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Identity fraud cost consumers $16.9 billion in 2019—here's how identity theft insurance can help

Identity theft insurance is a feature offered by many identity theft and credit monitoring services. Here's what it does.

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Identity theft can be a big headache to fix — and if you leave it unresolved for too long, it can be expensive to resolve. In fact, identity fraud cost consumers $16.9 billion in 2019, according to the 2020 Identity Fraud Study by Javelin Strategy and Research.

If you're worried about how you could be impacted if someone steals your identity, you can be proactive and sign up for a credit monitoring or identity theft service. Many of these services offer insurance, which can help you resolve and recoup any expenses resulting from identity theft.

Here’s a breakdown of what identity theft insurance covers, plus where you can find it.

What is identity theft insurance?

Identity theft insurance is a common feature of identity theft protection services. However, the exact amount of reimbursement you'll receive and the types of expenses that are covered vary by service.

Many services that Select reviewed offer coverage ranging from $500,000 to $1 million. Of course, the more coverage the better, but you'll often pay a higher membership fee for services with $1 million identity theft insurance plans.

For example, Experian IdentityWorks℠ Plus offers coverage of up to $500,000 and costs $9.99 to $24.99 per month, depending on the plan. Experian IdentityWorks℠ Premium offers $1 million in coverage but costs more: $19.99 to $29.99 per month, depending on the plan. Ultimately, you'll need to decide if you want to pay a higher monthly fee in order to receive more insurance coverage.

Beyond the dollar amount of insurance, you'll need to read the fine print to see what expenses are eligible for reimbursement. Common out-of-pocket expenses that are covered include legal fees, lost wages and other expenses (like mailing costs, phone bills and notary fees, etc.) that are associated with resolving identity theft. This insurance typically doesn't provide coverage for any stolen money or financial loss.

Best identity theft protection services

We reviewed dozens of credit monitoring and identity theft protection services that safeguard your information and provide insurance. The best services offer up to $1 million for eligible expenses associated with resolving and restoring your identity.

Here are the best identity theft protection services:

IdentityForce® UltraSecure and UltraSecure+Credit

On Identity Force's secure site
  • Cost

    For a limited time, 40% off all plans - offer ends 12/6. UltraSecure+Credit Individual starts at $139.90/yr and UltraSecure+Credit Family at $209/yr. Click "Learn More" for details.

  • Credit bureaus monitored

    Experian, Equifax and TransUnion

  • Credit scoring model used

    VantageScore 3.0

  • Dark web scan

    Yes

  • Identity insurance

    Yes, $1 million for all plans

Terms apply. To learn more about IdentityForce®, visit their website or call 855-979-1118. 

PrivacyGuard

Information about the PrivacyGuard® plans have been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the company prior to publication.
  • Cost

    $9.99 to $24.99 per month

  • Credit bureaus monitored

    Experian, Equifax and TransUnion

  • Credit scoring model used

    VantageScore

  • Dark web scan

    Yes, for Identity and Total Protection plans

  • Identity insurance

    Yes, up to $1 million for Identity and Total Protection plans

Terms apply.

Experian IdentityWorks℠

On Experian's secure site
  • Cost

    $9.99 to $29.99 per month

  • Credit bureaus monitored

    Experian for Plus plan or Experian, Equifax and TransUnion for Premium plan

  • Credit scoring model used

    FICO®

  • Dark web scan

    Yes

  • Identity insurance

    Yes, up to $500,000 for Plus plan and up to $1 million for Premium plan*

Terms apply.

*Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. (AIG). The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms, conditions, and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.

Identity Guard

On Identity Guard's secure site
  • Cost

    $6.67 to $20.00 per month

  • Identity theft insurance

    Up to $1 million

  • Credit monitoring

    The Total and Ultra plans monitor your Experian, Equifax and TransUnion credit reports; the Value plan doesn't offer credit monitoring.

  • Mobile app

    Yes

  • Family plan

    Yes

*Terms apply.

LifeLock®

On LifeLock's secure site
  • Cost

    $8.99 to $34.99 per month

  • Identity theft insurance

    Up to $1 million for lawyers and experts; up to $25,000 to $1 million each for stolen funds reimbursement and personal expense compensation

  • Credit monitoring

    The Ultimate Plus plan monitors your Experian, Equifax and TransUnion credit reports; The Standard and Advantage plans monitor Equifax or TransUnion.

  • Mobile app

    Yes

  • Family plan

    Yes

Terms apply.

To learn more about IdentityForce®, visit their website or call 855-979-1118.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.