Free identity theft insurance
Identity theft is insidious, and thieves' methods are changing fast. Some financial institutions advertise that they provide free identity theft insurance. But what do these plans really offer, and do you really need it?
"There are many variations of coverage," says Morton. Identity theft insurance typically reimburses expenses you run up while trying to restore your good name but doesn't cover any money you're out as a direct result of theft. Credit cards' identity theft plans may offer even less, providing only credit monitoring or counseling. A number of card issuers have discontinued their identity theft coverage altogether or have closed off enrollment.
Your home insurance policy may already provide some identity theft protection, or you may be able to add an identity theft endorsement for a relatively small amount of money. "My homeowners policy covers more than any other coverage I've seen, and the identity theft endorsement only costs about $15 per year," Morton says.