This well-known insurer breaks into the identity theft protection marketplace with surprisingly solid service.
What would you do if you woke up tomorrow with maxed-out credit cards and a savings account with nothing in it? Would you know where to start?
This nightmare scenario is a reality for a growing number of consumers. As identity theft becomes more prevalent — particularly during the pandemic1 — many are looking for ways to protect themselves from hackers, scammers, and other fraudsters. And there’s no shortage of these protective services available. Check out our best identity theft protections list for a comprehensive breakdown of what these services offer.
Did You Know: Last year about 49 million American consumers suffered some form of identity theft.
Allstate is certainly a well-known name in the insurance world, but did you know they’ve branched out beyond homes and cars to protect identities too? It’s true — and their foray into the identity theft protection industry is surprisingly well-equipped. Before we get into the ins and outs of the service, though, let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons.
Did You Know: Did You Know? Allstate Identity Protection offers a unique tool called Digital Footprint. This tool can help you locate your unused accounts, shut them down, and really help to secure your overall digital footprint. Don’t worry, I discuss this feature in detail in this review of Allstate Identity Protection.
Out of the gate, I was pretty impressed with Allstate’s identity theft protection offerings. I’ve reviewed countless similar services in the past, and a lot of times when a company that specializes in a tangential industry decides to offer an identity theft protection component, they often miss the mark — sometimes slightly, sometimes wildly. Allstate, however, delivers a full suite of protections on both of their service tiers; they really hit the nail on the head. Here’s a rundown of what you get and how much it costs.
|Credit Card Transaction Monitoring||No||Yes|
|Social Media Monitoring||No||Yes|
|Stolen Funds Reimbursement||Up to $50,000||Up to $500,000|
Some of these services are really high-end features that you’d expect to see with better-known names. For comparison, read our review of IdentityForce, or our in-depth breakdown of Identity Guard to get an idea of how Allstate’s list of services stacks up.
So now that you have a pretty good idea of what Allstate Identity Protection brings to the table, let’s get signed up, registered, and protected.
The signup and purchasing process couldn’t be easier. You’ll be asked to select which protection plan you want, and also whether you’ll be protecting an individual or a family.
FYI: Allstate’s family protection extends to five individuals total — you, plus four loved ones.
You’ll be asked to provide all the standard information. Name, address, phone number, email address — you know, all the standard stuff. No surprises here. You’ll also be asked to create a username and password. Once that’s done, you’ll check out and you’re off to the races.
Worth noting here — whichever protection package you decide on, you can try it free for 30 days. That’s a really great perk. A lot of services offer refund periods on certain products or don’t offer free trials at all. When you see this, it’s a good sign that the company stands behind the service.
Once you’ve registered for the service, Allstate Identity Protection takes you on a little tour of your dashboard. I love when companies do this. Identity theft protection can be confusing — there are a ton of ins and outs to understand with most services, and a lot of providers sort of toss you in the deep end and expect you to swim. Not so with Allstate.
This tutorial walks you through the service’s major features, shows you where things are, and ends by asking you to start inputting the information you’d like monitored. It’s clear this service was designed with user experience in mind.
After entering your personal information, you’re free to start exploring the dashboard.
Sleek design, right? Sometimes these services are a little clunky and look like they were designed in 1995 and never updated. For another modern, well-designed, and very robust service, you should check out our review of IDX.
But while design is great, functionality is far more important. On the left-hand side of the dashboard, you’re going to see all of the elements Allstate will be monitoring. Let’s go through them one by one (however, we’re going to hold off on talking about the Digital Footprint tool — that’s getting a section all to itself).
The first element to discuss is Credit Monitoring. Obviously, this is a staple of any identity theft protection service. An unexpected tumble in your credit score is a bellwether of identity theft because it usually means someone has been spending money in your name without paying. It pays to keep an eye on your credit score, but it’s easier to pay a service to do it for you.
But here’s where I ran into my first gripe with Allstate Identity Protection. Their Credit Monitoring is … lackluster to put it lightly. Once you activate it, you’re told you’ll be notified of any changes in your scores, and that those changes will show up in your dashboard. No additional information, no current score, no access to our credit reports, no score tracker, no nothing.
I had to go so far as calling customer support to even figure out which bureaus they were monitoring, and the answer was a little disappointing. Even with the premier package, they only keep an eye on TransUnion.
FYI: If you’re looking for an identity theft protection service with robust credit monitoring, check out our review of IdentityWorks. They’re powered by Experian, so you have direct access.
You probably know there are three major credit monitoring bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Exactly how each one calculates your credit score differs slightly, so it’s likely that you have marginally different scores at each bureau.2 Sometimes errors can show up on one report but not others, and sometimes discrepancies will appear more quickly on one than the other two. That’s why most high-level identity theft protection services out there offer triple-bureau monitoring with their premiere protection tiers and single-bureau monitoring with their basic plans.
Now there’s debate in the community on how much protection is enough when it comes to credit monitoring — heck, in my review of Zander, I found they don’t even bother to monitor credit at all, thinking that once something’s on your credit report, the damage is already done. But I’m firmly in the camp that the more comprehensive the protection, the better it is. So if you’re looking for powerful credit monitoring tools, you may be a little disappointed here.
Moving on from Allstate’s credit section, next we have dark web monitoring. Here Allstate Identity Protection gets back in the game (in a big way!).
Allstate will continuously scan the dark web for any amount of personally identifying information including login credentials, credit card information, email addresses, and more. This is a hugely valuable feature, as the vast majority of identity trafficking is done on dark web marketplaces. If you’re not paying attention, you could fall victim.
