Why You Need To Invest In Identity Theft Insurance Sooner Rather Than Later
The commercial break starts, and instead of going to get yourself a cup of coffee, you’re drawn in by frightening images of shady characters rummaging through the Dark Web in search of lost and stolen identities.
Next up is the movie, Identity Theft, about the real-life experience of Michelle Brown, whose identity was stolen in 1998 and who ended up facing drug trafficking charges that should have been filed against the impostor, not her.
Keep reading to find out just how vulnerable you are to identity theft and what the best identity theft services can do for you and why you need to invest in identity theft insurance sooner rather than later.
If you don’t want to read the whole article, here’s our list of the best identity theft protection services:
- Identity Guard – comprehensive protection powered by artificial intelligence with wide-ranging identity theft insurance included
- IdentityForce – offers real-time alerts and multi-faceted prevention technology with the added benefit of $1m identity theft insurance
- Equifax ID Patrol – backed by the Equifax credit bureau, this identity protection service offers child identity theft protection and up to $50,000 identity theft insurance
- ID Watchdog – affordable plans offering a generous identity theft insurance policy and strong child identity theft protection features
- PrivacyGuard – comprehensive identity theft recovery service with identity theft insurance included in most plans
Our pick for the Best Identity theft insurance: Identity Guard
Why You Need To Invest In Identity Theft Insurance Sooner Rather Than Later
There are few statistics available for incidents of identity theft in 2019, but figures from previous years indicate that, while identity theft declined between 2017 and 2018, there’s no sign of it disappearing altogether. What’s more, the cost of the 2018 identity theft cases was substantially more, on average, than in previous years.
According to an online survey conducted by The Harris Poll, nearly 60 million Americans have been affected by identity theft, with each case costing the victims an average of around $1,343. Identity theft doesn’t just impact on the victim’s financial well-being either but has an ongoing impact on emotional and physical health, as well as personal relationships.
A survey conducted by the Identity Theft Resource Center showed that “the impact of identity theft for some victims continues to be traumatic”, with 6.7% feeling suicidal as a result of the attack, nearly 30% feeling either embarrassment or shame and over 50% experiencing feelings of betrayal.
Few of us can afford to lose over a thousand dollars to an identity thief, and none of us want to go through the emotional fallout caused by identity theft. Rather than taking that risk, many people are now turning to identity theft protection services to guard against identity theft and other similar risks.
Not only can these services monitor your personally identifiable information and alert you to any dubious activity, but the best identity theft protection services also offer identity theft insurance to the tune of around $1m.
The definition of identity theft insurance is a service that gives users both financial support and administerial guidance to help them recover from identity theft which, just to clarify, is the theft of someone’s personally identifiable information with the intent of using it for personal or financial gain.
Identity theft insurance may mean a victim can “use the policy to cover the cost of legal help or to reimburse the money spent on repairing their credit reports and reclaiming their financial identities”.
Now we know exactly what we’re talking about in terms of the definition of identity theft insurance, let’s open Pandora’s Box of the best identity theft protection services and see what they can do for us in terms of preventing identity theft and helping us to recover from it.
The Best Identity Theft Protection Services
#1 Identity Guard
This comprehensive identity theft protection service departs from the one-size-fits-all approach and instead uses artificial intelligence to predict how each user’s unique online behavior exposes them to different threats. While Identity Guard keeps an eye out for your social security number online and monitors thousands of data sources to check for any misuse of your personally identifiable information, it also offers some of the best identity theft insurance coverage in the industry.
Identity Guard subscribers get the benefit of $1m identity theft insurance that covers everything from costs and lost wages to legal fees and unauthorized loss of funds reimbursement. That means any costs you incur as a result of reporting the identity theft incident, rectifying records, or ordering credit reports or medical records.
In addition to this inclusive identity theft insurance, Identity Guard users also get:
- AI-supported monitoring
- Lost wallet protection
- ID Vault Password Protection
- Black Market Monitoring
- ID Sure child identity monitoring
- High-risk transaction alerts
- 3-bureau credit reports
Invest in identity theft insurance today by signing up with Identity Guard.
