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.
Identity theft is never that big of a problem for those of us who have not experienced it. We happily surf the web, sign up for services with a credit card, and use social media. For anyone who has been a victim of identity theft, however, it becomes quite a nightmare. You feel helpless and lost, trying to rebound from fraudulent use of your bank account or credit card.
Zander Identity Theft Protection puts the focus squarely on protection and alerts against loss, which makes sense since Zander is an insurance company. Unlike most of the other ID theft products out there, such as Norton LifeLock or Complete ID, having the backing of an insurance company does provide some peace of mind if the worst happens.
That’s a clear benefit. Unfortunately, Zander Identity Theft Protection doesn’t really go the extra step and provide any unusual or powerful features. The website is extremely thin on details about how the app even works or what it does. You end up feeling a bit like this is a way to generate more interest in the other insurance products, all prominently listed at the top of the Zaner Insurance website. You won’t see the extensive list of features, the stellar web design and interface, or the deep ID theft information of competing products, which makes Zander Identity Theft Protection so difficult to recommend for anything but basic protection.
Plans and pricing
The most compelling feature is the price. For only $6.75 per month, you can rely on an app that provides some basic services like fraud alerts, bank compromise issues, and social security theft. You can call and speak to a customer service rep who will help you resolve problems. There’s nothing that sticks out as unusual. You can choose the family plan which costs $12.90 per month. The most compelling plan for individuals is the annual plan, which costs $75 and works out to only $6.25 per month.
Zander Identity Theft Protection even costs less than the lowest price plan we’ve found which requires a Costco membership: Complete ID costs $8.99 per month if you have the Exec plan at Costco, which costs $120 per year.
Zander Identity Theft Protection sticks to the basics. The app shows you alerts related to your identity protection, including any problems with a bank account or credit card. You won’t find the professional look of Norton LifeLock, our top pick for interface and design. There aren’t any powerful wizards that explain every last detail with Zander Identity Theft Protection and few status updates that show you how much progress you’ve made in protecting your identity.
The main takeaway with Zander Identity Theft Protection is that the features are all fairly standard. You could argue that you are paying a low price for average features, and maybe that’s just fine. There’s all of the typical fraud alerts and protections you will find with every other app. A hotline number to talk to an agent is also a typical offering for most apps like this, and Zander Insurance lists this feature twice as though that makes it more compelling. (Sadly that seems like a standard practice with ID theft apps that list features twice.)
In terms of theft protection insurance, Zander Identity Theft Protection will repay you up to $1 million for stolen funds and expenses.
This is a tale of two factors: Zander Identity Theft Protection is the cheapest ID theft protection we’ve found, but is light on features. It’s essentially a way to see fraud alerts and work with customer service to resolve the problems. The app doesn’t compete with the major ID theft companies like Norton, Experian, or Equifax. The closest competitor is Complete ID and that’s only because the prices are similar.
In the end, it’s somewhat difficult to recommend Zander Identity Theft Protection because the actual product is fairly limited. While the price is extremely low especially if you choose the annual plan, you won’t benefit from the extensive backing and rich features of an app like Complete ID, Norton LifeLock, or IdentityForce.
What you do end up with is some basic alerts and protections that might be worth the small investment on a monthly or annual basis. We wish that website was more complete and explained more of the features – there’s really just a small section that lists a few of the alerts and the customer service hotline. The problem is that ID theft is not really something to take lightly. Picking a product only by the low price might be a recipe for disaster.