Did You Know: Your personally identifying information can end up on the dark web for any number of reasons. You might have been actively hacked, your information might have been passively sniffed out on an unsecured network, or you might have been collateral damage in a data breach.3 Whatever the reason, it pays to keep tabs on dark web marketplaces.
Next on the list is Allstate’s Financial Transaction monitoring. Here, too, they do an admirable job. Once you link your accounts, you can set pretty specific thresholds of when exactly you’d like to be alerted. For instance, if you want to be notified of all bank transactions over the $200 mark, you can set it and forget it with Allstate Identity Protection.
I tend to keep these thresholds pretty low, but it’s a balancing act between how secure you want to feel and how often you want to be pinged with alerts. I will say, though, every second counts in an identity theft scenario. The sooner your bank knows about fraudulent charges, the easier it will be to rectify.
And finally, we come to Social Media Monitoring. This is an interesting tool, and few services that offer it really do it right. Allstate Identity Protection really knocks it out of the park, though. They monitor Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube for potentially racist, vulgar, or otherwise inappropriate comments within your social media posts. And with their premiere tier of protection, they’ll also be on the lookout for indicators of account takeover. In this age of ultimate connectivity and access, it’s reassuring to make sure your online reputation isn’t tarnished. Allstate makes the grade here.
So that about covers Allstate Identity Protection’s main features. Although their Credit Monitoring function left much to be desired, they made up a lot of ground with their other core features. But enough beating around the bush. Now it’s time to talk about their marquee service — the Digital Footprint.
Essentially what this does is create a data visualization of the sites you’ve created accounts with. It splits your accounts up into different categories, shows you where you might be vulnerable, and gives you actionable information on how to better protect yourself.
One of the most interesting things for me personally was just how distributed my information was. If any one of these services suffers a data breach — and that’s becoming increasingly common, by the way — there’s no telling what damage could be done. This tool can help you locate unused accounts, shut them down, and really improve your overall security. Seriously — Yeti, I love my tumbler, but you don’t need to hold onto my credit card information.
The Digital Footprint will also show you when and where your data might have been exposed. In my case, the breaches occurred such a long time ago that they aren’t really of any concern, but I really like how detailed and actionable the alerts were.
Overall, the Digital Footprint tool is definitely more functional than flash, and something to seriously consider if you’re shopping around for identity theft protections. It’s a really unique tool and a helpful one for folks who want to practice better digital hygiene.
Unfortunately, though, protection isn’t always prevention. Even if you’re using Allstate’s identity theft services, there’s a chance you still might fall victim. Even if the worst happens, though, true to their word — you’re still in good hands.
Allstate Identity Protection’s policies for restitution and reimbursement vary significantly between service plans, and it’s important to understand the differences before you make your final decision on which (if any!) subscription is right for you and your family. Under the most basic plan — Essentials — you’re entitled to up to a million in expense reimbursement, but they’ll only pay out $50,000 in stolen fund recovery. The rest covers your material costs, like lawyers and other experts.
With the Premier service plan, you’re still covered for up to $1 million, but you’ll be able to recover up to $500,000 in stolen cash. Up to $50,000 of that can be used to recover investment or health savings accounts as well. There’s a pretty big difference here in how much stolen money Allstate can help you recover, so reading the fine print on your identity theft protection’s recovery plan can save you unexpected headaches (and heartaches) should the unthinkable happen.
Did You Know: Last year identity theft cost American consumers approximately $56 billion.4
Also worth noting — Allstate Identity Protection offers a pretty unique service in one very specific arena. If fraudsters manage to gather enough of your information to file a W2 on your behalf and collect your tax return, Allstate will front you the money you were expecting from the IRS while they work with you and the taxman to figure things out. That’s a relief!
So that’s Allstate Identity Protection in a nutshell. I definitely found some drawbacks, but there’s also a lot to love about the service. So what’s the final verdict?
At the end of the day, Allstate Identity Protection offers a pretty solid service for the money. Where they fall a little short on the credit monitoring side of things, they more than make up for with digital protections and privacy.
Like I said above, their Digital Footprint tool is cutting edge, and its functionality elevates the entire service beyond a middle-of-the-road identity theft protection service to something really special. If you’re concerned about your personal data being somewhere it shouldn’t and falling into the wrong hands, Allstate Identity Protection definitely needs to be on your short list.
And finally, the price is pretty reasonable for what you’re getting. It’s not the cheapest service out there, but it’s certainly not the most expensive I’ve seen. Ultimately, I’d recommend Allstate Identity Protection. It’s an effective identity theft protection service that will do everything most folks need it to. And its protections are comprehensive enough that you won’t be left exposed.
Yes, however, Allstate only offers single-bureau credit monitoring. We much prefer triple-bureau credit monitoring.
Allstate monitors TransUnion exclusively.
Yes, Allstate offers dark web monitoring for numerous pieces of personally identifying information and sensitive data.
Allstate’s Digital Footprint allows you to visualize all of your accounts — including dormant ones — across the internet to understand where you might have vulnerabilities or breaches.
Yes, Allstate’s premier plan offers robust social media monitoring for both inappropriate activity and account takeover.
Morales, Christina. (2020, Sept 23). Americans Have Lost $145 Million to Coronavirus Fraud. New York Times.
Credit Karma. (2020, Dec 4). Why credit scores differ between credit-reporting agencies.
Bond, Casey. (2020, Dec 14). What To Do If Your Email, Passwords Or Bank Info Were Found On The Dark Web. HuffPost.
Leonhardt, Megan. (2021, Mar 23)Consumers lost $56 billion to identity fraud last year—here’s what to look out for. CNBC.