Fight fraud with free Identity Fraud coverage
Advancements in computer technology may make it easier for companies and consumers to reach each other, but your personal information can also be scattered more widely across the Internet. And with each new technology, it seems cybercriminals are always finding new ways to access our personal data and leave you with extra bills, charges, bad cheques and a negative credit rating.
To help combat this problem, we include Identity Fraud coverage on all home, condominium and tenant insurance policies at no extra cost. If you discover your identity has been stolen, we will reimburse up to $10,000 for expenses associated with someone stealing and using your personal information. Insured costs include legal fees, the cost of notarizing affidavits or sending certified mail, and earnings lost due to time away from work. There’s no deductible and identity theft claims won’t affect your claims-free discount.
Personal data is precious
Identity thieves can use information such as your name, date of birth, address, credit card number, Social Insurance Number (SIN) and other personal details to take over an existing bank account or to open new ones. They can also use this information to apply for credit cards and mortgages, redirect mail, sign up for cell phone service, rent vehicles, buy merchandise and even get a job.
Reduce your risk of identity theft. Following these tips for managing your personal information wisely:
- Be careful when using credit cards. Limit the number of credit cards you carry around and cancel ones you don’t use.
- Report lost or stolen credit cards and unfamiliar charges on your bill right away.
- Never leave receipts at bank machines or in trash cans.
- Shred or securely store all financial statements and personal documents you no longer need. Destroy pre-approved credit applications.
- Do not give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or know whom you're dealing with.
- Clear out your mailbox right away and destroy receipts, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements and credit offers.
- Pay attention to your billing cycles. Follow up with creditors if your bills don't arrive on time, or switch to online billing for a more secure and sustainable option.
- Don’t keep your birth certificate, passport or SIN card in your wallet.
- Memorize and regularly change your PINs and computer passwords. Don’t write them down or use obvious information, like your birth date. Take advantage of technologies that enhance your security and privacy when you use the Internet, such as digital signatures, data encryption and anonymizing services.
- When using debit cards, make sure your card is swiped only once in the proper card reader. Shield the keypad when entering your PIN.
- Check your credit score from a credit reporting agency once a year to ensure it is accurate and doesn't include debts or activities you haven't authorized.
How do you know if you are a victim of identity theft
Keep track of where you share your information. Question things if you receive credit card statements or other bills in your name that you did not apply for, receive letters or calls regarding credit accounts approved or denied by creditors you’ve never contacted, or calls from collection agencies about defaulted accounts. For more information on recognizing the signs of fraud, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
What do if your identity is stolen
- Report the crime to your local police force immediately. Ask for a copy of the police report so that you can provide proof of the theft to the organizations that you will have to contact later.
- Ask your bank/financial institution and credit card company to place a notice on your accounts.
- Contact Equifax Canada or TransUnion Canada to place a fraud alert on your credit reports.
- Report the theft and fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
- Contact Canada Post if you suspect that someone is diverting your mail.
- Advise your telephone, cable provider and utilities that someone using your name could try to open new accounts fraudulently.
- Call us to speak to a licensed insurance representative. We’re here to help.
Start taking steps today to prevent identity theft tomorrow. Visit us online for more information on Identity Theft coverage from The Co-operators.