Identity Theft Protection vs. Car Insurance

a young man driving a convertible and a woman sitting in the passenger seat with her hands in the air, and they're on a road on the edge of the mountain with a sunset in the distance

You don’t think twice about protecting your shiny car, and in most states, you don’t have a say (quite frankly).  But there is a new insurance every American should be considering, and many employers, banks, and institutions are considering making it mandatory as well.  Let’s take a look at why….

Car Insurance

  • $164.2 billion in car insurance costs each year1
  • 5.4 million people in non-fatal car accidents each year1
  • $3,052 – average collision cost2

Identity Theft

  • $26 billion in costs3
  • 12 million affected3
  • $5,130 – average loss3

The financial loss associated with identity theft has doubled in the last five years, and it will undoubtedly continue to climb.  Considering that identity theft affects twice the number of people dealing with car crashes, and it costs a whole lot more, it’s no wonder identity theft protection is becoming mandatory.

Where’s the value?

Think of it another way.  Most everyone pays to protect an asset (your car) that depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot, so why not protect an asset that not only can appreciate in value but affects every part of your finances – even your car payment?

Your good name, Social Security Number (SSN), and credit (score and report) all play a part in your finances.  They influence your housing, your employment, your loans, your lines of credit, and more.  When taken care of, they can increase in value and improve your financial standing – for example, a better payment history leads to a better credit score, which leads to a better interest rate.

However, when you become a victim of identity theft, you could lose it all.

You could lose your good name and reputation when a criminal gets a hold of your personal information and uses your name as an alias to commit a crime.  They could hack into databases for your SSN and credit information, and use it to drain your bank accounts or open lines of credit so they get the money, and you get the debt.

Bottom line: your personal information is an asset worth protecting.

Average monthly costs of each?

Plenty of factors go into the cost of auto insurance, like state of residence and age of the driver, but on average, car insurance costs between $100 and $200 a month.4  Whereas, the monthly payment for protecting your identity is a fraction of the cost.

How does identity theft protection work for me?

It’s important to remember that not all identity theft protection plans are created equal.  Many protection plans boil down to credit monitoring.  While credit monitoring is a crucial part of protecting your identity, it’s certainly not the end-all-be-all way to discover the handiwork of a thief and defend your good name.

Good identity protection should include the following three things:

1.  Comprehensive Monitoring: A protection plan should monitor more than just your credit report.  Your name, date of birth, SSN, email, phone number, and address, et cetera, should be monitored.  Moreover, a credit report isn’t the only place a thief can do damage, so monitoring things like national databases and the internet should be included.

2.  Accurate Coverage:  As with your car, you need insurance to help combat the extreme costs of a bad accident.  A protection plan should have an insurance policy that can help you with things like getting reimbursed for stolen funds and/or the cost of repairing your finances and reputation.

3.  Personal Assistance:  A car accident is emotionally and physically draining, so it can be difficult dealing with the consequences and necessary repairs.  Being a  victim of identity theft is no different.  A good protection plan will offer assistance for victims, with adequate support and guidance for the best possible recovery and resolution.

What coverage do you get with the My Secure Advantage (MSA) Financial Wellness program?

MSA’s identity theft protection plan offers all the key factors you need to feel more secure about your personal information:

  • Identity Monitoring:  Receive alerts concerning the use of your personal information, like date of birth and address, and work with a Certified Credit Counselor to learn how to discover/investigate suspicious activity (as well as correct errors) on your credit reports.
  • SSN Monitoring:  Receive alerts for non-credit activities – such as employment, DMV, real estate and criminal activities – concerning the most important piece of personal information you have.
  • Database and Web Monitoring:  Monitoring the use of your personal information in national databases and on the internet.
  • Monthly Risk Score and Tips:  Receive a risk score that tells you if you’re at risk of being a victim, and get monthly tips on how to better protect yourself.
  • Recovery and Resolution:  Lost wallet/purse benefits, as well as up to $1,000,000 of protection for unauthorized electronic funds transfers, including up to $25,000 in identity theft expense reimbursement.*
  • Personal Assistance:  Victims of identity theft can work with a Fraud Resolution Specialist™ and Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist® to clean up the handiwork of a fraudster (e.g. filing police reports, working with credit bureaus to fix credit reports, rebuilding reputation, etc.).
  • And more!

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America.  Now is the time to make sure you are protected.  Call your Money Coach for more information at 888-724-2326.

 

1“Car Crash Fatality Statistics.”  statisticbrain.com.  Statistic Brain Research Institute, n.d.  Web.  11 Jan. 2016.

2Blincoe, L. J., Miller, T. R., Zaloshnja, E., & Lawrence, B. A.  (2015, May).  The economic and societal impact of motor vehicle crashes, 2010.  (Revised)  (Report No. DOT HS 812 013).  Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

3“Identity Theft / Fraud Statistics.”  statisticbrain.com.  Statistic Brain Research Institute, n.d.  Web.  11 Jan. 2016.

4Quinn, Brian.  “Average Cost of Insurance: Car, Home, Renters, Health, and Pet (2016).”  valuepenguin.com.  ValuePenguin, n.d.  Web.  11 Jan. 2016.

*Insurance underwritten by member companies of Chartis.  The description herein is a summary only.  It does not include all terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies described.  Please refer to the actual policies for complete details of coverage and exclusions.  Coverage not available to residents of New York and may not be available in other jurisdictions.