Insuring against ID theft

Monday, July 21st 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Nearly a third of all complaints to the Federal Trade Commission last year dealt with some sort of identity theft. A recent survey shows more people worried about that than losing their jobs.

News on 6 consumer reporter Rick Wells says there is a new way to protect yourself. Stolen checks lead to stolen identity. The FTC reports more than 150,000 cases of identity theft last year, fixing the problem can take time and be expensive.

Actually statistics tell us, one in 20 of us, at some point, will have to deal with the hassle of a stolen identity. Now just to prove that you can get insurance for just about anything, some companies offer identity theft insurance, and it's not expensive. There are three ways you can get it. As an add-on item to your homeowners or renters insurance, for a fee of $25 a year you get $15,000 to $25,000 in coverage.

A few companies offer actual ID theft insurance policies. They cost more maybe $50 to $180 a year. Some credit card companies offer the coverage. Check with the institution that issued the card, there may be restrictions. Do we really need it?

ID theft is costly. On the average if it happens it take 175 hours and $1,000 out of pocket to fix it. A policy that costs $25 a year could be money well spent. What does the coverage include? It'll cover time taken off work to deal with problems. Notary fees and money to mail certified documents. It covers long distance phone charges to deal with creditors and some but not all attorney fees associated with clearing your name.

The Oklahoma Insurance commissioner's office says the best place to start if you are interested in this type of coverage is with the company that covers your home.