Identity Theft

insurance fraud

Identity Theft occurs when an individual steals or misuses the personal or financial information of someone else, including their credit card information, driver’s licence number, or social insurance number.  Their personal information and account details are then used to commit fraud or other criminal activity, including fraudulently establishing credit, including opening additional accounts and loans or mortgages, and to run up debt.

 

A victim of Identity Theft can suffer direct financial loss as well as other indirect costs which result from their affected credit rating.

 

There are several steps that one can take to reduce the risk of falling victim to Identity Theft, including:

 

  • Taking caution when providing information over the phone, online or via mail
  • Ensuring you are the one that has initiated contact when discussing personal information
  • Confirming that you are dealing with a legitimate organisation
  • Question as to whether or not your personal information will be shared, and if so, how it will be shared
  • Always review your banking and financial statements to ensure accuracy
  • Shred all documents that contain personal information – never recycle these documents
  • Do not use your Social Insurance Number, bank account numbers, birthdate, or other information as passwords
  • Do not carry all of your personal information with you, including your SIN number – only carry what you need
  • Cancel all unused credit cards
  • Pick up personal cheques from your banking institution rather then having them mailed to you
  • Review your credit report regularly to ensure accuracy and that no new credit accounts have been opened in your name (this can be done through several different credit report providers, including Equifax)

 

In addition to the above, Identity Theft protection is also available from most Property & Casualty Insurance Companies and can be added to a principal residence Homeowner’s, Tenant’s, Condominium, or Mobile Home policy.  The Identity Theft Endorsement varies slightly among Insurers, but the majority of them include the following coverage:

 

  • 24/7 support line
    • Advice and tips on preventing Identity Theft
    • Assistance and guidance in the event Identity Theft occurs
    • Information on who to contact, what to do, and how to do it

 

  • Legal Information
    • Answer questions regarding Identity Theft

 

  • Expense Reimbursement
    • Provides the reimbursement for expenses up to a certain limit, commonly set at $25,000/policy term
    • Common expenses that are covered include:
      • loss of income for time off work
      • legal documents such as affidavits
      • loan re-application fees
      • legal fees
      • phone, postal and courier expenses
      • fees to replace government ID, such as passports and driver’s licences
      • cost to order a credit report and monitor for a certain period of time
    • No deductible applies when this endorsement is used, and it is not considered a claim on one’s property insurance

 

For more information on the Identity Theft Endorsement please do not hesitate to contact our Office and one of our Brokers would be happy to assist you!

 

Thank you,

The Costen & Associates Team