Is it safe to get an online renters insurance quote? Companies take precautions to guard against the risk of identity theft and other related losses, of course, but is it safe? When you’re working strictly online or over the phone, are you missing out on protections you would get in a walk-in office? Can you buy online Des Moines Renters Insurance without putting your identity at risk?
Is Going To An Agency Safer Than Getting Online Renters Insurance Quotes?
What protections does going to a company’s physical office actually provide? The Iowa State Bank is an example of a company that provides branches with walk-in hours and extra precautions. The bank states that they “maintain digital records of your signature” for identity verification. On the other hand, that could be just one more potential piece of data at risk. In reality, there are few protections that an office provides which couldn’t be maintained doing business online or over the phone.
Your Computer Sends Information Securely To The Insurance Company
Online renters insurance quotes are, first of all, secured with the HTTPS protocol. This means that your information is encrypted before it leaves your browser, and not decrypted until it arrives at its destination. The credentials for HTTPS are issued by companies which are widely trusted and which have strict verification procedures in place.
How strict are the verification procedures? Those keys are signed in a ceremony similar to the way the root DNSSEC (the “address book of the internet”) keys are signed. Cloudflare has produced a strong overview of the process if you’re somewhat technically minded. If you prefer even more technical details of the process, check out the IANA’s KSK Ceremony 22 log.
In the event of a breach, those credentials can also be easily revoked and new ones reissued to protect the security of the communications. Your browser maintains a list of which certificate authorities, or issuers, should be trusted. This prevents a rogue company from issuing its own certificate and having that credential trusted by your web browser.
We can look to examples like the Diginotar breach resulting in revocation of all certificates to see what happens when there’s a problem, as well. Mozilla and other software companies promptly updated their browsers to prevent any certificate issued by Diginotar from being trusted.
The ability to take such actions ensures the ongoing security of HTTPS connections worldwide. It’s worth noting that the Diginotar was an extreme and egregious case involving a certificate authority flaunting nearly every single best practice and all applicable international standards, and yet the security of the system was still maintained.
Very Little Personal Information Is Required For Renters Insurance Quotes On The Internet
Online renters insurance quotes also require only a limited set of personal information. It’s worth noting that telephone books are still widely published and distributed. How many people use them is irrelevant – your name and address are out there for all the world to see.
In addition, the same information is available online. In many cases, websites which collect this data can and may make it available even if you pay for an unlisted number or only have a cell phone. Your address is not something you’d freely share, but it’s not exactly a secret either.
Your Date Of Birth Is Less Private Than You Think
Really, there three pieces of non-public personal information necessary for online renters insurance quotes. The first is your data of birth. While often used for security verification in a wide variety of transactions, many people already freely share their birthday and their age with just about anyone in conversation. While potentially concerning, it’s also quite common.
In addition, we’ve noticed an incredibly disturbing trend among Millennials that puts their privacy and identities at grave risk. Many people use emails like email@example.com. Take a closer look at that hypothetical email – the part before the @ sign.
If you send that person an email, there’s a very strong chance you’re emailing someone whose name is Madison and who was born August 1, 1988. That’s probably not something you should be disclosing quite so freely, but it’s a very common format for email addresses.
You probably disclose your date of birth on an almost daily basis, in ways that are not secured by encrypted connections. While it should be relatively private information, it’s generally not. On a side note, this is one of the reasons why your date of birth is one of the worst possible PINs for your debit card. If someone steals your wallet, well, your DOB is on your drivers license – and likely the first thing the thief will try!
In other words, you can put more faith in the level of communications security involved in the connection between your computer and the insurance company than you do in the secrecy of your address and date of birth. Keep in mind as well that, for the average citizen, there is no such thing as a secure telephone line. Your encrypted connection to a properly built site serving data over HTTPS is more secure than your conversation on any telephone, landline or wireless.
Is Adding Jewelry Coverage Safe Online?
Is it safe to add jewelry coverage to online renters insurance quotes? Absolutely! First, the whole communication process between your computer and the insurance company is encrypted. Beyond that, however, if you’re just adding an endorsement for jewelry, you may not even be asked to describe the property. You would, of course, want an appraisal or receipts and pictures in the event of a claim, particularly if you didn’t schedule any specific described items.
Is Your Credit Card Safe During Online Renters Insurance Quotes?
Your credit card is the last piece of personal information that you might be concerned about while getting online renters insurance quotes. Again the whole process is secure and encrypted, but there are some additional protections when it comes to credit cards.
The terms and conditions of your card issuer agreement govern, of course, but generally you have zero liability or nearly zero liability for any unauthorized transactions on your card. In other words, even if someone got their hands on the card number and expiration date, you wouldn’t be responsible for those charges as long as you report them once you become aware.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re getting online renters insurance quotes or using the card to pay for gas. There are protections built into your Visa or MasterCard that are designed to make sure that you don’t have to pay for a transaction you didn’t authorize.
Additional security is coming to your card in the near future, as chip and PIN (or chip and signature, depending on your card issuer) slowly rolls out across the United States. While the infrastructure is not all present just yet, it’s coming. There are additional protections, as well as possible changes in who foots the bill for fraudulent transactions with the PIN, coming as well. We’ll tackle that in a separate article, keep an eye out for it!
What Other Steps Can You Take To Protect Yourself Online?
Since you’re getting online renters insurance quotes anyway, there’s an additional step you can take to protect yourself. Most renters insurance offers identity fraud expense coverage. As noted above, you’re not responsible for most unauthorized charges on your credit card, but cleaning up identity theft can still cost money.
It’s possible to add coverage to your online renters insurance quote that will pay for those unreimbursed expenses, such as legal fees and other costs involved in clearing your name and resolving the fraudulent transactions. This coverage generally costs about two dollars a month to add to your policy, and it’s well worth having. Usually the coverage also offers expert advice on the process of clearing up the problem, as well.
So Are Online Renters Insurance Quotes Safe?
Are online renters insurance quotes safe? Absolutely. Very little personal information is required. The entire transaction is secured end to end by encryption, thanks to the HTTPS protocol – look for the lock or green bar in your browser to verify this. Additionally, you’re often not responsible for fraudulent charges on your credit card. Your Des Moines, IA Renters Insurance can even pay for the costs of clearing up the problem if there is identity fraud and you have coverage.
In addition, online renters insurance quotes are faster and usually more affordable than walking into an office somewhere. There really is no protection available from walking into an office that’s not available online, because these consumer protections are built into the process. If you went into an office, the agent would enter your information into a computer communicating with the exact same HTTPS protocol as your computer would use, in fact.
The national average price of renters insurance is just $187.00, according to the III. That works out to as little as fifteen dollars per month. The vast majority of families can budget renters insurance easily at those prices.
Additionally, it's important to note that renters are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing loss than homeowners. Renters occupy roughly one third of total housing stock in the country, and yet they are fully fifty percent more likely to experience theft than homeowners, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
It only costs a few dollars a month to protect your family, and this cheap renters insurance is a great way to mitigate the additional risks that come with being a renter.
Effective Coverage offers the nation's only completely mobile platform to quote and purchase renters insurance right from your phone or tablet in just one minute. Get an online renters insurance quote today and protect your family.
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