One out of every ten people fall victim to identity theft fraud. Most people think it could never happen to them, but the unfortunate truth is that we are all at risk. Whether you shop online and the site is unsafe, or if you lose your wallet – there are many ways your identity can be leaked. When it does happen, not only is it a hassle to fix, but can be a very expensive mistake. Having Massachusetts identity theft insurance can protect you from fraud.
If your identity is stolen, you will be so thankful you have identity theft protection to help you get through this tough time. It takes an average of six hundred hours to fully recover from ID theft and victims pay an average of $1,400 out-of-pocket to secure their identity. Before disaster strikes, you should be well educated on what type of coverage you are buying. When purchasing ID theft protection, look for coverage that includes:
- Approved, reasonable attorney fees
- Employer-documented lost wages, for work time lost due to meeting with attorneys, law officials, and others concerning your claim
- Loan application fees when reapplying for a loan that was rejected due to credit fraud
- Costs for notarizing the appropriate official documents
- Costs for sending certified mail to the appropriate law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, etc.
- Related long-distance phone calls to merchants, law enforcement agencies, creditors, etc.
- Coverage to resolve any medical, criminal and employment-related issues
Adding MA ID theft coverage to your home, condo or renters insurance will protect you in the event of a lawsuit, bad credit score or the inability to obtain loans due to identity theft. Should you fall victim to identity theft, an agent specializing in fraud can assist you in recovering control over your personal identity. They can help you replace documents, such as driver’s licenses, passports, social security cards, and assist in filing certain legal documents. An agent can help you contact the proper authorities and credit bureaus, to help prevent this from ever happening again. When you call an agent to discuss your identity theft, here are some questions you should know the answers to:
- What type of accounts have been opened or accessed since the theft?
- Have you authorized anyone to use your account?
- Have you experienced any non-monetary harm?
- How much money have you spent trying to resolve this issue?
- Have you experienced any non-monetary harm?
How well do you know the state you live in? Did you know these fun facts about Massachusetts?
- The first American lighthouse was built in the Boston Harbor in 1716.
- The first sewing machine was built in Boston in 1845.
- Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, first demonstrated his invention in Boston in 1876. The first telephone was installed in Somerville.
Federal regulations under The Fair Credit Billing Act limit your credit card liability to $50 per account if reported within two days of the loss or theft, and card issuers often waive that amount. If the loss is reported after two days but less than sixty calendar days after your statement is sent, the maximum loss you are responsible for increases to $500 per account. The FCBA however does not cover many associated fees that may occur once you have become a victim of identity theft or fraud. This is why identity fraud protection is a very valuable coverage.
An effective and secure method to preventing a new credit card from being opened falsely in your name is a credit freeze. It is time-consuming, but it can keep your name safe. It can take up to three days to unfreeze your records in order for your own credit card requests to be processed. Another way to protect your identity is to contact the major credit-reporting agency and place a fraud alert on their credit report. Once it is placed, an alert requires that a business verify your identity before issuing credit in your name. Fraud alerts are free and last ninety days, unless you renew the alert. Other ways to stay safe are to be proactive in protecting yourself. Don’t let yourself become victim to identity theft. Here are some tips:
- Regularly shred important and sensitive documents.
- Keep your Internet privacy to the highest of settings, and use up to date anti-virus and anti-malware programs.
- Regularly update your email and account passwords.
- Do not keep your home Wi-Fi unsecured; add a password and do not use unsecured Wi-Fi to conduct personal banking or shopping.
- Regularly review your bank and credit card statements thoroughly, and question unfamiliar charges.
- Have an annual credit report done through by Annual Credit Report request services.
Additionally, ID theft coverage in MA will cover any lose wages or childcare expenses incurred as the result of restoring your identity. For something so helpful, it is also very affordable! Adding identity theft coverage to your existing home insurance policy can cost as little as $10-$25. Talk to an agent about finding you the coverage you need, and be prepared for the unexpected. Adding the extra protection will save you time and money if something were to happen.
Call our Encharter agents to at 888.754.8299 or use our contact form above to protect your identity with the right quote!