Like Identity Guard, IdentityForce concentrates on four main areas of protection. It continuously monitors your credit, identity, and privacy, checking data sources like court and credit reports, as well as sites on the Dark Web, so, the moment your personal or financial information is up for grabs, IdentityForce will detect it.
Once detected, IdentityForce alerts the user to the vulnerability via email or mobile text notifications so they can tackle the problem before too much damage is done.
IdentityForce utilizes various methods to protect your identity and your sensitive information, including instant online access to reports from the three major credit bureaus, 2FA, anti-keylogging, and anti-phishing protection, and lost wallet assistance.
Should you be the unfortunate victim of identity theft, IdentityForce offers comprehensive identity recovery support which includes assistance from certified protection experts who will complete paperwork for you and generally complete the arduous process of restoring your identity.
Like Identity Guard, IdentityForce offers $1m identity theft insurance which covers lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, and stolen funds.
If you like the sound of IdentityForce’s free 14-day trial and want to try before you buy, sign up with IdentityForce today.
#3 Equifax ID Patrol
Equifax ID Patrol should be one of the best identity theft protection services as it has the backing of the Equifax credit bureau. Certainly, Equifax ID Patrol offers subscribers some robust protection, giving them unlimited access to credit reports and real-time alerts should it detect any suspicious activity.
Equifax ID Patrol performs regular internet scans for up to five bank accounts, 10 medical ID numbers, your SSN, and up to three email addresses. Those opting for the family plan will get the additional benefits of credit file monitoring for up to four children. It will also lock the Equifax Credit Reports for each of those children.
When it comes to recovering from an incident of identity theft, Equifax has got your back, although to what extent will depend on which plan you’re on. Those opting for the Equifax Pro plan get identity theft insurance to the tune of $25,000, whereas those who subscribe to the Premier or Friends and Family plans get up to $50,000.
Sign up with Equifax ID Patrol today.
#4 ID Watchdog
ID Watchdog provides competitively priced identity theft protection and recovery support. It monitors all the usual suspects and some rather more unlikely ones, like payday lenders and pawn store loans.
Like most reliable identity theft protection services, ID Watchdog includes a fully functional mobile app that subscribers can use to unlock their Equifax credit report, receive alerts, add wallet contents for dark web monitoring and contact its customer support service all with a single touch.
All ID Watchdog plans include identity theft insurance cover up to $1m and specialist advice on how to recover from identity theft, while premium users get an additional $500k of cover for the reimbursement of funds removed through unauthorized electronic transfers. This covers employer-sponsored retirement funds, employee stock-option plans, and medical savings accounts.
ID Watchdog has family plans available as well as individual subscriptions and these include two specific features:
- Child Credit Lock – locks your child’s Equifax credit report
- Social Network Alerts – notifies you of suspected cyberbullying and other potentially harmful social media posts.
If ID Watchdog’s affordable plans sound like the answer to your identity theft concerns, sign up with ID Watchdog today. If you want to find out more about the service and its identity theft insurance policies, check out our full review here.
PrivacyGuard keeps a constant eye on your credit scores so you don’t have to but keeps you up to date with their findings by issuing monthly reports from all three credit bureaus. Although PrivacyGuard doesn’t have fully functional mobile apps, it does offer smartphone protection in the form of a secure browsing feature and secure keyboard technology.
While its plans don’t offer much in the way of child identity theft protection, PrivacyGuard’s services are cheaper than many of its rivals, although they don’t offer quite the same value for money as Identity Guard. Nevertheless, with PrivacyGuard’s basic identity protection, you might get more than you bargained for.
PrivacyGuard’s best features include:
- The monitoring of SSN, driver’s license, passport, credit and debit cards, and personally-identifying information like your name, date of birth and address
- Real-time alerts sent via email or text
- Online fraud assistance
- Lost and stolen wallet protection
- Up to $1m identity theft insurance
PrivacyGuard’s identity theft insurance covers legal costs, phone calls, fees for refiling credit applications, and coverage for unauthorized funds that haven’t been reimbursed by your financial institution. All plans include identity theft insurance, except for the Credit Protection plan, so if you want cost-effective identity theft protection and insurance, sign up with PrivacyGuard’s Identity Protection plan instead.
