Date Published: 2023/12/04
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As cybercrime continues to grow, becoming more lucrative and widespread each year, how can you, as a Canadian consumer, protect yourself and your digital assets? Consider adding identity theft coverage and cyber protection to your home insurance.
According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), Canadians lost $531 million in 2022.1 Fast forward to June 30, 2023, and the CAFC reveals that there were 32,458 reports of fraud and 21,299 victims of fraud, totalling $283.5 million in losses.1
While basic identity theft coverage and cyber protection are generally available as part of home insurance policies, homeowners may not be aware of all their options.
Identity theft is just what it sounds like; it involves stealing or misusing someone else's personal information, such as their name, address, birthdate, account information, and social insurance number (SIN) for criminal purposes.2
Here are a few easy ways to protect your personal information from fraud:
Despite our best efforts to prevent it, sometimes identity theft happens. Although coverage varies, some insurance carriers offer the option to add additional coverage for theft or illegal access to your credit or identity, as well as the costs associated with restoring your identity such as correspondence, notarizing documents, lost income, and legal fees to name a few.
Canadian law enforcement agencies define cybercrime in two categories.3 The first category is where a computer is the tool of the crime.3 These crimes include harassment, fraud, intellectual property violations, and selling illegal substances and goods.3 The second category is where a computer is the object of the crime.3 These newer crimes include hacking, defacing websites, and creating and distributing malicious computer viruses.3
Protecting yourself from all types of cybercrime requires taking the necessary preventative measures. Both the Government of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police provide resources that anyone can access.
Some insurance carriers offer coverage that expands on their identity theft endorsement to cover online fraud, computer attacks, identity recovery, data breaches, cyberbullying, and cyber extortion. Others offer coverage for expenses related to a cyber-attack or cyber extortion. Additionally, a few insurance carriers provide response teams to support you through a cyber loss.
If you're a victim of a cybercrime, report it to the CAFC, your local police, and both credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion. If you suspect your personal information has been compromised and your tax information is at risk, contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). In the meantime, stay calm and gather all information about the incident, including documents, receipts, and copies of emails/text messages.
If you’re a current Orbit policyholder, contact us at 877-976-4768 to review your existing home insurance policy and discuss additional identity theft coverage and cyber protection. If you’re not insured with Orbit Insurance Services and are shopping for home insurance, call us at 877-976-4768 to get a quote.