Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Allstate is the Worst of the Worst

Allstate’s advertising slogan is “You’re in good hands with Allstate.” However, in 1999 the company was exposed for trying to persuade injured people to take less than full recovery for their claims – and those same insurance practices continue to this day.

More than 10 years ago, several states took action against Allstate, alleging deceptive insurance practices, and two class action lawsuits were filed by consumers. Despite those legal cases, Allstate is still engaging in similar practices.

Allstate’s procedures are aimed at holding down the company’s costs in claims payouts. Allstate seeks out injured claimants who have not hired an attorney, and tries to settle claims with them directly in order to produce a lower settlement.

In 1999, the procedure was performed in a number of steps, including:

• Making the injured person believe they were dealing with an advocate, not an adversary;

• Sending letters to anyone not represented by counsel;

• Sending a brochure titled “Do I Need an Attorney?” to claimants who had not retained counsel;

• Rewarding claims representatives based on the percentage of unrepresented claims they processed.

Two primary concerns were raised about Allstate’s policy. First, Allstate failed to disclose the true nature of the relationship between itself and the driver. Allstate referred to the injured driver as its “client,” but that is not true. The injured driver was actually Allstate’s adversary in the claim; the party who had injured the driver was Allstate’s client.

Second, Allstate was talking to injured motorists about whether an attorney was needed for their claim. They were also advising accident victims about the statute of limitations deadline for their claims. Giving that type of advice is usually considered an unauthorized practice of law.

After over a decade, Allstate still follows many practices aimed at tricking claimants without attorneys into a settlement that s lower than they deserve.

If you have been injured by a driver who is insured by Allstate, you may need the advice of an attorney. If you have legal questions, contact the Frank Jenkins Law Office today. It’s our job to fight for your rights so that you can concentrate on your health and family, while we deal with the insurers and those responsible for your injuries. Call us today at 1-800-CAR-WRECK or contact us via email.

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