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Do You Need Identity Theft Insurance? I dentity theft insurance helps protect you from the cost of fraud. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as nine million Americans have their identities stolen each year. Identity theft victims often have to spend their own money and a considerable amount of time and energy to clear their credit histories and correct their financial records. Many insurance companies offer identity theft insurance coverage as an optional endorsement under a homeowners, renters, condominium unit owners, manufactured home, or farm and ranch policy. If you become a victim of identity fraud, you’ll need expense reimbursement and personal help for the recovery process. Restoration Services Identity fraud victims spend an average of 60 frustrating hours repairing the damage done by identity thieves. While many identity theft insurance policies only reimburse you for the money you spend to do the work yourself, identity restoration services should include professional case management. This protection should be affordable – available as an addition to your existing policy that insures your home, apartment, condominium, manufactured home, or farm – and should save you time and help ease your burden. What Should Be Included If you become a victim of identity fraud, your assigned case manager will coach you through the complicated identity recovery process and work with you to recover control of your identity and help you restore your credit history. He or she can take on much of the work you’d otherwise have to handle on your own, including restoration services like: • Identifying the right people to contact and the information they’ll need. • Proving that your records or accounts have been fraudulently misused. • Working with credit bureaus, creditors, and financial institutions to identify errors and correct your records . • Enrolling you in an electronic credit monitoring service. • Reviewing your credit files and requesting fraud alerts with credit bureaus. • Preparing communications for you to send to credit bureaus, financial institutions, and government entities. • Working with you to check for a recurrence of identity theft problems. • Providing legal referrals to help with court appearances and legal entanglements. Carl Schindler, LUTCF, CSA Agent, State Farm Insurance If you’d rather manage the process yourself, your case manager can provide an identity recovery guide that will walk you through ways to guard against identity theft and what to do if it occurs. This res- toration services guide includes sample letters to creditors and credit bureaus and other information to help you through the process. Identity Fraud Expense Reimbursement Identity theft insurance coverage provides for covered expenses caused by identity fraud, including: Carl Schindler is a 41-year State Farm Insurance agent in Morgan Hill. His agency has been voted #1 in Morgan Hill for the past 5 consecutive years. He specializes in Auto, Homeowner’s, Life & Disability Insurance. Visit StateFarm.com/CarlSchindler or call (408) 779-6969. • Cost of obtaining credit bureau reports. • Fees when reapplying for loans, grants, or other credit instruments. • Phone, postage, and shipping fees. • Notary and filing fees for costs you incur to correct your identity and credit records. • Certain legal fees resulting from identity fraud. • Deductibles or service fees from financial institutions and other costs to recover control over your personal identity. (This should be part of, not in addition to, the expense reimbursement limit.) • Lost wages and child and elder care expenses. (This should be part of, not in addition to, the expense reimbursement limit.) As a victim of identity fraud, you could find yourself shelling out hundreds, even thousands, of dol- lars in fees as you work to regain control of your identity and restore your credit. When you add identity restoration coverage to your existing policy that insures your home, apartment, condomini- um, manufactured home, or farm, you can protect yourself from the cost of identity fraud. G M H T O D A Y M A G A Z I N E MAY / JUNE 2015 gmhtoday.com 33