Identity Fraud and Your California Homeowners Insurance

Posted on May 24, 2010


Technology improvements over the past few decades have enriched our lives, allowing us to perform once time-consuming activities such as banking and shopping from the comfort and leisure of our homes.  Unfortunately, these gains have not come without a sacrifice to our privacy.  With more and more of our personal lives and financial information floating through cyber space, thieves have seized the opportunity to steal our personal information for their personal gain.  According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft has been the number one consumer complaint for the past seven years consecutively and losses from these crimes now exceed 56 billion annually according to some estimates.  While the financial loss to victims can be staggering, so is the headache involved in unraveling the effects of these unscrupulous crimes.  Studies indicate the average victim spends up to 175 hours attempting to restore their financial lives to normal.   Traditional tactics for protecting one’s identity range widely, but at their core each involves safeguarding private information, especially privy information such as one’s drivers license and social security number, and monitoring financial accounts for unauthorized changes.   Credit monitoring programs offered through banks or credit bureau’s have also become popular, but even these precautions are not full proof.  Despite even the most diligent precautionary efforts, identity theft is not something that’s easily prevented in the digital age because thieves have a habit of staying one step ahead of the technology designed to stop them.  Fortunately, many California insurance companies have recognized the need for identity fraud insurance and it’s now available by endorsement on a few homeowners insurance policy’s, with many other company’s sure to follow suit in the near future.  While coverages vary from policy to policy, many provide up to 30k in covered losses and provide continuous credit monitoring, while also saving victims from the headache of unraveling a nightmarish attack on their financial lives.  The costs for these coverage’s are very low, typically about $5 per month.  A small price to pay for peace of mind.  Call your local insurance advisor and see what programs are available with your insurer.  Keep in mind, however, even the best insurance is no substitute for good diligence in safeguarding your personal information.

Jeremy Schaedler

El Dorado Hills, CA

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Posted in: Home Insurance