Allstate Identity Protection is one of the stronger Identity Theft protection apps we’ve encountered. The integrated social media monitoring alerts you about hacked accounts, watches over your retirement plans and student loans, throws in $500,000 in theft insurance (for both expenses and reimbursements), and also lost wallet assistance. In summary, all of the typical features are here, along with a few extras.
Solid all around solution
Alerts you about social media hacks
Choice of tiers
Not as well-known
Lower tier plan with only 50k of insurance
Unspecified if credit monitoring is from all three credit agencies
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Our series on identity theft protection apps will evaluate the features, pricing options, competition, and also the overall value of using each app. However, these are not full hands-on reviews since evaluating identity theft protection apps is almost impossible. It would require several months of testing, purposefully hacking accounts to see if the protection app works, handing over personally identifiable information, performing multiple credit checks, and risking exposure of the reviewer’s personally identifiable information.
It happens suddenly when you least expect it. Imagine this scenario: you visit the ATM to deposit your check, only to discover your account is inaccessible. You then check your Twitter feed, and then notice someone has taken control of the account, and is sharing links to your followers to malware sites. You then visit the bank, sit down in a comfy chair with your banker, and she gives you the bad news on why the loan was denied - your credit is in shambles.
Identity theft is really one of those unfortunate, sinking feelings, experiences in life, and it often feels like where do you start to attempt to restore your good name. Fortunately, a trusted brand in insurance (yes, that Allstate with the “Good hands” ads) offers an identity theft protection app with some unique added features we haven’t seen in other products.
Allstate Identity Protection includes some nice alerts such as true social media monitoring (you get an alert if the account gets hacked), $500,000 in insurance protection (although some other options offer $1 million), and even covers other accounts, such as student loans and retirement accounts. While it’s not the most powerful identity theft app out there, the price makes it a good deal, as it would be a worthwhile app even at a higher monthly fee.
Plans and pricing
Allstate Identity Protection offers two plans for individuals: the Essentials plan for $9.99 per month, and the Premier plan at $17.99 per month. The two plans differ in that for the Essentials plan there’s only $50,000 in stolen funds reimbursement and $50,000 for expenses related to fraud. (Allstate Identity Protection distinguishes between the two - so it’s $100,000 total.) With the Premier plan, those amounts go up to $500,000 in stolen funds reimbursement and $500,000 for fraud-related expenses (for $1 million total - matching the amount we’ve seen with other identity theft apps). Also, the Premier Plan has some more features, such as social media monitoring, priority member support to get you to the top of the queue when you call, and credit card transaction monitoring.
For a family plan, you can choose either the Essentials plan for families ($18.99/month) or the Premier plan for families ($34.99/month). All the plans have a 30-day trial, and we did not find a discount for paying annually.
The Essentials plan also doesn’t include tax fraud refund advance protection or enhanced financial monitoring. Although not specifically mentioned on their website, all plans include credit monitoring, but there’s no mention of how many credit bureaus are involved or if you receive an actual credit score on a monthly or annual basis.
We really hope that you like the color blue a lot. Allstate leans heavily on a deep shade of blue throughout their website and in the Allstate Identity Protection app. One more time, we’re seeing a no frills approach, with an interface that has more than a passing resemblance to TurboTax. Easily visible are categories like credit monitoring, Dark Web monitoring, and alerts for your finances.
Meanwhile, the mobile app focuses heavily on alerts, with questions posed about transactions that are possibly suspicious. We’d rather see the wizards and status indicators of apps such as Norton LifeLock as they breeze you through these identity protection issues and protections in a method that’s easier to follow, especially for a novice.
Overall, Allstate Identity Protection covers all of the basics. The most essential is there’s a way to monitor your credit along with alerts regarding unusual financial activity. Also, users can monitor the Dark Web to locate their personally identifiable information that’s being used fraudulently.
A unique attribute found here is that some other identity theft protection apps will monitor your own social media feeds, and flag inappropriate discussions, for example swearing, drug references or criminal behavior. However, Allstate Identity Protection takes it a step further and alerts the user that you’ve been hacked. You can then investigate the issue, and take action to retake control of your accounts.
There are certainly some products in this identity protection sector that are extremely affordable, including Complete ID (at a cost of $8.99 per month for Costco Executive members) and Zander Identity Theft (at a cost of $6.75 per month when you pay for the entire year up front).
Allstate Identity Protection was previously free until January 1, 2021, but even now, after the free period has ended the app is still worth considering due to the added monitoring features and insurance. However, our top pick in the field remains Norton LifeLock.
If your main goal is choosing the best identity theft protection app available without taking into account the cost, then Allstate Identity Protection falls short as the best pick. However, from a value proposition, and factoring in the added monitoring for social media and the Dark Web, and the identity theft insurance, Allstate Identity Protection is more than compelling.
At the end of the day though, it’s not as powerful or useful as Norton LifeLock or IdentityForce. Still, a choice for this product is a smart decision, even to take a test drive and see if identity theft protection makes sense for you. That said, Allstate Identity Protection remains an attractive pick at the level of features offered for this price point.
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Jonas P. DeMuro is a freelance reviewer covering wireless networking hardware.