Allstate

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Allstate Corporation
SloganYou're in good hands
Type Public (NYSE: ALL)
Founded 1931
Headquarters Northbrook, Illinois, U.S.
Key peopleThomas J. Wilson, CEO
IndustryInsurance & Finance
ProductsAuto, Home, Life, and Business Insurance. Retirement and Investment products, and Banking services.
RevenueGreen Arrow Up.svg$29.4 billion USD (2007)
Net incomeRed Arrow Down.svg$4.636 billion USD (2007)
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Reference {{{reference}}}


The Allstate Corporation NYSE: ALL is the largest publicly held personal lines insurer in the United States and the second-largest of all personal lines insurers in the U.S. Allstate was founded in 1931 as part of Sears, Roebuck and Co..

The company slogan is "You're in good hands." The current advertising campaign, in use since 2004, asks, "Are you in good hands?" Their current spokesperson is Dennis Haysbert. Allstate sponsors various sporting events, including the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard NASCAR race, and the United States Olympic Committee. In 2008, Allstate's total revenue was 29.4 Billion, of which $26.8 Billion came from Property Liability, $2.58 Billion from Allstate Financial Services, and $32 Million from Corporate & Other. [1]

Products available

Allstate sells 13 major lines of insurance, including auto insurance, home insurance, life insurance, and commercial insurance. Allstate also offers retirement and investment products, and banking services. Its advertising campaign is centered around its "Your Choice Auto" product, which offers accident forgiveness and lower deductibles.[2]

Catastrophe exposure management

Allstate has stated intentions of reducing its exposure in hurricane-prone Florida. In November 2006, Allstate began dropping 120,000 policies that were up for renewal at that time. Governor Charlie Crist and the Florida Cabinet passed a 90-day emergency order to temporarily prevent insurance companies from dropping policies.[3] On February 20, 2007, Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty clarified the order, stating that insurance companies can drop policies if they satisfy certain conditions, including filing new, lower rates with the state and give customers 100 days’ notice.[4] Allstate is currently under investigation by the Florida Department of Insurance as to whether it conspired with other property insurers to artificially keep premiums high.[5]

Allstate also currently is not renewing policies in the NYC area and on Long Island because of the threat of a major hurricane in the years to come. Homeowners policies can be written through Allstate with another company like TSC and many others.

On May 11, 2007, Allstate announced it would no longer offer a homeowners insurance product in California, however, Pacific Specialty Insurance Company homeowners insurance is available in every Californian Allstate agency.

Competition

Major insurance competitors include State Farm, Farmers Insurance Group, Nationwide, Progressive, GEICO, Liberty Mutual and USAA.

Criticism

In July 2008, the American Association for Justice ranked Allstate No. 1 among nation's worst insurers. This ranking was given because: “While Allstate publicly touts its ‘good hands’ approach, it has instead privately instructed its agents to employ a ‘boxing gloves’ strategy against its policyholders,” said American Association for Justice CEO Jon Haber. “Allstate ducks, bobs and weaves to avoid paying claims to increase its profits.”.[6] Allstate criticized the report, with a spokesman noting that "The personal injury lawyers behind this report provide no support for their statements other than decade old recycled allegations that have been shown to be without merit in courts of law." [7]

Auto insurance claims

An article published on May 2006 in Business Week details how Allstate routinely tries to deny its policy-holders their full legitimate benefits, often paying out less than they're entitled to. Business Week writes:

 
 
"Claimants in the 'good hands' category may get swift reimbursement, but they will end up with less than they're entitled to," he says. Those who hold out for more — and retain a lawyer to help them get it — face battering in the courts and potentially years of delay. "You can get your claims resolved promptly or fairly," he argues, "but not both." Also according to the article, "Allstate deploys a variety of systems...to make sure it pays the minimum necessary — and it plays hardball with those who seek more."[8]
 

 

An investigative report in February 2007 by CNN found that major car insurance companies, like Allstate, are increasingly fighting auto insurance claims from those who incurred injuries by their insured members.[9]

Homeowners insurance

The PBS television program Now,[10] in conjunction with Bloomberg Markets magazine, did an exposé regarding Allstate's home owners insurance policy change. The idea was to increase profit by not living up to the customers' policy expectations.

