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Edwards Graham Insurance Del Rio Texas
ID Theft Prevention
Identity Theft

Identity theft continues to be a growing concern for individuals. Several of our homeowner companies now offer endorsements to help insured individuals recover from the associated costs of restoring their credit information.

In 2006, the Federal Trade Commission recorded reported identity theft claims by age group.

Under Age 18: 5%
Age 18 to 29: 29%
Age 30 to 39: 23%
Age 40 to 49: 20%
Age 50 to 59: 13%
Age 60 to 64: 4%
Over Age 64: 6%

Texas ranks fourth behind Arizona, Nevada and California in identity theft claims.

Strides have been made by the legislators and the government to help citizens to protect their identities. At the site below, you are able to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Experts recommend that you request a free credit report three times a year, or once every four months. Pick one of the three companies for the first report. Four months later, pick another of the companies. Four months after this, pick the last company. By following this pattern, you will be able to obtain one free credit report annually from each of the three companies, but will be able to monitor your credit report every four months. This way, you can catch illegal activity quickly. Unlike other sites, you will not be required to purchase any additional services. Click here to connect to the official site.

The Federal Trade Commission is an excellent resource for information on its official website. Below are a few of the topics that are addressed. Click on the links below to find the information you need.

Take the Onguard Online Quiz to see how familiar you are with identity theft.

Other Important FTC Links:
What is identity theft?
How does identity theft occur?
How do I minimize my risk of becoming a victim of identity theft?
How do I detect if my identity has been stolen?
What do I do if my identity has been stolen?
How do I file a complaint with the FTC and local police if my identity is stolen?

Are Your Insurance Limits High Enough? by Rachel Beavan

You may have seen a recent tv commercial showing a young man and his parents in a courtroom. They have just found out that they have to pay for a lawsuit settlement that exceeds their insurance limits. Can this really happen? You bet! There is another tv commercial where an attorney is telling you that if you are on a jury, you cannot base a judgment against someone on their insurance limits. This is a bit more confusing, but what he is telling you is that if you are sued for an auto accident, a jury will determine how much you owe the other party without knowing what your insurance limits are. There is a good chance they could decide that you owe more than your insurance limits. If that happens, where does the money come from? It could come from your savings, college funds or your IRA. You could be forced to sell some of your assets. Your wages could be garnished. The answer is…the extra money comes from you. In a turbulent economy, most people only think about how much their insurance will cost them. If your insurance agent is doing his job, he or she will give you options in coverage limits based on your individual situation. What do you have to lose if you are the one in that court room facing that jury? How do you know what your insurance limits are? Look on your policy. Texas requires minimum auto insurance limits of $25,000 per person for bodily injury up to $50,000 per accident, regardless of the number of people in the car. If you cause an accident, and the other party requires surgery, how far will $25,000 take you? If the operation is $50,000, your insurance company will only pay the top limit of $25,000. Are you financially prepared to pay for the rest? Wouldn’t you rather spend that $25,000 on something for your family? How do you know what insurance limits are right for you? Your agent should be talking to you about this. Here’s where to start…make a list of all of your assets. This includes your home, your cars, your checking and savings accounts. Then consider your household income. How much do you need to protect? That will give you an idea of what insurance limits are right for you. Then talk to your agent before you end up in the courtroom.