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ThiefIdentity theft is a growing risk. Most people are at risk for some form of identity theft. Prevention is possible with careful attention. Yet, when it occurs, it can be very costly to any victim. According to a survey from Javelin Strategy & Research, there were $16 billion worth of identity theft incidents in 2016. During that survey, 15.4 million consumers in the United States saw losses.

This type of risk is not one that most consumers can control. But, will home insurance help at all?

When Home Insurance Helps

There are some instances when home insurance can help when identity theft strikes. Most policies will provide coverage for minimal loss. Credit cards can also offer this same type protection. Some will immediately institute identity theft investigations.

However, basic home insurance usually won't offer comprehensive, large-scale identity theft protection. Consumers can purchase separate identity theft insurance from their home insurer. Some agencies offer it as a rider or special endorsement. Is it worth doing so? For anyone who uses credit cards, internet connectivity, or shares their personal information with others, it is worth investing in. Discuss the options with your agent.

How to Minimize Identity Theft Risks

Today’s world makes it hard to eliminate identity theft risks. However, there are steps consumers can take to reduce these risks.

  • Keep your social security number off the internet. If a trusted organization needs it, call them to provide it.
  • Check your credit report every three months. Look for any new accounts you did not select.
  • Sign up for a free credit monitoring service. They will alert you to changes on your file that could indicate risk.
  • Do not respond to requests for personal information, such as from credit cards, unless you initiate the connection.
  • Read through your mail every day. Look for accounts or data with other names.
  • Secure your internet connection. Don’t share personal information on public computers.
  • Keep personal information safe.

Identity theft is a real risk. If you experience any type of fraud, act on it. Discuss the risks with your insurance agent. A home insurance company can give you options to minimize any financial losses you have. Most importantly, stay vigilant. Stay up to date on risks. Manage your accounts closely. And, as soon as you see an area of concern, report it immediately.

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