Shop Smart With Identity Theft Protection
Nov 4, 2020, 2:01 PM
Prevent damage to your finances and your reputation with a few simple steps.
If you’re like me, you’re probably doing your holiday shopping now. (Nobody knows in September what they want for Christmas but I ask anyway.) I bring my mask with me into stores, but most often I shop online. It’s a great way to find things I want and need (like insurance!). No matter how you buy, though, there’s a risk — a chance your identity can be stolen.
Hastings Mutual identity theft protection is for you. It’s included for free in our Homeowners and Farmowners coverages. There’s a lot to it, and there’s an entire team that’s there to help you get back to normal after someone takes your personal and/or financial information and does something to it that you don’t want.
Here’s a look at some of what our identity theft protection offers:
- Document replacement for driver’s licenses, passports, and other forms of identification.
- Support for financial identity concerns if a thief uses your bank account, investment account, or payday loan in ways you didn’t intend.
- A lot of damage can be done to your online identity if someone uses your name on Facebook, LinkedIn, or any site you visit. We can help secure your computer or electronic device and manage your virtual privacy.
- Maybe the biggest challenge for you is if your identity is falsely linked to a crime. It’s something that can affect your reputation and life for decades. Identity theft protection can reduce the impact.
- If there is a loss, and a cost to you to get your information back on track, we’ll pay up to $1,000 for actions like attorney fees and mailings. If you have Coverage Plus, the amount goes up to $6,000 with a Farmowners policy and all the way up to $11,000 with a Homeowners policy.
There are a few simple things you can do to reduce your risk of identity theft, both on the computer and in the real world.
- Start with the tools that are available to you, like improving security settings on your phone, tablet, or any other computer you own.
- Change your passwords regularly and store them in a safe place.
- Whether you check your financial records online or still get them sent to you through the mail, you’ll want to review your statements each month to look for any charges you don’t expect. If a bill is unusually late, there may be something
wrong. Contact the company that sends the bill.
- When you no longer need a financial statement or an old credit card, don’t just throw it away. Destroy it with a shredder or a pair of scissors first, then trash it.
- Be careful before you release personal information like a birthdate or Social Security number. Even something like an email address or ZIP code can be misused if you don’t have confidence in the organization or person you’re giving the information to.
If there is an identity theft breach, contact your
local independent insurance agent
or Hastings Mutual as soon as you can so we can get to work on identity restoration.
You can also contact the Federal Trade Commission
or (877) 438-4338.
Questions? Let us know in the comments.
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