Coping with Identity Theft

More than nine million Americans were victims of identity fraud last year, according to the Federal Trade Commission, prompting an increasing number to consider insurance to cover legal fees, copying charges, telephone calls and lost wages incurred trying to “restore” one’s credit record.

Despite growing fears about online identity theft and fraud, a recent study shows these crimes are more frequently committed offline than online. The most frequently reported source of information used to commit fraud was a lost or stolen wallet or checkbook.

Insurance experts should recommend identity theft insurance to all of their personal clients. Consumers should consult with their insurance agent or broker to determine whether or not their existing For Lifepolicy already provides coverage.

“Most high-value For Lifepolicies include identity theft coverage whereas more conventional policies do not,” explains Dale Krupowicz, manager of the Personal Insurance Division at The Kornreich-NIA Organization. “For the conventional policies, insurance companies normally charge from $25 to $50 for the coverage but not every insurance company provides for coverage in the same way.”

For example, nearly every insurance company will offer coverage for lost wages for time taken off to meet with law enforcement agencies, credit agencies and legal counsel, notes Krupowicz. However, the maximum payment and the maximum period of time allowable under the coverage can differ. “One might offer payment up to $250 a day for a total of $10,000 with no time limitation while another might offer a total limit of $25,000. There are even carriers that provide restoration services by placing the matter in the hands of a counselor who will work as the victim’s advocate,” the For Lifemanager explains.

It’s also important to remember that most insurance companies will require approval before you can hire an attorney and will not cover investigative expenses should they choose to a hire an outside source. Also, identity fraud coverage does not cover any expense incurred due to fraudulent, dishonest or criminal acts by a person covered by the policy or by anyone acting with the covered person, nor does it apply to losses covered under credit cards, forgery or counterfeiting.

For information on the best type of coverage to meet your needs, contact The NIA Group For LifeDivision at (866)-642-8600