Allstate Insurance Agents Group Votes to Affiliate with Union

A group of about 1,200 agents licensed to sell Allstate insurance policies will be granted membership with the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) after the group’s board voted on Wednesday to approve the affiliation.

Members of the agent group, known as the National Association of Professional Allstate Agents (NAPAA), had voted overwhelmingly to join the union organization last week, with 94 percent of members approving it.

Allstate insurance agency

Photo courtesy of Allstate

NAPAA membership accounts for about 12 percent of the agents across the country who are licensed to sell the automobile insurance coverage provider’s policies.

Officials at the NAPAA say the decision to join the union was spurred by the insurer’s treating agents more like employees than independent contractors, which is what they are technically considered.

NAPAA executive director Jim Fish told talk radio show The Union Edge that in 2002 Allstate switched from considering agents as employees to considering them as independent contractors. But Fish says Allstate, the second largest auto insurer in the country, continued to treat them like employees.

Among the grievances Fish aired on the radio show were that the insurer requires licensed agents to keep their offices open at least 44 hours a week and that it issues scripts to agents to be used in transactions with customers. Fish said that Allstate then sends secret shoppers to agencies to see if the agents talk to customers and answer their questions in the correct way.

“Probably the biggest issue is that the independent contractor Allstate agents have quotas,” Fish said. “They’re required to sell a certain level of life insurance, a certain level of auto insurance, and a certain level of other types of insurance and financial products.”

“Independent contractors are not supposed to have quotas, so we object to that,” he said.

The affiliation agreement is set to go into effect September 1.

Allstate has not released an official statement on the vote to affiliate with the union.

To find out how current and former policyholders view the company as a coverage provider, shoppers can read user-submitted Allstate auto insurance reviews online and check complaint statistics published by state regulators.

About Ben Zitney
Benjamin Zitney has been covering the auto insurance industry for the past 2.5 years. Before coming to Online Auto Insurance News, he produced an extensive company history of the 30-year-old California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and worked at the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner as a reporter, copy editor and news editor.

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