We talk a lot about cybercrime on this blog (Why Your Business Needs Cyber Insurance, the risks of Remote Work and of Online Shopping) and how you can protect yourself and your business, because when the world went digital, so did many criminals.
Identity theft, in particular, has transformed as digital dependence increased. According to CPA Canada, dumpster diving to find personal information has largely been replaced by phishing and online scams. Not only does it smell better, but it allows mass targeting and can be done from anywhere in the world as long as there is an internet connection.
Last year, Statista.ca published stats showing that the rate of identity theft in Canada had risen from 2.37 incidents to 10.11 incidents per 100,000 residents between 2010 and 2018. That is more than one instance of identity theft for every 10,000 people in Canada!
So, what is identity theft, exactly? Basically, it’s the theft of personal information by someone who intends to commit fraud.
Theft of your personal information can happen in any number of ways, from spyware on your computer to phone calls asking for your social insurance number. Be protective of your personal information, and do not give out any confidential info without first verifying the identity of the inquirer.
In addition to the inconvenience, there are a lot of expenses associated with recovering from identity theft, like legal, notarization and court fees, postal and courier charges, fees to replace identification, the cost of subscribing to a credit monitoring bureau to and income lost when you were off work sorting things out.
The good news is: There’s coverage for that!
Here is some quick info about Identity Theft insurance:
- Some home, condo, and tenant insurance policies include a small amount of coverage for costs associated with identity theft automatically, while others may require Identity Theft coverage be purchased separately.
- Most home insurance companies offer $10,000 to $25,000 coverage for Identity Theft, and the premium is typically around $50 per year.
- Coverage is provided on a reimbursement basis (whereby you submit your receipts for the costs incurred and a cheque is mailed to you, like when you get your car towed).
- A lower deductible, or no deductible at all, applies to this coverage, depending on your policy.
We recommend Identity Theft coverage to everyone, especially those who use the internet! To ensure you have the right amount of coverage for you, and understand the cost and benefits of purchasing this coverage, talk to your home insurance broker.
Morgan Thomas, BA (Dtn.)
Project Management & Customer Experience Coordinator