Is Identity Theft Insurance Worth It?

Identity theft can take place in many shapes and forms, but it’s usually done for financial gain. In other cases, it occurs because an individual would like to assume your identity in order to better blend in with society. The threat is becoming better realized these days. The number of ways that criminals can steal your identity is growing as well, and so we should all take the appropriate steps to defend ourselves. Identity theft insurance could be one way to do just that, but only if you want limited protection.

According to a 2017 Identity Fraud Study by Javelin Strategy & Research, at least $16 billion has been funneled away from unassuming victims in just 2016 alone. Of the 330 million U.S. citizens, at least 15.4 million fell victim to identity theft in 2016. If you do the math, then you’ve probably figured out that over a lifetime it’s more than likely you’ll be attacked–more than once.

Even worse than that? That number acknowledges two million more victims than were attacked in 2015, only one year earlier.

Most identity theft insurance policies will actively monitor your accounts for wrong-doing, and make you aware if they find any illicit activity. Two things to note about this: first, most big banks provide this service to prevent fraud anyway, and they actively take steps to track down the perpetrators after it happens. Second, insurance policies do not take those next steps. All they do is make you aware of what already happened. Taking the next step is on you, the victim.

Insurance policies won’t freeze funds to prevent criminals from accessing them. After you’ve been hit and you need to respond, your policy probably won’t offer much in the way of reimbursement. It’s not like flood protection or renters insurance. You’re not going to recover even a fraction of what you stood to lose in the first place. In fact, insurance policies only offer limited protection from a couple types of fraud, which leaves you open to plenty of others.

At the end of the day, you’re better off trying to find a lawyer who specializes in helping the victims of identity theft and fraud. You’re a lot more likely to gain compensation for your losses.