August 26, 2021 | Personal Injury
Insurance companies are supposed to provide their consumers with assistance and financial security when life throws unexpected curveballs their way. In reality, insurers have been known to engage in shady tactics to avoid paying out claims.
Policyholders must always remember that insurance companies are not charitable organizations. They are profit-driven businesses. Thus, insurers often focus more on protecting themselves and less on compensating policyholders for their accidents.
Some insurers have worse reputations than others. For instance, the American Association for Justice has ranked Allstate as the worst insurance company for consumers. This well-known insurer has developed a poor reputation for a number of reasons outlined here.
Why Allstate is the Least Consumer-Friendly Insurance Company
Allstate and its adjusters have frequently engaged in the following behaviors:
- Delay, deny, defend: “Delay, deny, defend” is a term coined by Rutgers law professor Jay M. Feinman in his book of the same name. Insurers often try to deny claims altogether if they can identify any reason to do so. If they can’t, they strive to defend their profits by offering unreasonably low payouts. Even if a settlement is reached, insurers like Allstate will often delay paying claimants their settlement proceeds.
- Allstate’s dishonest approach: According to insider reports, Allstate partnered with McKinsey & Co. in the 1990s to develop aggressive methods for lowballing claimants. One Allstate employee even reported that adjusters were incentivized to be dishonest. They claimed that adjusters who could successfully blame fires on arson were rewarded with gifts such as portable refrigerators.
- Giving bonuses for dishonesty: Several Allstate employees have stated that they were offered additional compensation in exchange for deceiving customers and saving Allstate money.
The American Association for Justice is just one group that’s identified Allstate’s unethical treatment of policyholders. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners reports that more annual complaints are made against Allstate than any other major insurer. Allstate has also been fined for its shady insurance practices.
Other Names for Allstate
You need to make your own decisions when choosing an insurer. But if you want to avoid Allstate, you should be aware that it goes by many names.
Allstate operates under some of the following names:
- Encompass Insurance Company
- Castle Key Insurance Company
- Castle Key Indemnity Company
- American Heritage Life Insurance Company
These are just a few examples. If you’re not sure whether you have Allstate insurance, carefully check all documents related to your policy for any evidence that might indicate your insurers’relationship with Allstate.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help if Allstate is Lowballing You
It’s always a good idea to enlist the help of a personal injury attorney when filing an insurance claim after an accident. This is true whether you have Allstate insurance or not. Remember, Allstate is by no means the only insurance company that protects its profits instead of offering a fair payout to claimants.
A personal injury lawyer can help you in the following key ways:
- Communicating with adjusters: An adjusters may twist a claimant’s statements and offer less than a claim is worth. It’s best to let an attorney handle all correspondence with the insurance company.
- Countering unreasonable offers: Attorneys know how insurance companies operate. They can counter any lowball offers with evidence proving the insurance company is responsible for more of your damages.
- Negotiating: This may be the top reason to hire a personal injury lawyer when filing a claim. Your attorney is qualified to negotiate for a fair settlement on your behalf.
It’s unfortunate that insurance companies like Allstate often care more about their profits than their policyholders. That said, it’s at least worth remembering that help is available when an insurer isn’t being ethical.