It’s hard to believe how quickly time is going by! It seems like just yesterday that it was -30*F and now we’re nearly halfway through May already! In other words, I really hope you’ll forgive my lengthy absence from blogging.
Today I’m going to start a series addressing a couple different things to consider when insuring your home. As you are certainly aware, things are moving at a pretty rapid pace these days – even for our government! So that means there are a lot of things for you to keep up with as a home owner or renter, not the least of which are threats to the fidelity of your personal & financial identity and protecting your home against flood waters.
We’ll start with the one that affects virtually everyone – data breach and identity theft. It’s hard to imagine that anyone hasn’t yet heard about the thieves that struck Target right before Christmas, accessing the credit information of millions of customers and having a major & long-term impact on Target, both financially and from a human resources perspective. And, of course, there has also been the recent Heartbleed attack and the vulnerabilities of Internet Explorer.
Coupled with the dramatic increase in usage of social media , especially on smart phones, and the amount of business being done online means the chance of having your identity stolen has become dangerously high. All you need to do is take a look at a couple statistics – here or here or here – to know that the risk now is greater than ever before. Yet many customers do not have any form of identity theft coverage on their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. For a relatively minimal amount of premium – $25-50 a year on average – you can add typically $25,000 of identity recovery insurance.
Bear in mind, Identity Theft insurance is intended to assist you in restoring your good name by assigning you a coach or assistant to work you through the process, as well as paying for credit reports and monitoring, but not to restore what’s been stolen. Your insurance company will, via your coach, work with the credit card companies to remove fraudulent charges and with your bank to restore what was stolen. The final decision, though, rests with each of your financial institutions, not with your insurance company.
To summarize, for a minimal amount of premium each year, you can gain a lot of assistance in protecting your identity! (PS – if you’re renting, and you don’t have a renter’s policy – that’s a cheap and easy problem to solve – much cheaper than you think!)