The identity theft endorsement provides coverage for expenses incurred as a result of the theft of the policyholder’s identity. Identity theft is defined as the act of knowingly transferring or using, without lawful authority, a policyholder’s identification with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal law or a felony under any applicable state or local law.
Covered expenses include:
- Attorney fees (limits of coverage depend on your insurance carrier)
- Lost wages
- Long distance calls
- Certified mail and notary costs
- Long application fees
A policyholder is eligible for this endorsement (the definition of homeowner policy includes renter’s and condominium owner’s policies). However, the endorsement does not cover:
- Loss arising out of business pursuits of any policyholder.
- Expenses incurred due to any fraudulent, dishonest, or criminal act by a policyholder or any person acting in concert with a policyholder, or by any authorized representative of a policyholder whether acting along or in collusion with others.
- Loss other than expenses
A deductible may apply.
Identity Theft Prevention Tips
- Order copies of your credit report from the three credit reporting agencies annually.
- Keep items with personal information in a safe place. Shred all important (charge receipts, credit applications, insurance forms, bank checks and statements, pre-approved credit applications, credit card receipts with a cross-cut paper shredder.
- Release your Social Security number only when absolutely necessary. Ask to use other types of identifiers when possible. Don’t carry your birth certificate, Social Security card, or passport unless necessary. Do not put your Social Security number on your checks or credit receipts.
- Carry only the minimal identification information and cards needed. If your ID or credit cards are lost or stolen, notify the creditors by phone immediately, and ask the credit bureaus to place a “fraud alert” on your credit file.
- Do not give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact and/or know the party with whom you’re dealing.