When it comes to identity theft protection, breadth of coverage is one of the most important things. How many different types of identity theft and fraud your service monitors for, determines a large part of whether the service is good or not.
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LifeLock Family Plans are the types of plans that you need to take to secure the best for your family. The Junior Plan has a price of $5.99 a month. You can save more on LifeLock family plans if you pay the annual fee, around $6 a year.
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What Does That Have to Do With Family Plans?
What a lot of people fail to realize is that part of that breadth of coverage is how many people are covered by the plan.
Being married and/or having kids opens up additional weak points to your credit health, so having an individual plan isn’t enough to get you full protection from identity fraud.
Aside the fact that if your spouse’s identity is compromised, it can affect your ability to jointly apply for loans and other important life decisions, which can negatively impact your ability to buy a house, car, apply for a small business loan, and so on, you obviously don’t want your family to come to harm.
This goes double for your children. Their credit scores are almost completely clean, making them very tempting targets for enterprising fraudsters who get a hold of your child’s information. And getting that information can be a lot easier than you think; kids don’t always have that built-in wariness an adult might have, and can be easily manipulated into giving away their information either accidentally or on purpose.
Once their information is compromised, growing up can be very hard for these kids as they have all sorts of weak marks on their credit, making it difficult to get their first car, apartment, or even financial aid for college or other schooling; a life ruined or at least severely compromised before it’s even begun.
As a result, most identity theft protection services out there offer family plans that can cover multiple people at once. Some are better than others, so let’s take a look at LifeLock’s overview.
LifeLock Family Plan Overview
LifeLock’s family plans are quite good. The plan itself is divided into two options.
You can get coverage for two adults, or two adults and up to 5 children. There is also an option for adding a “LifeLock Junior” account to your individual plan, so you don’t need to worry about being unable to get child coverage if you have no second adult to cover.
These plans are divided into the same three tiers as the individual plan: Select, Advantage, and Ultimate Plus, with scaling increases to both price and the number of features offered.
Compare and contrast these to the individual plan prices.
If you just want to add LifeLock Junior to an individual plan, it is instead a flat $5.39 per month, with no sort of tier scaling.
As you can see, the discounts that accrue with each plan add up quite a bit, and this is before taking into account the 25% discount available for the family plans; this price reduction is already factored into the individual plans. Getting the full two adults plus 5 kids plan for a slightly lower monthly cost than the two adults plan, albeit only if you commit to a year in advance, is a pretty astounding value.
Which LifeLock Plan is Best?
Of the three, I’d say Advantage and Ultimate Plus have the best value here. LifeLock Select is simply very light on features overall.
Advantage is going to be the best value for a lot of people, the same as the individual plan. It offers an excellent breadth of monitoring, with all of the key monitoring features: data breaches, high risk transactions, crime alerts, address change verification, and online privacy and social media monitoring, among a few other things.
Advantage also provides a solid $100,000 stolen fund reimbursement plan, and $1 million in expenses.
Ultimate Plus ups the ante on Advantage by including home title monitoring and 401(k) and investment monitoring, criminal and sex offense registry monitoring, and more. Ultimate Plus also has better credit monitoring (scores available from all three bureaus monthly, and unlimited one bureau monitoring) and stolen funds reimbursement is increased to a cool $1 million.
The Ultimate Plus plan is better for a wider variety of people, just being all around better than the Advantage plan. However, it’s also significantly more expensive, especially when you get into the family plan options; a difference of over $100 a year between the two at the highest level.
This means that while Ultimate Plus is the best overall for everyone, you can save quite a bit of money by tiering down to Advantage which is still VERY good, so long as you’re fine with losing out on the increase in insurance. This would be my recommended plan particularly if you still rent rather than own a home, as home title monitoring, while one of (if not the) most important monitoring types, is not going to be useful at all for you.
From there, it all comes down to how many people you need to cover. You have a lot of flexibility in options, since you can cover two adults, two adults and 5 kids, or one adult and a variable number of kids (you need to pay for each LifeLock Junior subscription separately).
LifeLock Junior is an interesting beast. In terms of content, it is equivalent in its monitoring power to LifeLock Advantage, though without some of the features that would be irrelevant for a child. There is no ability to get credit scores here, obviously, and some of the features involving crimes (like alerts on crimes in your name and sex offender registry options) are gone as well.
Instead, LifeLock Junior provides the basic suite of important monitoring features: dark web monitoring and file sharing network searches.
In addition to that, LifeLock Junior also has a new feature: credit file detection. This alert service essentially works under a very simple assumption. That being that if your child even HAS a credit report, there’s a strong chance something is wrong, and you as the parent should be alerted to it. In most identity theft cases, this is a correct assumption since there are very few reasons anything should ever show up on a child’s credit report, particularly for very young children.
Finally, LifeLock Junior offers the same basic resolution services (access to their customer support and even lost wallet protections) as well as coverage needed for lost funds reimbursement and hiring experts to solve any surprise credit problems. This coverage increases based on the tier of your own plan, the same as normal. The only difference is this insurance ONLY covers lost funds reimbursement and coverage for experts; it won’t reimburse you for lost wages and similar expenses, which would instead presumably come out of your main coverage LifeLock plan.
Final Verdict: How Good is LifeLock’s Family Plan?
LifeLock’s family plans are very good. They’re cost effective at each tier, save for the Select plan (another reason why it falls a bit flat, in my opinion) and offer a lot of coverage.
Even better, LifeLock plans are flexible. You don’t have a rigid set of plans that may require you to pay for coverage for kids if you don’t have them, or even require you to pay for a second adult plan if you don’t have anyone else to cover.
Their family plans also have a bit more flexibility in that not everyone needs to live under the same roof. You can cover all your family members even if they happen to be separated for whatever reason. This includes circumstances like if you and your spouse are currently separated, but not divorced (particularly if your kids live with them fully or part time) , you live in different cities for work, your kid is going off to college and you want a second adult account for them, and so on.
This is something that can’t be said for some of LifeLock’s competitors (such as Identity Guard) and is a strong reason to potentially buy a LifeLock family plan over other options on its own. The relatively great quality of another service’s monitoring or features you prefer more don’t really matter if you want to cover your whole family, but are unable to because of the way their family policies work.
All in all, LifeLock has some of, if not the best family plans on the market, and they are well worth looking into to see if they fit your needs.
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