This conversation was sponsored by Identity Protection Planning and Identron.
All opinions are my own.
I had a crazy mishap the other day–my TV quit working. I know…not a huge deal, but it was an expensive TV and although my life looks massively glamorous, I am on a budget, so spending $1,000 on a new TV was not in that budget, needless to say.
But, I remembered doing something REALLY smart about 4 1/2 years ago when I bought that TV…I got the 5 year warranty.
Score on the adulting that day for me–and score for me now that I don’t have to buy a new TV.
And that’s how Identity Theft Insurance works, too.
You’re just moseying along, having a great time doing your own thing, then–BAM! Something crazy shows up on your credit score saying you have thousands of dollars outstanding on a credit card you never even opened. Dun. Dun. Duuuuuuuun.
But, before getting a policy, there are 3 Major Mistakes People Make with Identity Theft Protection that we all need to correct.
Then, it’s time to get all adulty and call Identity Protection Planning and get the family covered.
3 Major Mistakes People Make with Identity Theft Protection
- Assuming All Insurance Companies and Plans Are the Same. In fact, no two insurance plans are exactly the same. That is one of the games that insurance companies often play with their customers. In order to get you in the door, they’ll modify provisions specific to you and your situation. Which is great, except we’re talking about more than just little tweaks here and there. I once had an insurance company drop my car coverage by half when I added my homeowners insurance after I told them I was price shopping the whole thing–only to find out that they’d also skimmed on my rental car coverage and uninsured motorist coverage when I had an accident. Identity theft protection works the same way. If you want to price shop and compare apples-to-apples, you have understand what the apples are.
- Assuming Your Credit Card Company Has Your Back. A lot of people assume that credit card companies have “identity theft insurance” on all their cardholders–usually because the credit card companies SAY they do. But what cardholders really have is “if this card is lost or stolen and you report it within a specified time, then the credit card company will waive charges and cancel the card.” What THAT is is certainly not identity theft protection. That’s just not being a jerk when your credit card is lost. Identity theft is typically NOT just “I lost my card” but more “someone opened a new credit card or 10 in my name” and credit card companies DO NOT cover that. And the bill will be due to the person who’s name the credit card has on it. Every time. To really be protected,
- Assuming Identity Theft Only Happens to Adults. According to the Federal Trade Commission, more than 1-million kids, 2/3 of which are under the age of 7, were the victims of identity fraud last year. That’s a lot of kids. I mean, just think of all the summer camp and day care activities that you sign your kids up for–every one of them asks for their social security number…And every time you share that number, it’s at risk of being stolen and used to open credit cards, etc. Kids rarely find out until they’re adults–and then it’s too late. This literally happened to a friend of mine. Someone stole his social security number when he was a kid and racked up thousands in debt in his name. Obviously, because he was like 5 at the time his information was stolen–and they used it for years–the debt defaulted when it was unpaid. When he was ready to buy a house, all that bad credit came back to kill his interest rate and he ended up renting for years until he could clean the mess up.
The good news is, it’s really easy to avoid these 3 Major Mistakes People Make with Identity Theft Protection. First step is to figure out what kind of protection you need.
For example, if you have kids, you want to make sure that they’re covered on any plan you look at, and you’ll want to make sure that when you price-shop, you’re comparing “whole family” coverage every time.
Questions to ask insurers: Does the policy cover the whole family? Does the policy have a high limit (like $1-million)? What kind of monitoring is included? To compare plans, knowing all of this is critical.
Second, know that your credit card company is there to loan money–not to protect people in the event of identity theft, so, for REAL protection, it’s important to look for experts like Identity Protection Planning and Identron.
With real plans that cover the whole family, including continual monitoring, child-specific rapid response kits, and $1-million in coverage for every policy, there’s no reason not to take their 30-day risk-free trial.
I’m really excited to be avoiding these 3 Major Mistakes People Make with Identity Theft Protection now that I know a little more about identity protection.
And that just makes sense.