Allstate Agent Tells Inside Story

by: Prince, Glover & Hayes Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Dear Sir:

Your press release of July 9, 2008 announcing that “Allstate ranks as the worst insurer for consumers…” contains a grievous error. The quote by American Association for Justice CEO Jon Haber that “While Allstate publicly touts its ‘good hands’ approach, it has instead privately instructed its agents to employ a ‘boxing gloves’ strategy against its policyholders.” is misleading and damaging to the reputation of thousands of Allstate agency owners and their support staff.

I do agree that the company may well merit the accusation of being the worst insurer for consumers. However, the use of the word “agents,” will naturally be interpreted to mean agency owners, independent contractors and their employees who sell Allstate products, instead of “claim representative.” In fairness recipients of carefully crafted training programs specifically designed to omit claim coverage/product knowledge which would be counterproductive to a boxing glove strategy.

Let me assure you that agency owners are not instructed to employ “boxing gloves” strategy against policyholders. Furthermore, I cannot conceive of Allstate issuing such instruction to agency owners. You need only visit the website of the National Association of Professional Allstate Agents (www.napaaus.org) to both learn and understand why agency owners would never violate the sacred trust give to them by their policyholders.

In fact, agency owners have become the last bastion for the policyholders of a company now controlled by a small group of senior executive whose primary focus appears to be centered upon personal wealth enhancement at the expense of policyholders and the insuring public. Long at war with its agency owners, you may be certain that this band of professional brothers and sisters would never hesitate to vigorously and vocally oppose those instructions you attribute having been issued to them.

Without a retraction of your press release (or at a minimum a clarification of it and an apology to agency owners) you will have unwittingly aided this greedy group of executives who are responsible for the shoddy reputation of a once fine insurance company.

Richard C. Larkin, CLU
Executive Vice President
National Association of Professional Allstate Agents

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