Thursday, March 12, 2009

Allstate Woes

Many moons ago, I remember reading about the raw deal Allstate dealt to the people of New Orleans, and Mike H's testimony before Congress detailing their dirty deeds.

At that time, I found myself in a moral conundrum. On the one hand, drop the company to protest their treatment of people in Louisiana. An easy choice but for two points: 1) my father worked for Sears for nearly 40 years and I felt company loyalty (Allstate was part of the Sears Financial network). I've had their insurance for almost 25 years. 2) For the past 16 years, I've worked with the same agent. He's an amateur archaeologist, and tho' a bit smarmy, a decent enough guy to work with. In the end, I decided that, like politics, "all [insurance] is local." And I stuck with 'em.

Until today. Today I am a new State Farm customer. Home, car, personal umbrella.

Why the change? 'Cuz my agent (John Davenport) apparently screwed up my homeowner's policy - for the past 8 months I've been without insurance. I found out this surprising detail as I was getting ready to close on my refinancing. When I called Allstate, my agent said I'd canceled my policy because I was upset about the rate increase that occurred as a result of my claim last year.

Trouble is, I have never had a claim on the house. Nor have I ever complained about my rate increases...never actually noticed them. So I had him check, and sure enough, no claims. Then, why no coverage? "You forgot to pay your bill" he explained. Nope, I called in the payment to him and indeed got a 3 dollar reimbursement for overpayment - with a hand written note from him about the matter. He checked, and sure enough, the $3 reimbursement on my HOMEOWNER's policy showed up. When we concluded the conversation last week, he was going to check on it.

Haven't heard from him since. I called on Tuesday, said to get back to me by 4 the next day so I didn't lose my loan. Nothing.

I called State Farm, they had new contracts for me within 30 minutes with more comprehensive coverage on all 3 policies at an almost $500-a-year savings.

The moral(s) of the story -- a) always listen to Mike H.; b) check on your insurance rates regularly, could save you a lot of money; and c) the concept of "company loyalty" is dead (except for Apple ;-)

To fully illustrate my feelings toward Allstate today, I made the logo below. Kills two birds with one stone.


Jaime said...

Good thing nothing happened recently! I have State Farm, and I have always had a good experience with them. But, it sounds like you can never be sure about anything, really. Yikes.

Sue said...

Yikes is right. I was clueless.

Interestingly enough - I posted this blurb late last night, first thing this morning, my FORMER Allstate agent called me saying "Sue, please give me a call."

For whatever reason, I really hate "call me" messages that don't give any indication as to why. So that, coupled with the fact that he's 4 days late -- my thought was "sure John, I'll get right on that."

Michael Homan said...

Your lesson A) about always listen to Mike H is great advice. I've been trying to convince Therese about that for 15 years. And I'd add that StateFarm isn't very popular in Louisiana either. Just watch this healthcare reform debate unfold. Think about how great the world would be if we could rid of the insurance industry. But anyway, now you are insured. Just pray you never have to make a claim.