Allstate changed the terminology of the policy to "extended coverage", in order to convince the policy holders that coverage was still the same or even better. In reality the coverage was lowered.

Interviewed customers said insurance agents lied about what was covered with the policy change. When claims were filed, Allstate fought tooth and nail to avoid paying the full amount of the claims. Allstate used delaying tactics in court, attempting to cause the customer to give up.

The program also mentioned State Farm as having used the same consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, that came up with this idea. State Farm customers were complaining as well.

The unhappy insurance customers urged everyone to review their policies to make sure their coverage is adequate.

From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves

This is the title of a book written by David Berardinelli, JD, Michael Freeman, Ph.D., D.C., MPH, Aaron DeShaw, D.C., J.D. with a Foreword by Eugene R. Anderson, Esq.[11]

It tells of profit-boosting strategies that consulting firm McKinsey & Company presented to Allstate to maximize profits and diminish the amount of money sent to clients who put in a claim. McKinsey specializes in redesigning product delivery systems for Fortune 100 companies (including controversial clients such as Enron) to maximize profits. McKinsey’s recommendation to Allstate was to low-ball claims so that desperate customers in dire straits would be more likely to accept a settlement offer while Allstate continued to make a profit and collect interest on the insurance payment. Allstate would offer its "good hands" in the way of a low-ball claim and, if the customer did not accept, to get out "boxing gloves." [12]

Advertising

Ads of Allstate have featured Dennis Haysbert, the official spokesman for the company. His commercials typically end with one of two the Allstate Corporation's official slogans, either "Are you in good hands?" or "That's Allstate's stand." In NASCAR commercials only Haysbert's voice is heard. More recently however his commercials have combined the two with "That's Allstate's stand. Are you in good hands?" which is the company's slogan in the form of a question. Other advertisements feature and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kasey Kahne and three female fans who follow him and have romantic fantasies of meeting Kahne and having as a love interest. Also they embarrass themselves and hit Kahne's car by accident. In the latest installment, it features Kasey Kahne's car customized with hearts and blue paint scheme and Kahne dancing in his driving suit.

History

Allstate has played a significant role in several events over its history. One of these, in 1996, related to a court case in which a group of the firm's agents filed suit, saying Allstate had included material from L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology, in its internal classes. According to statements made by the employees quoted in The Wall Street Journal, the course materials clearly stated that they were written by Hubbard. Allstate said that the questioned material was included by accident, but more than two dozen employees filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding the matter. [13]

References

  1. ^ Allstate Revenue Sources, Wikinvest. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  2. ^ Allstate Insurance
  3. ^ Template:Cite news
  4. ^ Template:Cite news
  5. ^ Template:Cite news
  6. ^ Washington City Paper: "Allstate Gets a Spanking"
  7. ^ Phoenix Business Journal: "American Association of Justice ranks Allstate No. 1 among nation's worst insurers"
  8. ^ Business Week
  9. ^ In some cases, Allstate proposed settlement amounts as small as $50, asking claimants to "take it or leave it". The investigative report found that insurance companies often make it so expensive and time consuming to go to court to get full settlement amounts, that it would not be worth the victims time. The claims handled in the matter were very minor collision type losses that did not result in any ($0) damage to the car, and therefore was the insurance company protecting it assets and the premium paying public money, by keeping rates as low as possible.Template:Cite news
  10. ^ PBS.org
  11. ^ From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves: How Allstate Changed Casualty Insurance in America By David Berardinelli, Michael Freeman Published by Trial Guides LLC, 2008 ISBN 0974324892
  12. ^ Allstate, State Farm, Other Bad Faith Insurance Companies Rack up Record Profits by Cheating Customers
  13. ^ Template:Cite journal

External links


Name: Allstate

City: Northbrook
State: Illinois
Country: USA
Web: http://www.allstate.com/


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