Does homeowners insurance cover identity theft or fraud?

Mon Apr 01 2024

A young woman looks at her phone with shock while sitting in kitchen

Whether or not home insurance covers identity theft depends on your insurance company. Some insurers include identity theft protection in their basic coverage. Other companies offer identity theft or identity fraud coverage as an endorsement (or add-on) to their basic policies  for an additional premium.

How the coverage works also varies by insurance company. For example, we offer identity fraud expense insurance that covers expenses related to having your identity stolen, such as:

  • Attorney and tax advisor fees.

  • Credit report fees.

  • Lost income for time spent away from work to resolve identity fraud issues.

  • Loan re-application fees.

  • Notary fees.

  • Certified mail costs.

Our identity fraud expense coverage is also included as part of our Signature Coverage Collection

Wherever you get your homeowners policy, your identity theft coverage will likely be subject to your deductible as well as a separate coverage limit. 

What is the difference between identity theft and identity fraud?

Identity theft involves thieves stealing your personal information, such as your: 

  • Name.

  • Social Security number.

  • Driver's license.

  • Bank or credit card numbers.

That's a bit different from identity fraud, which is when someone uses your personal  information to establish credit, make purchases, and other similar acts without your permission.

Is identity theft insurance worth it?

Protection against identity theft or fraud may be worth it if you consider the data. Consumer Affairs reports that record instances of identity theft have grown by 584% over the last 20 years. The most recent data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shows over 1.1 million identity theft complaints in 2022.

Moreover, victims of identity theft can lose thousands of dollars before noticing that something is amiss. Identity fraud often leaves a devastating trail of damage that can take years to unravel.

You should know, too, that while a good amount of identity theft involves electronic data breaches or online scams, your identity can be stolen anywhere. Thieves can steal your personal information from your doctor's office, accountant, school, or place of employment. They can access your information from a lost phone or laptop, too.

Your exposure doesn't only exist online. Someone can simply steal your personal information out of a garbage can. If you don't shred important documents, you could be vulnerable to identity theft and subsequent fraud in your own backyard. 

What are some signs of identity theft?

Realizing you're a victim of identity theft can take time, but, a resource from the FTC,  lists signs that can tip you off, such as: 

  • Receiving bills for items that you didn't purchase or accounts you didn't open.

  • Being denied credit despite having an excellent credit rating.

  • Getting emails indicating unauthorized account access.

  • Seeing Inexplicable bank withdrawals.

  • Not receiving important mail like bills or checks.

  • Getting calls from debt collectors about debts that aren't yours.

  • Finding unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.

  • Receiving a bill from a medical provider or an explanation of benefits from your health insurance company for care that you didn't receive.

  • Being denied coverage from a health plan because your medical records show a condition you don't have.

  • Having your electronic tax filing denied because more than one tax return was filed in your name.

  • Seeing income from an employer you never worked for on your tax records.

  • Receiving a notice that your information was compromised by a large-scale data breach at a business where you have an account, or at your employer.

How can I protect my identity? 

The first step to protecting your identity is to review your credit reports at least once per year. Watch for accounts that you don't remember opening or an inexplicable drop in your credit score. These are often early signs that something is wrong.

You may want to consider additional steps to protect your personal data and prevent identity fraud, like:

  • Not using easily obtainable information for passwords, like your mother's maiden name, the last four digits of your Social Security number, or your birth date.

  • Installing a locking mailbox.

  • Only carrying necessary credit cards or identification cards on your person. Keep unused cards in a secure location at home.

  • Only providing your Social Security number when absolutely necessary. 

  • Securing all personal information in your home or office. 

  • Shredding any documents that contain personal information.

  • Updating your computer's anti-virus software regularly. 

  • Reviewing your credit card and bank statements every month.

  • Staying alert to phishing scams and cybercriminals posing to be from legitimate businesses.

For more information about preventing, detecting, reporting, and recovering from identity theft, visit and the identity theft recovery page from the Federal Trade Commission.


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