What Identity Theft Protection Services Don’t Do
Many consumers are under the misguided impression that an identity theft protection service can remove their SSN and other sensitive data from wherever it’s hanging out in the Dark Web. While the monitoring features mean these services can detect if your information is being used for fraudulent means, they can’t erase that information or stop buyers from using it.
One of the reasons behind the misunderstanding comes from identity protection services themselves, many of whom fail to clearly communicate the limitations of the service on offer. As the Director of Consumer Protection and Privacy at the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), Susan Grant, explains, “Dark web monitoring may be able to alert consumers that their stolen personal information is being offered for sale on the internet, but it can’t put the genie back in the bottle.”
While the best identity theft protection services go further and dig deeper into their efforts to unearth fraudulent behavior, they can’t do everything. After all, the people trading in stolen identities are unlikely to cooperate with an identity theft service or anyone else.
That’s not to say that identity theft protection services don’t offer useful features, however, and the best ones excel when it comes to helping their customers recover from identity theft or credit fraud. This alone makes them worth their weight in gold. Even those that believe identity theft protection services are a waste of money are forced to admit that their restoration services make them worthwhile.
As identity theft expert Robert Siciliano notes, “You cannot fix, on your own, a lot of identity theft problems efficiently”.
While there are some safeguards and security practices you can use to monitor your own personal information, this can be time-consuming and arduous, so getting an identity theft protection service to do it for you is well worth the few dollars a month it will cost. What’s more, with identity theft on the rise, there’s every chance you could be the next victim, and wouldn’t you want the peace of mind of identity theft insurance if that was the case?
When choosing your identity theft protection service, make sure you understand exactly what it can and can’t do, make sure you’re familiar with the details of its identity theft insurance policy and ensure it has the necessary security measures in place to protect your personal information.
The Real Cost of Identity Theft
It’s the initial financial blow of identity theft that scares most of us, but it’s the on-going consequences that often prove the most damaging, especially if you’ve got identity theft insurance. If your experience of identity theft includes credit card fraud, the effects of the crime could take a long time to detect and even longer to rectify.
Victims of identity theft experience feelings of fear for their personal financial safety, rage, anger, and sleep disruption – symptoms that only worsen with time as victims battle to resolve the issue, resulting in problems at work, school and within the family itself.
Worse still, if your child becomes a victim of identity theft, it could take years before you even notice there’s a problem, leaving your child struggling against a poor credit rating before their adult lives have even begun. Parents have to be vigilant so that their children won’t fall victim to identity theft.
The host of identity theft is high and while identity protection services make some inroads into your susceptibility, they can’t prevent it from happening, which is why you also need identity theft insurance to help you recover in the event of such an attack.
Identity Theft Insurance Conclusion
This risk of identity theft is high, although not quite as high as it was in 2014 when it was estimated that “every two seconds, another American becomes a victim of identity fraud”. Recovering from identity theft is a difficult and time-consuming process that requires a pile of paperwork and numerous phone calls.
The best identity protection services do what they can in terms of preventing identity theft but really come into their own when resolving the issues resulting from an attack. Not only will they help users complete the paperwork and contact credit bureaus on your behalf, but they’ll also cover out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and other financial burdens resulting from the incident.
Most identity theft insurance covers its users for up to $1m, although some also offer additional fund reimbursement. Services like Identity Guard do a lot more than offer insurance, however, and by using artificial intelligence, can assess your vulnerability and recommend ways to safeguard your personal information, and that of your children.
Although identity theft protection services have their limitations, using one is a lot easier and more effective than doing it alone. After all, who has the time to monitor thousands of websites and keep a constant eye on their credit reports, not to mention the amount of time and money recovering from identity theft will consume.
Don’t delay – get identity theft insurance and protection today and give yourself peace of mind and your child the best chance of a future by safeguarding their credit report.