Allstate is one of the largest insurance companies in the world, and has the third largest market share in Ohio’s car accident insurance market. According to the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI), Allstate has three divisions offering car insurance in the state, and together they cover more than 11% of cars insured in Ohio.
In 2007, the American Association for Justice (AAJ) rated Allstate number one in its” Ten Worst Insuance Companies.” In Ohio, Allstate received around 100 complaints with the ODI in 2011, with all of its divisions hovering around the same rate of complaints as the average of all insurance companies in the state. That’s the official record, but individual ratings tell a different story.
What Can I Expect from Allstate?
Allstate’s tactics are infamous. Using its computer program Colossus, an adjuster will determine what your car accident claim is worth (in their opinion). But don’t expect to get that number right away. Customer ratings on the site Consumeraffairs.com tell a similar story, like Kenya from Xenia, Ohio:
I was assigned to an adjustor who conveniently went on vacation for over a week and the person she forwarded my claim to failed to see it, so no action was taken during that week.
I called back and was told it was assigned to an investigator and that I have to talk to him. He was hard to reach and despite my request for the company to make note of hours and phone numbers, we continually played phone tag. Then, I was sent a letter saying I was not available and he had been trying to reach me.
Several other Ohio customers report similar experiences. Either the Ohio divisions of Allstate offers very generous vacation policies, or the company uses this as a convenient excuse to delay your claim. It is also common for the insurer to claim that it has been trying to reach you, but you are the one who has been out of touch.
When you do see the number Colossus gave for the value of your claim, be prepared to be surprised. You may think you know how little they want to pay you, but until you see it, you won’t believe it.
Allstate Is Not Trying to Help You
Allstate’s stated goal is to fulfill its duty to its shareholders first. That means it is trying to limit payouts while continuing to bring in substantial cash flow in the form of premiums. On Consumeraffairs.com, 80% of Allstate’s customers gave the company one start out of five, the lowest rating possible. Another 17% gave the company two stars out of 5. That’s right: 97% of customers rated Allstate 1 or 2 stars out of 5.
Who does like Allstate? Investors. The company has an A+ rating for financial strength, and has announced healthy cash dividends in all but 3 quarters since 1993.
Allstate keeps paying those healthy dividends by not paying car accident claims–or at least, not paying them on time. Every day it delays your claim is another day it keeps collecting interest on the money, and the company knows that if it waits long enough, many claimants will just give up and move on. If they are going to pay your claim, they offer only a small fraction of what your claim is worth in the hope that you will accept it.
Speed Up Your Claim
If you want to get your claim handled more quickly–and improve your chances of a higher settlement –you should talk to a lawyer.
The company may tell you you don’t need a lawyer, or that it won’t improve your payout, but their own documents show that on average they pay more to claimants who hire a lawyer.Of course, you need to have a strong claim buttressed with the help of a personal injury lawyer. If you have a serious injury Allstate’s script calls for them to advance some money to keep control of you. They act like your friend. I dicussed this in a book Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing clothing that I co-authored with 14 other lawyers from across the United
They may also tell you to wait for them to finish resolving your claim, but the time you have to file a lawsuit is limited. The sooner you get the help of a lawyer, the sooner you can force a resolution in your car accident claim.
If you are having trouble with Allstate, we invite you to call us and ask us questions for free. We will help you evaluate your case and what options are open to you. And if necessary, we know how to hold Allstate accountable for their obligation to help their policyholders.
I welcome your call 1-800-447-6549 locally here in Columbus. Call me today. I love helping injury victims get what’s fair from Allstate.