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If your credit card or bank information is ever stolen, the damages to your finances and credit report can be costly, so it's worthwhile to consider identity theft insurance to guard against the cost of potential fraud.
Identity Guard uses IBM® Watson®™ artificial intelligence to monitor and process information that can alert you to potentially suspicious activity on your accounts.
While many identity protection services stop here, Identity Guard will also help you cancel your credit cards, file a police report and go through the process of repairing what damage the fraudster caused. if you're the victim of identity theft. You can also take advantage of up to $1 million in identity theft insurance to cover costs that are associated with getting everything back on track.
Ahead, we break down the features of Identity Guard, looking at cost, insurance coverage, how many credit bureaus are monitored, dark web scanning and fraud alerts. (Read more about our methodology below.)
$6.67 to $20.00 per month
Identity theft insurance
Up to $1 million
The Total and Ultra plans monitor your Experian, Equifax and TransUnion credit reports; the Value plan doesn't offer credit monitoring.
Identity Guard offers three different plans for individuals:
- Value: Basic identity protection; costs $6.67 per month (save 26% — regularly $8.99)
- Total: Standard identity and credit protection; costs $13.33 per month (save 33% — regularly $19.99)
- Ultra: Premium identity and credit protection; costs $20.00 per month (save 33% — regularly $29.99)
All three plans provide users with a risk management report, data breach notifications, dark web monitoring, high risk transaction monitoring, safe browsing tools, and bank account monitoring. Ultra, the most expensive plan, gives users the most comprehensive protection with these additional features:
- Social media insights report
- Credit and debit monitoring
- 401(k) and investment monitoring
- Criminal and sex offense monitoring
- USPS address change monitoring
- Home title monitoring
All three plans offer the same $1 million identity theft insurance with a $0 deductible. You can access these funds after reporting that your identity was stolen within 90 days of you finding out, and you must comply with the insurance company's identity theft recovery procedures. The limits on what the insurance covers are:
- Aggregate limit of insurance: $1,000,000 per policy period
- Lost wages: $2,000 per week, for 5 weeks maximum
- Travel expenses: $1,000 per policy period
- Elder care, spousal care and child care: $2,000 per policy period
Legal fees and private investigator fees need prior approval and would be included within the limit. You can also receive travel reimbursements for any travel you require to retrieve funds and/or repair damages to your identity.
One caveat is that if you have other insurance policy that also includes identity protection insurance, it must be billed before Identity Guard.
The Value plan does not provide credit monitoring, but the Total plan offers one-bureau monthly credit score and three-bureau credit monitoring. The Ultra plan offers one-bureau monthly credit score (using TransUnion), three-bureau credit monitoring and annual credit reports from all three bureaus.
All three plans include dark web monitoring, data breach notifications and high-risk transaction monitoring. The artificial intelligence program scans the web 24/7 for your data and information to make sure that it is not being used by anyone other than you.
Identity Guard alerts you whenever they find your SSN, credit card numbers, financial account numbers, or health insurance number being used on thousands of black market websites, secret chat rooms and underground forums.
Identity Guard offers three protection packages, allowing you to pick the one that works best for you. All three plans offer $1 million in identity theft insurance, but the Total and Ultra plans step in with additional credit monitoring support.
To determine which identity theft protection services offer the most benefits to consumers, Select analyzed and compared over a dozen services that offer a variety of plans.
When ranking the best identity theft protection services, we focused on the following features:
- Cost: Typically, these services bill monthly but some have deals where you can pay annually.
- Identity theft insurance: We considered whether the services offered identity theft insurance and looked at the amount you're covered up to. We found that the best services offer up to $1 million for eligible expenses associated with resolving and restoring your identity.
- Wide variety of identity monitoring: The more platforms the service checks for breaches to your personal information, the better.
- Credit monitoring: We ranked services that monitor your credit reports higher than those they don't. The best plans offer triple-bureau monitoring.
- Family plans: If you can enroll your family members, that's an added plus.
- Mobile app: The ability to access services from a smartphone was crucial.
Keep in mind that identity theft protection services can only alert you of breaches to your personal information, not prevent any fraud.