Equifax Hack Rx: Free Identity Theft Insurance

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Identity Theft Insurance

Did you know that you can get identity theft insurance for free?  Unlike Equifax’s one-year free option, multiple services offer free insurance without an expiration date…

Equifax Hack Rx Background

We’re all pissed off by Equifax’s failure to protect our personal information.  A natural reaction is to demand justice and compensation.  Justice will take time, but a criminal investigation is under way.  And compensation may come via a class action lawsuit or, better yet, many individual arbitration claims.  Regardless of all that, your number one priority now should be to protect yourself.  Equifax just gave away the key to your castle.  It’s time to change the locks, add surveillance, and make sure you’re insured.

Equifax has offered everyone one year of free protection in the form of their Trusted ID Premier service.  In my post “Is the Equifax cure worse than the hack?” I argued against relying on that service. After all, Equifax lost our data and they’re only offering protection for one year. After a year, they get to try to sell us their paid service. That isn’t right.

Fortunately, alternative services exist to help protect you for free and with no expiration date.  Via this “Equifax Hack Rx” series, I’ll help you find them…

Free Identity Theft Insurance

Obviously the last thing anyone needs is to have their identity stolen.  But, if it does happen, it’s good to be insured.  Here are two services that offer absolutely free identity theft insurance:

Credit Sesame: $50K free identity theft insurance

Identity Theft Insurance

I’ve been a long time user of Credit Sesame's free credit score and monitoring service.  I use the service primarily for its free credit monitoring.  When any changes or inquires are made to my TransUnion report, Credit Sesame sends me an email.  What I didn’t realize all of this time is that they also offer free identity theft insurance with $50,000 of coverage.  This insurance is automatic.  Simply sign up for Credit Sesame and you’re covered!

Credit Sesame’s identity theft insurance covers the following (More info can be found here):

  • Fraud or embezzlement
  • Theft
  • Forgery
  • Data breach
  • Stolen identity event
  • Unauthorized Electronic Fund Transfer

–>Credit Sesame Signup Link

Full disclosure: At the time of this writing, the above link is an affiliate link and I may earn a few dollars if you use it to sign up. Many thanks!

Civic: $1 million free identity theft insurance

UPDATE: Civic has discontinued their free identity theft insurance.

Identity Theft Insurance

I had never heard of Civic before researching this post, but they appear to be a legitimate startup company.  TechCrunch posted an interesting article about them in 2016: Civic launches a free service that aims to stop identity theft before it happens.  Since that article was written, Civic added fees for most of their services, but not for identity theft insurance.

Signing up for Civic’s free Basic plan is quick and easy (I signed up yesterday).  My only gripe is that the first screen you see upon completing registration is an alert demanding that you “upgrade now”.  Keep in mind that you don’t have to upgrade to get free identity theft insurance.

Identity Theft Insurance

Civic’s identity theft insurance covers the following (More info can be found here):

  • Fraud or embezzlement
  • Theft
  • Forgery
  • Data breach
  • Stolen identity event

This is the same list as in Credit Sesame’s coverage, but Civic’s list does not mention “Unauthorized Electronic Fund Transfer.”  My guess is that unauthorized electronic fund transfers are covered under other headings such as theft.

–> Civic Signup Link

UPDATE: Civic has discontinued their free identity theft insurance.

Wrap Up

Credit Sesame and Civic offer offers free identity theft insurance.  There is some risk in entrusting more companies with your private information, but personally I’ve decided to assume that my data is already exposed and to seek opportunities to protect myself rather than to protect the data.  Before signing up for any new services like these, you should decide for yourself whether you’re willing to risk making your personal information even more accessible to hackers in exchange for protection once they get that data.

The primary downside I see to either service is that they will advertise paid options to you.  Save money by not upgrading.

Future Equifax Hack Rx posts will cover other free ways to protect yourself: proactive surveillance, full credit monitoring, and more.  Stay tuned.  And, if you haven’t done so yet, please consider subscribing to Frequent Miler emails.  Those are free too.

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