Identity theft is a growing global concern. It’s a crime that crosses borders very quickly and it impacts just about everyone in every country of the world. Identity theft is a crime that’s also very difficult to prosecute and it’s even harder to resolve once you’ve been targeted.
Travel experts and lawyers have long known that travelers that they’re at a much higher risk of identity theft. Why? Simply because you, your identity, and your accounts are more exposed. You’re carrying identifying documents like passports and visas as well as your credit cards and bank cards. While, tourist destinations are often very popular hangouts for pickpockets and petty thieves, your risk of identity theft is also increased every time you:
There are many steps a traveler can take to limit the risk of identity theft while traveling – and we’ll list those in a minute – but it’s important to know that your travel insurance provider also fights identity theft.
Your travel insurance provider can’t prevent you from becoming a victim of identity theft but many travel insurance plans have specialized coverage that can help mitigate the damage caused by identity thieves. The benefits are unique because they don’t involve a financial reimbursement like other travel insurance coverage. Instead, identity theft coverage purchased with your travel insurance plan gives you access to services that help you resolve the issues that arise from a stolen identity.
Here’s how it works:
If there are documents to be replaced, they’ll help you find the place that can start that process. If your passport has been stolen, many travel insurance plans will refund the cost (up to a limit) of issuing a new one.
As a traveler, you may wonder how you’ll know your identity has been stolen when you’re so far away from home. Some identity thieves are patient. They may wait for a time before using your accounts so you won’t know until you’ve settled back into your routine at home that your identity has been stolen.
Of course, you’ll know immediately when:
Any of the above and more are indicators that your identity has been compromised and after contacting your bank, your next phone call should be to your travel insurance assistance services.
Travelers can limit their risk of identity theft by following some simple rules every time they travel:
As we mentioned before, some thieves are patient and they wait before attempting to access your accounts when you’re less likely to be paying attention.
Some thieves purposely use your information in situations where they can accomplish them on paper so the digital trail appears slowly. This is why it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your accounts for a few weeks after any trip.
See a full review of identity theft coverage for more information – including a list of plans with identity theft benefits.
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.