Auto Insurance Co. Launches Guaranteed Claim Satisfaction Test Program

Sign in front of Allstate Illinois corporate buildingIn a bid to increase its appeal to drivers, Allstate has initiated a pilot program in three states — Indiana, Ohio and Michigan — that will grant car insurance policyholders premium credits if they feel unsatisfied with the way their claims were handled.

Implementation of the program has been under discussion since at least the summer.

The National Association of Professional Allstate Agents said in mid-October that the satisfaction guarantee program appeared to be a non-starter due to issues with state departments of insurance considering the program a form of rebating. But Allstate announced today that it has already begun including the satisfaction guarantee provision to policies issued in the three test states.

According to the insurer’s terms and conditions Web page, policyholders may be eligible for a premium credit if they are “dissatisfied for any reason” with the handling of a loss covered under a policy.

Other requirements for eligibility are as follows: the accident that caused the claim must have happened while a policy with the satisfaction guarantee amendment was in place, the claim must have led to payment by Allstate, the policyholder must not have previously received such a credit, and the policyholder must have formally notified Allstate of their dissatisfaction in writing within 180 days of the accident that caused the claim.

By ensuring satisfaction in the claims-handling process, Allstate is targeting an area that is one of the diciest in terms of insurer-consumer relations. A large percentage of formal complaints filed with state regulators have to do with the claims-handling process.

For complaints lodged by Colorado auto insurance policyholders between 2009 and 2010, for instance, nearly four out of five formal complaints filed with the department were in regards to the handling of claims. The manner in which a coverage provider makes good on that coverage is clearly of concern to consumers.

In J.D. Powers and Associates’ 2010 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, the market research company ranked Allstate seventh for overall satisfaction. The insurer got an “about average” rating.

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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