When it comes to identity theft protection, a lot of focus is given to the protection each service can give an individual person. This is for good reason, as the individual plans are where the meat of every service is. It’s what all of their benefits are based off of, including the family plans.
But the focus on looking at individual benefits does sometimes mean family benefits get glossed over a little bit. So, in this case we’re going to be taking an in-depth look at what IDShield offers for those who want to delve into total family protection.
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Do You Really Need Family Protection?
The easy answer here is yes. While there might be some very niche circumstances for why someone who is married wouldn’t want to bother with family protection, they’re hard to think of and usually aren’t going to apply to the kind of person who cares about their family’s well-being.
Even if you’re the primary breadwinner of the family, your spouse’s information should be just as important to you to keep safe as your own. Even if their assets are limited, the effects of identity thieves on their credit and ability to do simple things is going to be impacted. For example, if you’re trying to jointly apply for a loan, they want to start their own business or buy a car, and so on, the impact of credit fraud on a spouse should be avoided at all costs.
And, of course, if both you and your spouse have your own assets to protect, it becomes all the more important to provide for both of you. Not to mention, of course, there is often the benefit that paying for a family plan is usually more cost efficient than paying for two individual plans.
What About Children?
It’s easy to dismiss the idea of child identity fraud as ludicrous. After all, what could they have that’s worth taking?
This is a flawed thought process, though an understandable one. The danger isn’t in identity thieves and fraudsters taking what your child owns. Instead, the danger is a bit more insidious: using your child’s lack of assets as an advantage.
Children are a complete blank slate, meaning that in most cases they won’t have a credit history at all. However, they do have basic personal information and (oftentimes, though it is optional) a Social Security Number.
These are all identity thieves need to have access to in order for them to start opening up accounts in your child’s name…and if you have no sort of identity monitoring for your child, you and they could be completely blindsided when it comes time to apply for their first job, loans for a car or college, or an apartment.
These snarls are hard to untangle, especially since the case could be very cold by the time you catch it. If you’re lucky, you might be alerted early by receiving strange calls or bills in the mail weeks or months after your child’s identity has been used for someone else’ gain, but relying on that is iffy.
Covering your child’s identity is just as important as covering your own or your spouse’s and that’s why it’s really worth getting IDShield’s protection plan.
On the surface, IDShield offers two different service tiers: 1 Bureau, and 3 Bureau. As you might expect by the names though, this doesn’t actually change anything about the service’s primary functionality.
Instead, it merely determines whether you’re getting full 3 bureau credit monitoring, or just the one option (Transunion, in this case).
The difference in price between the two is fairly significant, coming in at a 4$ per month difference, and they ultimately offer the same things otherwise.
The monitoring tools include:
- Data breach and dark web monitoring
- Social security number monitoring
- Social media monitoring
- Credit monitoring
- Bank account monitoring
- Payday loan monitoring
The quality of these services is quite high. IDShield has some of the best monitoring speed and accuracy on the market, on par with much larger and heavily funded services.
Alongside the monitoring tools, they also offer a number of resolution options. This is primarily access to their customer support and resolution specialists who are available Monday through Friday, between 7 AM and 7 PM (Central time). They also offer the use of their own in-house private investigators to give a bit of extra oomph to their resolution options.
Rounding things out is their insurance plan, which is quite good as these things go. It covers up to $1 million in expenses and stolen funds, and meets what I’d say is the quite high industry standard in this regard.
Learn more about it on our in-depth review of IDShield.
For a quick reference, here are the comparative prices of their main plans:
|IDShield||1 Bureau Credit Monitoring||3 Bureau Credit Monitoring|
|Individual Monthly Cost||$13.95/month($167.40/year)||$17.95/month($215.40/year)|
These prices do not include IDShield’s 30 day free trial, in order to give a more accurate look of what their pricing would be like long term.
What About the Family Plans?
IDShield’s family plans offer no additional functionality, they just broaden the coverage. Instead of covering a single individual, they provide protection for the primary account holder, a spouse, and up to 10 dependent children, with seemingly no stipulation on location (allowing for separated households to still have protection).
However, in terms of pricing they leave much to be desired.
|IDShield||1 Bureau Credit Monitoring||3 Bureau Credit Monitoring|
|Family Plan Cost||$26.95/month($323.40/year)||$32.95/month($395.40/year)|
As you can see, the family plans cost almost exactly double what you would be paying for in an individual plan. This is, in my opinion, an extremely odd choice.
The primary benefit of family plans, as offered by the majority of identity theft protection services, is to grant some kind of increased value to the service. In most cases, a family plan costs somewhere between 30% and 50% more than an individual plan. In other words, notably more expensive, but cheaper than simply paying for two individual services and any child specific protection they offer (if any).
While this nearly doubled cost isn’t quite as bad as it looks, since you’re getting two adults AND up to 10 children (making it a decent value if you have two or more kids), it’s not on par with what I’d expect from the industry.
Are IDShield’s Family Plans Worth it?
Sadly, I’d say no.
While IDShield is a great service, that is in large part because of how affordable it is for the average user. Its individual plan – especially the 1 bureau protection plan – is an insanely low price for how great the overall monitoring and resolution power that IDShield offers is.
Their family plans though are simply a bad deal for any user. You can get similarly good or even better protection from some of the bigger names on the market, for a surprisingly lower cost than what IDShield is offering here.
Essentially their family plans don’t play at all to the service’s usual strengths: offering great protection on a budget, and I’d urge users looking for affordable family protection to look elsewhere, no matter how much you might otherwise like IDShield’s individual identity theft protection.
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