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Allstate: America's Second Largest Insurer

Allstate is right behind State Farm as the nations second largest auto insurance provider. The company was originated in 1931 by the Sears Roebuck and remained a part of the company for fifty years. They are their own company now. So, how do they rate as an automobile insurance company? What do their own customers have to say about the brand as an insurance provider?

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The Rankings and Solvency

The insurer is rated by AM Best, the leading watchdog on the industry, A+ or Superior. However, J.D. Power and Associates also provides reports on auto insurance providers, among other consumer products and services. J.D. Powers 2008 National Insurance Study, rates the company as simply average, with their pricing being the main drag on their overall score. The study rates companies on a scale of 1 to 5 in five different categories, with 1 being poor and 5 being Among the Best. Their score is summarized as follows:

  • Overall Experience: 3 out of 5.
  • Policy Offerings: 4 out of 5.
  • Pricing: 2 out of 5.
  • Billing and Payment: 4 out of 5.
  • Contacting Insurer: 3 out of 5

In comparison to others in the study, this is an average rating from J.D. Powers and Associates. The low score of 2 in the pricing category is listed by the study as being the rest, meaning that Allstate is not performing as well as the average and above companies in this category. Some of their higher scores bring their overall score up to the Average rating. In spite of the J.D. Powers rating, they are the second largest provider in the nation and have more than 47 billion dollars in managed assets, making them a healthy company that will be sticking around and can certainly afford to pay on any claims that their customers may file.

Customer Ratings and Complaints

In spite of the positive ratings from AM Best, this insurer seems to be plagued by reports of being anti-consumer. A report by the Consumer Foundation of America titled THE "GOOD HANDS" COMPANY OR A LEADER IN ANTI-CONSUMER PRACTICES? claims that Allstate participates in profit through excessive rates and questionable claim processing procedures. The study is focused primarily on property damage and dates back to 2007 and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, however, it is one of many articles posted to entire web-rings dedicated to complaints about the company. In addition, according to unofficial poll data from readers of the website, 52% of the carrier's customers are unsatisfied. This information should be taken in context, but not ignored, if you are trying to choose an insurance provider. If you would like to determine for yourself if there are any local complaints about, or lawsuits filed against the provider you can check with your state's Department of Insurance or Attorney General, for most localities this information will be available on those department's websites. If they are not, then you can call and contact personnel in those offices to inquire. It may seem like extra effort, but if you have to file a claim because of an accident, you want will thank yourself if you do your homework.