ID theft insurance – read your fine print first

Much as this article wants to tout ID theft insurance as something new and different, I see it as akin to the credit card monitoring services some companies charge for. You get monitoring across all your cards from on place, but unless you are a full blown credit junkie with a stack of revolving accounts six inches deep, it isn’t really worth the money.

Credit card companies already employ a plethora of monitoring tools. Why? Because you are only liable for the first $50 in fraudulent charges (in most cases). Bruce Schneier pointed this out a while back, and Spamroll thought what Bruce was saying was worth listening to.

The bottom line is financial services firms have a vested interest in preventing fraud in the first place, and many already limit your liability. Many also provide assistance in case of fraud against you.

My suggestion – check you banking and credit contracts – there may be something buried in the fine print specifically for you. Also, check with your homeowner’s or renter’s insurer to see what may be covered on your behalf. I know mine already provides coverage for ID theft, including emergency credit granting and cash advancing. My auto coverage (same company) also has driver’s license verification services – yours may too.

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