Why I Pay for Identity Theft Insurance

Identity Theft

Why I Pay for Identity Theft Insurance

Why I Pay for Identity Theft Insurance

This month, your MainStreet team is covering the topic of (drum roll, please…) protection. I wrote a detailed article in December expressing the importance of considering a credit freeze with all three bureaus. Major changes were put into place to make this process easier than ever and at a cost of $0 it’s a no-brainer. This step allows you to take a proactive measure by preventing a thief from opening a fraudulent account in your name.

Additionally, we continue to recommend annual credit report checks to keep an eye on any fraudulent changes or inaccurate companies reporting information. No person or company can completely prevent identity theft, but I’ve enrolled in a particular service since 2015 and found it to be very valuable: identity theft insurance.

Here’s what my coverage includes:

  • Continuous monitoring of my personal information to identify thieves attempting to sell it on the dark web
  • Immediate notification if there is suspected activity related to one of these data points: social security number, credit/debit cards, email addresses, medical IDs, phone numbers, bank accounts, driver’s license
  • If my identity is compromised, a team of certified recovery specialists handles all the work that’s needed to restore my identity. The insurance includes repayment of up to $1 million in stolen funds and reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses (ex. long distance phone calls, notary fees, application fees for loans that were rejected due to the theft, child and elderly care expenses, etc.)
  • 24/7 U.S.-based customer service

If you think identity theft insurance may be a good choice for you, be sure to choose a product that monitors credit data at all three credit bureaus. Avoid credit monitoring products from individual credit bureaus, which tend to have less robust coverage and may limit your right to sue them if they are the ones that exposed your financial data. Also, if you’ve already placed credit freezes (well done!), you will need to temporarily lift them to allow a provider access to your files for monitoring.

As far as my personal experience goes, I have had a series of potential breach notifications in the last few years, and immediately changed my passwords associated with the account at risk. Fortunately, I have not had to utilize their recovery services, but I’ve seen very positive reviews related to their team of dedicated specialists. I know it can take many, many hours of hassle and stressful phone calls to make progress after you’ve been a victim of a security breach, and I am happy to pay ~$150/year for my entire family to have this added layer of protection. And most importantly, the recovery support when we become targets. Because in this day of digital security, it’s not a matter of if, but when.

MainStreet Team
MainStreet Team

MainStreet Financial Planning, Inc., an independent fee-only financial planning firm was founded in Maryland in 2002 by Jim Ludwick, CFP® who passionately believed that financial planning advice should be accessible to people from all walks of life without product sales and investment management services. In 2006 Anna Sergunina, CFP® joined the team and together they grew MainStreet Financial to a nationally recognized company, with a team of 6 staff members and 5 offices across the country.

Get Started with MainStreet

Stay updated on future articles, shows, and podcasts