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Counsel That You Can Trust & Depend On

Making a Claim with Allstate Insurance Company

Guy DiMartino Jan. 10, 2015

If you've been injured in a car accident or injured in somebody's home and you are considering making a claim against Allstate below are a few things you should know.

Allstate is the third largest personal lines (policies for individuals) insurance company behind State Farm and GEICO. Unlike State Farm, which is privately owned, Allstate is publicly traded. In 2013 Allstate bought Esurance, which writes policies predominately online, and Allstate also writes personal lines insurance under Encompass Insurance.

Allstate is known for its claims value software called Colossus. This is how Colossus works. Once Allstate receives an injured person's medical records, a data input person takes information from the records and bills; like dates of treatment, diagnosis codes, type of treatment and puts it into the computer software. The computer then spits out a number. The problem with Colossus is that the number is only as good as the data inputed. Garbage in equals garbage out.

For Star Trek fans, I like to look at Allstate and Colossus as the Borg. Allstate reminds me of the collective. In my experience, the adjuster has no real authority outside the authority given by the computer no matter what I say to them on the phone or write in a letter.

The problem with Colossus is that personal injury cases are personal. They involve real people – with real injuries not a computer. Inputting a number of data points into a computer – doesn't tell the injured person's story or how the accident has impacted her life. Allstate just doesn't get it.

Allstate has taken a hard line with low speed rear impact collisions. It termed these cases, MIST or minor impact soft tissue cases, and there is little negotiating short of trial with these cases.

I was an Allstate customer for about 10 years but I couldn't stay with the company because I have no respect for the way it treats injured folks. Allstate is one of my least favorite insurers.

Allstate has an in-house law office in Northwest Indiana, which is assigned a certain number of cases each month and then the cases go to some local attorney for defense.

I did some Allstate work in Florida a few years ago, the firm would actually go on line a bid a flat free for certain types of cases. Having in-house offices and a lot of flat fee cases allows Allstate to control its litigation costs, which supports the company's hard line stand on MIST cases. As long as an insurance company can quantify expenses, it is able to run the numbers and make a profit.

A few years ago the American Association for Justice put out a list of the 10 Worst Insurance Companies and Allstate made the top of the list. The gist of the article is that Allstate had a concerted effort to put company profits over the well being of its policyholders.

Remember when someone says Allstate – think the Borg.

Allstate and Farmers Insurance Group (21st Century, Foremost, Bristol West, Security National) are my two least favorite insurance companies.