Allstate Auto Insurance Overview
Allstate is the second largest provider of personal insurance and the largest publicly-held insurance company in the United States. Allstate began as the trademark of a brand of car tires sold by Sears, Roebuck and Co. way back in 1925. Later, an insurance broker proposed the idea of selling auto insurance by mail to the company, and they approved the idea, naming it after their tire brand. These early insurance policies were sold through the famous Sears catalog and by direct mail. In the 1950s, the company added many other types of insurance, including homeowners, life and fire insurance, and they expanded into Canada in 1953. For many decades, Allstate Insurance offices could be found inside Sears stores, but this began to change in the 1990s. By 1995, the company was totally independent of Sears.
Today, Allstate sells insurance through contracted, independent Allstate insurance agents across the country. As of 2014, Allstate boasted of $108.5 billion in total assets, with 75,000 employees, and they currently stand at #92 on the Fortune 500 list. They are best known for their advertising slogan, “You’re in Good Hands with Allstate.” Other benefits include:
- Property damage – covers expenses resulting from damaging someone else’s property in an at-fault accident, such as vehicles, homes and buildings. This policy type covers $100,000 in damages.
- Bodily injury liability – protects another driver or pedestrian when the policyholder is at fault, covering medical expenses, lost wages and suffering, resulting in injury or death. Coverage is provided up to $100,000/$300,000, meaning maximum payout for injured person/maximum payable per accident.
- Uninsured motorist – pays out maximum $100,000/$300,000 for expenses resulting from injury or death of the policyholder or people in the vehicle.
- Personal injury – covers reasonable and necessary medical expenses. Levels of coverage may be customized to meet unique situations.
- Collision – covers damages to the policyholders insured vehicle resulting from a collision with other motorists, structures and even trees. Vehicles being financed will have a higher deductibles than others, but it’s primarily $500.
- Comprehensive – covers damages to vehicles not caused by collisions, such as storms, falling objects, theft and vandalism, and other natural disasters.
- Medical payments – Requirements vary by state, but most mandate Personal Injury Protection with any combination of benefit coverage for medical expenses, work loss, essential services, survivors’ loss, and funeral expenses. Depending on the policyholders level of health/medical insurance, costs may be higher for those without and lower for those covered. Basic protection is provided with a $10,000 limit.
- Rental – optional coverage which can be added to a policy which covers the cost of a rental car should the policyholder be in an accident.
- Emergency road service – some policyholders elect adding roadside assistance coverage into their automobile insurance policy, which gives competitively-priced services to other options.
When requesting a quote, consumers have the option to view three side-by-side quotes ranging from Economy, Standard and Enhanced Coverage. For the sake of fair comparisons, the Review Team requested an estimate for a driver 27 years of age, financing a 2011 Toyota Camry, as it’s the best-selling car according to Time.com, and discovered that the monthly premium would amount roughly to $141 for the Economy Policy, $147 for Standard and $165 for Enhanced. With each add-on option above the Economy limit, there will be a slight increase in the monthly premium. Again, prices vary with each state and with each driver and their vehicle type.
Allstate services all 50 states and each state has agents to help customers to better understand their state’s insurance requirements. Allstate allows you to check auto insurance requirements for each state. Agents help create personalized plans to satisfy your needs
Allstate has a truly impressive variety of insurance coverage types for just about any area you can imagine, so it can be a one-stop shop for all of your insurance needs. Rates are not the lowest in the industry, and in some cases are a bit higher than the competition, but overall they are not bad. In fact, for such a massive company with so many options, the rates are reasonable.
- Safe driver – Yes
- Accident forgiveness – Yes
- Good student – Yes
- Multi-vehicle – No, although the company offers discounts for policyholders bundling their home or renters policy with an automobile policy.
- Pay in full – Yes
A number of discounts are available that can reduce those premium rates. While they don’t offer the widest number of discount options on the market, there are some good ones. Accident forgiveness can reduce your deductible, and Allstate famously offers a safe driving bonus check. This means each policyholder receives a small rebate check for each accident-free six month period.
Although the safe driving program might be easier if it was just a simple discount, there is something viscerally satisfying about receiving an actual check. It’s a creative way to offer the discount, and it rewards good drivers in a way that they will appreciate.
Allstate offers a free app for iPhones and Android phones that is fairly well reviewed. The current version has a higher rating than previous versions, as Allstate has added features, improved the interface and corrected some minor bugs. The app offers a good range of features, giving users access to all of their accounts, allowing them to make payments, file and track claims, manage policies and access roadside assistance.
In fact, filing and tracking claims couldn’t be easier. Customers can do it through an agent directly, over the phone, online through the Allstate website or through the mobile phone app. The process is fairly simple, and the claim can be tracked every step of the way.
The company was founded on April 17th, 1931. They have amassed 83 years of experience in protecting families.
Allstate does not seem to be the fastest or most efficient company when it comes to handling claims. Complaints are fairly widespread on numerous websites. Because they are such a large company, they should have the resources to handle claims quickly and efficiently. However, hundreds and hundreds of customers have complained about slow response times and frustrations with claims representatives. There are also many complaints about Allstate refusing to pay claims. Allstate seems to fight tooth and nail sometimes to avoid paying out claims. Other limitations include:
Poor Claim Payout:
The American Association for Justice ranked Allstate as among the worst insurance companies on the market in 2008 because of what they called a “boxing gloves” approach to paying out claims. Allstate says they have vastly improved their approach since then, but complaints continue to mount.
Limited Discount Options:
Despite a few nice discounts, Allstate is missing some common discount options that are found at many other insurance companies. For example, they do not seem to offer any discount for multi-vehicle customers. Also, there do not seem be any discounts for customer loyalty, military service or family members. This is quite surprising, since these types of discounts can be found at many of their competitors. Since their rates are not all that low to begin with, it seems like having popular discount types would make Allstate more appealing.
Allstate does not have the most affordable rates on the market. In some cases, their rates are a little higher than the competition, so this might not be the best choice for someone who is just looking for the cheapest premium.
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