they can still get your information.
- Connecting to public devices including WiFi or charging stations. These are popular scams found at social hubs such as coffee shops or travel locations such as airports and hotels.
- Some scams are much less complex. It’s as simple as giving your card to a worker and having them keep the information for later use.
All of these high-tech methods are realistic as we continue to integrate more and more with the Internet, but old-school theft is still an issue. It could be a robbery, a family member, or simply an opportunistic thief that finds a lost card. Whatever the method, this can still put you and your family in a bind.
Auto Insurance Identity Theft
As a leading authority on insurance in Texas, we here at Freedom Insurance Group would be remiss to not mention a special type of robbery involving your auto insurance. Because this information needs to be carried while driving, it’s not uncommon that it’s left inside vehicles.
This is a problem considering Texas is particularly at risk with a higher rate of car burglaries. Thieves know that there is sensitive information available and do their best to take advantage by stealing it from a previously unsuspecting place.
The Dark Web
There’s a lot that happens on the dark web and that includes selling personal information for profit. This can go along with data breaches as massive amounts of data are collected and sold to the highest bidder looking to exploit the information for money.
Sadly, this is a growing problem for children and babies who may have their information stolen and not find out until much later. This is an important consideration for all families looking to keep their children safe.
Is Identity Theft Insurance Worth It?
If you’re looking for identity theft insurance to provide you with all of the money you’ve lost after a data breach, unfortunately, you will be disappointed by your coverage. Again, your policy won’t restore money stolen from your accounts, but there are still many benefits to this protection.
Especially when it comes to more complex cases of identity theft. Not only do you have unexpected costs to recover your information during a difficult financial spell, but the costs can add up and linger.
When cases are complicated and require legal action, legal fees are anything but cheap and the process can be arduous. Considering the low addition to your home insurance premium that this coverage can bring you and your family, identity theft insurance is a viable option for many households.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Identity Theft?
Yes, home insurance can cover identity theft, depending on who you enroll with and your policy. It’s most common that a standard home insurance policy (HO-3) will not come with identity theft coverage included, but some do.
However, many carriers offer insurance riders to add this protection, as we’ve previously mentioned. In order to better understand your options, you’ll want to contact an insurance agent to review the details of your coverage as well as the protections offered by your provider.
Find the Best Identity Theft Insurance for Homeowners in Texas
Do you need identity theft insurance? We’re here to help. By working with more than 25 top-rated insurance companies, we provide many different home insurance options including riders to protect your family’s personal information.
Comparing rates is essential for getting the right coverage for the lowest price, but why do prices vary? Identity theft insurance companies, or virtually any insurance company for that matter, are going to offer you protection based on their evaluation of the risk you present as a client.
If you have more risk, expect higher rates, and vice versa if you are less risky. This is why comparing is so important because even if you find the right coverage, you can still overpay based only on the fact that one brand assesses you as a risker client than their competitor.
Having more options for our clients is a big part of why clients who switch to Freedom Insurance Group enjoy 40% lower premiums for their home insurance. We have a wide range of discounts, bundling opportunities, and coverages available to consistently find the lowest price.
To learn more about your identity theft insurance options, if you’re a homeowner in Texas, give us a call today. You can also use our free online tool for a homeowners insurance quote to see how much you can save while staying better protected.