Is Allstate Insurance expensive? How good is Allstate insurance? What do the Allstate ratings by JD Power mean? Does Allstate offer low rates for home & auto insurance, and have good customer service? This review will tell you what you need to know about Allstate auto & home insurance.
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I used to sell auto & home insurance, and I worked at an Allstate agency for several years. It is often said, once you have worked in the restaurant’s kitchen, you know better than to eat at the restaurant. Although Allstate has many detractors, I left my association with Allstate with a better impression of the company.
I no longer have any connection with Allstate, so here is my unbiased review, with an insider’s opinion from a 20-year insurance industry veteran.
The sources for most of the information in this blog post can be found at my Web site, www.smartshopyourcarinsurance.com, and Allstate’s Web site.
About Allstate Insurance: Allstate Insurance sells auto, home, life, and business insurance in almost all the states in the USA, mainly through its own agents, in local offices in your community.
Allstate insurance is very well known, because of its size and advertising. Allstate insurance, founded in 1931, is the largest publicly-held personal lines (i.e., selling insurance to people for their personal needs, like home & auto insurance, instead of business insurance) insurer in the USA, and it is a Fortune 100 company.
The key phrase in that last sentence is “publicly-held.” Publicly-held means Allstate is owned by its stock holders. Many insurance companies are “mutual” insurance companies, meaning they are owned by their policy holders, and there are no stock holders.
For example, State Farm is a much larger personal lines insurer than Allstate insurance, but State Farm is a mutual insurance company. However, Allstate is often the second largest insurer of homes & autos in many states.
Allstate insurance sells auto insurance & home insurance through 9 subsidiary insurance companies across the USA. Each subsidiary Allstate insurance company has its own rates & complaint ratio, and may not be available in all states.
Almost all of the national complaint ratios for the Allstate insurance subsidiary companies are better than the industry average, with 2 exceptions: Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company for auto insurance complaints, and Allstate Vehicle & Property Insurance Company, for auto insurance complaints. You can see the national auto & home complaint ratings for the last 3 years by going to my website by clicking here: Allstate complaint ratings.
Some states have their own auto & home insurance complaint ratios for complaints in their state, which you can find on my list of State Department of Insurance Web sites.
If Allstate has a large market share in your state, your state’s complaint ratio is just as important as the national complaint ratio. I am slowly blogging about each state’s complaint information about auto insurance & home insurance companies, which you can see by clicking on the link in this sentence.
What if you have no insurance or a bad driving record?
Even if you have had a lapse in auto insurance coverage, tickets, accidents, or not enough years driving experience, Allstate can usually help you, depending on how bad your driving record may be.
Allstate Insurance Claims & Customer Service:
JD Power rates Allstate Insurance at 3 power circles (about average) for overall customer satisfaction in its 2011 National Auto Insurance Survey.
In addition to the Overall Satisfaction being rated average, the individual categories making up the Overall Satisfaction, such as Policy Offerings, Billing & Payment, & Contacting The Insurer, were also rated at 3 power circles (about average), with Pricing being the only individual category at 2 power circles (the rest).
The industry average for this study was 790 out of 1,000 points. Allstate Insurance scored 781 out of 1,000 points for this study.
I checked the Internet for customer reviews of Allstate Insurance, and found the typical complaints about rates, claims, and dissatisfaction you find with all insurance companies.
There are a lot of complaints, mainly regarding claims, about Allstate Insurance, and there is at least one Web site devoted to how Allstate “sucks.” Reading these complaints will convince you Allstate is the worst insurance company in the world.
However, considering Allstate’s better than average complaint ratios gives you a better, and more objective measure, of Allstate’s claims and customer service.
Content & happy customers do not post about their experience on the Internet as much as discontent customers. The high volume of Internet gripes about Allstate is better explained by the large number of people insured by Allstate, more than Allstate being a terrible insurance company.
JD Power’s 2010 Auto Insurance Claims Study also rates the Overall Satisfaction of Allstate Insurance at 3 power circles (about average).
Allstate insurance ranked about average (3 power circles) in all individual categories, such as First Notice of Loss, Service Interaction, Appraisal, Repair Process, Settlement, & Rental Experience.
The industry average for this study was 837 out of 1,000 points. Allstate Auto Insurance scored 831 out of 1,000 points.
JD Power has a new survey for 2011 measuring the auto insurance purchasing experience.
Allstate Insurance has an Overall Purchasing Experience rated as 2 power circles (the rest), with 3 power circles (about average) for the Policy Offerings & Local Agent categories, but below average, at 2 power circles (the rest) for the Web site, Call Center Representative, and Price categories.
The JD Power industry average score for the auto insurance buying experience is 838 points on a 1,000 point scale, and Allstate insurance is not too far off from the average at 826 out of 1,000 points.
How should you interpret the below-average scoring for the experience of buying auto insurance from Allstate?
The below average scoring may be attributed to customers buying through the Internet, or directly from Allstate’s call center. Buying from an Allstate agent is rated by JD Power at 3 power circles (about average).
You do not get a lower price by buying directly from Allstate, instead of an agent. So I recommend, if you want an auto insurance quote from Allstate, speak to one of their agents, instead of calling the company or using the Allstate Web site.
The 2011 JD Power auto insurance purchasing survey also rated Allstate insurance as below average in the Price category. There are so many factors affecting price, surveys on auto insurance company pricing are useless to the individual customer. Take your own survey, by getting quotes from all the leading insurance companies, if you really want to save $100s.
In some areas of the country, Allstate has great rates. I know from personal experience selling Allstate auto insurance, in some areas, or for many types of customers, Allstate’s rates can be a lot more than the competition.
However, for some customers, even in an area where Allstate’s rates are usually higher, Allstate can have the lowest price available. I have seen it happen. But when I was selling Allstate auto insurance, I would have loved to see it happen more often.
Don’t dismiss an insurance company on a rumor of high rates, until you get a price quote yourself. Keep check of all the leading insurance companies rates each year, because I have seen the most expensive insurance companies become the least expensive over time.
The 2011 JD Power National Homeowners Insurance study rates Allstate homeowners insurance as 3 power circles (about average) for Overall Satisfaction.
Allstate ranked 3 power circles (about average) in all categories, including Pricing, Policy Offerings, Billing & Payment, and Contacting the Insurer.
The industry average for this study is 769 out of 1,000 points. Allstate Home insurance scored 760 out of 1,000 points.
Allstate insurance may be the right choice if they have a good price for you, after you have shopped with all the leading auto insurance & home insurance companies.
In my opinion, Allstate insurance is mediocre, like many auto & home insurance companies. You are just as likely to have a great claims experience as a terrible experience.
Based on Allstate’s complaint ratio & JD Power ratings, it is not in the top tier for customer service, but Allstate performs better than a lot of the other mediocre insurance companies.
Also with Allstate insurance, unlike some insurance companies, you will have a local agent, and a good insurance agent can make a mediocre insurance company a good experience, even if you run into a problem with a claim.
If you have tickets, accidents, claims, or any other issues resulting in some insurance companies being unwilling to insure you, Allstate’s nonstandard auto insurance company, usually Allstate Indemnity Company (depending on your state) has a great complaint ratio compared with other nonstandard auto insurance companies. If Allstate Indemnity has competitive rates for you, Allstate may be a very good choice for you.
Many people pay too much for their insurance because they never shop for better rates, or if they do shop, they don’t check the rates of enough companies. For a lot of people, the best insurance company is the one with the lowest rates. The ad below will take you to links to get online quotes from leading Home, Auto, Health, & Life insurance companies in your area. Choose your type of insurance, put in your zip code, and get quotes now!
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