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Updated on Friday, February 26, 2016
Instances of identity theft are trending upward. From 2012 to 2014, the number of U.S. residents that experienced identity theft increased by 1 million. So, its no wonder identity protection products are becoming more and more popular.
MetLife offers identity theft protection at no cost for customers that have MetLife auto, home or renters insurance coverage. The product is broken down into two parts, identity protection and restoration. Identity protection is in place to help prevent theft while restoration helps you recover from theft if it happens.
At one point, MetLife also offered an identity monitoring product called MetLife Defender. However, at this time, it looks like MetLife is no longer accepting new enrollment for it.
So, let’s discuss the identity protection services for MetLife customers.
How MetLife Identity Protection Works
MetLife provides a suite of specific services to help keep your identity protected in certain situations. If you’re active-duty military, MetLife will put an alert on your credit report for a year while you’re abroad. You can also extend the alert if necessary. The purpose of it is to safeguard you from identity theft while you’re away.
Another facet of the service is travel protection. Adventures in foreign places are fun, but tourists are also easy targets for scams and theft. If any of your personal items like your passport or credit card are stolen or lost during a trip, you can contact a fraud specialist at MetLife who will help you cancel or replace them.
Children are just as susceptible to identity theft as adults. If your child’s identity is misused, a MetLife fraud specialist can submit a credit suspension in your child’s name.
Other than stealing information to get ahold of your funds, identity theft for medical care is common. If your identity is used to get medical services and medications, MetLife will help you contact your service providers and insurance to clean up your records. This is important for your own safety. If you need medical care, you don’t want someone else’s medical history popping up. And, of course, you don’t want to get stuck with another patient’s medical bills.
MetLife will also help you through relocation paperwork such as switching over your mailing address and handling mail forwarding. There’s a lot of moving parts when you relocate, so assistance in this area for free is something MetLife customers can appreciate.
Finally, if a loved one passes away, MetLife will help you to go through the final details of closing accounts and pursuing death benefits.
The MetLife Identity Theft Restoration Service
What stands out in this free product is the identity theft restoration service because technically you can do all of the above on your own. However, recovering your identity after it’s stolen is challenging.
If your identity is compromised, MetLife fraud specialists will help you file police reports. They’ll also assist you in reporting theft to credit bureaus. Plus, MetLife will give you a year of free credit and fraud monitoring along with complimentary credit reports from each credit bureau. Not a bad deal.
If you think your identity has been stolen, MetLife instructs customers to call the auto and home insurance line. From there, you’ll get connected with a fraud specialist.
There’s no way to completely prevent identity theft in this digital age. A company that promises you otherwise is being too optimistic. Find out more about how to decide if you should trust an identity theft protection company in our guide.
MetLife does make it pretty clear that the service is intended to provide you solutions to help you avoid identity theft and restore your accounts if you notice suspicious activity. It does not guarantee to prevent an assault on your identity altogether.
Other Identity Theft Alternatives
If you don’t have auto or home insurance with MetLife, here are a few other options for identity protection:
Zander has two plans. Both include $1 million in reimbursement for charges incurred while recovering your identity. It also comes with personal information monitoring, unlimited recovery services, child information scans, one-on-one support and more.
The $1 million reimbursement benefit covers costs like lost income, legal fees and other expenses necessary to repair identity theft like replacing documents or getting credit reports. Here’s the cost of both plans:
- Individual Plan – $75 per year or $6.75 per month
- Family Plan – $145 per year or $12.90 per month
To clarify, the lost income doesn’t cover money stolen from you by thieves, but the lost wages incurred by needing to make court appearances or other errands related to cleaning up your identity.
Identity Force offers monitoring and restoration services with two tiers as well. Both packages include monitoring your personal information in public records. There’s also alerts for bank or credit card activity that’s out of the ordinary so you can catch it before too much damage happens. Here’s the cost of both plans:
- UltraSecure – $179.50 per year or $17.95 per month
- UltraSecure+Credit – $239.50 per year or $23.95 per month
The difference between the premium and basic plan is the UltraSecure+Credit package includes daily credit report monitoring from 3-bureaus and monthly credit score tracking.
MetLife Customers Can’t Beat Free
The best defense for identity theft is staying aware and taking swift action if you notice anything suspicious. If you’re a customer of MetLife and qualify for this product it make sense to use it.
Keep in mind, MetLife doesn’t offer credit monitoring and reports unless your identity is compromised. If you’re a MetLife customer looking for ongoing credit monitoring, you can sign up for free sites like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame to get alerts every time there’s a change to your score or report. You can also get your free credit report once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com.