Allstate Canada homeowner policy can provide resources to help recover stolen identity

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MARKHAM, ON, July 12, 2005 – You find charges on your credit-card bill that you didn’t put there. Your bank suddenly denies you access to financial loans or credit, though you believed your record to be in great shape. Your financial reputation is in tatters, and you need time off work to set it right. How do you start? Where do you begin? And what can you do about lost wages, and legal expenditures that may arise from restoring your financial footing after it’s been stolen from underneath you?

For a flat fee of $35 on your Allstate Insurance Company of Canada homeowner policy, you can access legal and other resources that help you deal with the trouble and stress a stolen identity can create, up to $15,000 of coverage per year. Wages can be recovered for time off work needed to visit banks and other financial institutions to put things right. Professionals who understand the process of restoring your identity can answer your questions about all of the items that need to be addressed when your identity has been stolen and criminal activity or fraud has been conducted on your good name.

“We felt the time was right to bring this coverage to all of our homeowner customers in Canada”, said Jeff Ill, Allstate’s Vice President, Strategic Risk Management. “Experience in the U.S. tells us that over three hundred million hours were spent by identity-theft victims there in 2003, and anecdotal evidence leads us to believe the problem is growing, becoming more prevalent in Canada as well.”

Credit-card holders may have a $0 liability for funds that may have been fraudulently acquired as a result of an identity theft, but we often forget about the devastation left in its wake with respect to the victim’s financial reputation. Expenses are often still incurred by the identity-theft victim to notarize documents, take time off work, remedy legal fees for judgements improperly assigned, and costs to reapply for loans which may have been refused due to incorrect information attached to your otherwise good name.

Are you a victim of identity theft?*

  • Report the crime to the police immediately, and ask for a copy of the police report.

  • Keep documentation of the steps you take and expenses you incur to clear your name.

  • Cancel credit cards, get new ones issued.

  • Have your credit report annotated to reflect the identity theft.

  • Close bank accounts and open new ones. Insist on password-only access

  • Get new bank machine and telephone calling cards. Assign new personal Identification numbers (PINs).

  • Advise the passport office if passport theft has occurred.

  • Contact Canada Post if you think your monthly bills are being redirected.

  • Get a new driver’s license.

How do I access this coverage?

For access to Allstate Insurance Company of Canada’s Homeowner Program, including Identity Theft Coverage, contact the company via your local Allstate agent, at Allstate.ca, or 1-800-ALLSTATE.

* Facts produced by the Office of the Privacy Commission of Canada