My husband has a top secret security clearance for both his day job and his Guard job. Identity theft could cause havoc for his career and our family’s finances. So over five years ago, I decided to start spending the $139 per year to Zander to protect our family’s identities. The price has since increased–to a whopping $145 per year for our entire family–but the benefits have increased as well. And while we haven’t had to use it, we find the minimal cost worth it. The plan provides for proactive monitoring services, complete and unlimited restoration, and $1M in reimbursement and stolen funds protection for financial, tax, Social Security, benefits, employment, and title fraud; medical identity theft; criminal activity; and even child identity theft. We receive an e-mail each month from Zander with a monitoring update as well as newsletters with tips on how to protect our identities. We’ve also received e-mail notifications of every major data breach. We are very happy with our identity theft protection through Zander.
In light of the Equifax breach (that I keep going on and on about, I know, but this is important stuff), I recommend having some sort of identity theft insurance or protection. Zander remains our paid choice. That said, we have other identity theft protection, most paid for by third parties as a result of previous breaches (hello, Department of Defense!). If Zander isn’t for you, there are other options:
- LifeLock: I have a client and friend who has LifeLock and raves about it. It is more expensive than Zander, but does offer features that Zander does not–for example, sex offender registry notifications. LifeLock starts at $9.99 per month for the least expensive coverage or $29.99 per month for the most expensive coverage. If you are a Sam’s Club member, you can purchase Lifelock for a 25% discount. Some AAA auto clubs also offer a discount for LifeLock.
- Protect My ID: Protect My ID is a theft protection service run by Experian (not Equifax). It includes ChildSecure to alert you of any activity in your child’s name, a “Black Market Scan” that combs through the web to determine whether your information is for sale, and $1M identity theft insurance with no deductible. If you have AAA, you may be offered Protect My ID protection for free or a discounted upgrade to a paid subscription. On occasion, some AAA auto clubs send codes for two months of “absolutely free” coverage. I have the free version through AAA that includes monthly credit alerts by e-mail, change of address alerts, the “Lost Wallet” feature, and access to their identity theft resolution team, but I do not have the $1M in identity theft insurance, given that I already pay for that coverage through Zander. Coverage starts at $99.99 per year if paid annually or, if you are offered discounted coverage through AAA, $89.95 per year annually.
Other options for identity theft protection exist, but I have no experience with them.
Need Identity Theft Protection?
You can check out Zander Insurance Group’s identity theft protection here. Learn more about Lifelock here (click here for a discount if you are a member of Sam’s Club) and Protect My ID here. If you are a AAA member, log in to your account to verify whether you are eligible for discounted memberships to any of these.
What Do You Think?
Do you have identity theft insurance or protection? If so, with what company? Do you have coverage with a company other than the ones named above? Let me hear from you in the comments!