Data breaches and identity theft cases are rising significantly as more personal data is communicated and stored online. According to Javelin Strategy & Research, 2016 was a record year for identity theft, with criminals stealing between $1 and $16 billion from nearly 2 million victims.
Equifax, a consumer credit reporting agency, was recently hacked causing a data breach that is estimated to impact nearly 143 million consumers. Identity thieves and hackers had access to Social Security numbers, names, credit card numbers, dates of births, and other personal information.
How to check if you were affected
First, check to see if your personal information may have been compromised by visiting Equifax’s TrustedID website and clicking “Potential Impact.”
Steps to take if you were impacted
- If you have been affected by the data breach, Equifax is offering free enrollment in their identity protection program, Trusted ID.
- Call us at 800-725-4484 to see if your policy provides Identity Theft Coverage. Generally, this is a separate coverage that can be added onto your policy for $30-$50 annually. This coverage generally ranges from $15,000-$50,000, depending on your insurance policy and the provider that your insurance company partners with.
What does Identity Theft Coverage provide?
Typically, Identity Theft coverage provides access to fraud specialists which can give you guidance on the initial steps to take when trying to repair the damage caused by cyber criminals. This coverage may also include lost wages, loan reapplication fees, and may even cover expenses to hire an attorney to assist you.
While the thought of identity theft is scary, we can help provide you with resources that can make the process more manageable. If you have any questions on the breach or are interested in learning more about Identity Theft coverage available to you, please contact us.