Allstate has asked "are you in good hands?" for several years now. Unfortunately, the resounding answer from its policyholders has been "yes, but there are better hands out there." While its auto insurance policies and products aren't the worst, they aren't the best, either. Allstate, more or less, is the non-golden mean between great and terrible insurance companies, excelling in certain areas, such as area coverage and policy flexibility, while often performing well below standards for customer service and claims timeliness.
Like Liberty Mutual, Allstate is excellent for its initial response benefits, like towing, but can be painstakingly slow-coming in its damage estimation, claims resolution and repairs. Again, these inadequacies place them somewhere between best and worst. There are hundreds of companies that it stands head and shoulders above, but several of its competitors featured on this site do, in fact, best Allstate in this regard.
Allstate stands out for its policy offerings, providing a variety of coverage options for drivers. It even offers drivers agent-like customization with its "Bumper-to-Bumper Basics" tool that helps determine the right level of coverage for vehicles. And, for drivers that prefer going about their policy the traditional way, Allstate has agents in most cities and states nationwide that can assist in providing potential policyholders with the appropriate coverage for their needs and budget.
While it stands out first and foremost for its policy flexibility, Allstate also has a robust offering of driver discounts. Discounts are available for cars with safety features like Anti-Lock brakes and Anti-Theft devices. Good students, senior adults and retired persons are eligible for potential discounts as well. So are policyholders with new cars, economy cars, utility vehicles and farm and ranch vehicles. Taking out other insurance policies for home, life, etc, is also a sure-fire way to reduce premiums.
One of Allstate's benefits is its "New Car Replacement" program. Drivers of new cars often lose more than just their car when involved in a "Total Loss" accident. They also lose whatever money they paid down on their car. With Allstate, drivers of vehicles in their first three model years will receive an entirely new car, as opposed to the depreciated value of the totaled car.
For customer service and claims timeliness, Allstate stands to improve. While some of the blame for its ineffectiveness or delays can be given to its status as a profit-driven, publicly-traded company, much of it still falls on the company itself, not its shareholders. Claims can be reported easily enough, both online and through telephone, but unlike Progressive's hassle-free "Concierge " program that fees up policyholders to return to their lives and let the car insurance company worry about the details, Allstate's process is riddled with inefficiencies that more often than not translate to serious delays.
Tracking a claim, too, can be somewhat harrowing, despite being available online. This is due to the fact that, while claimants are able to view what stage of the process their claim is in, there is no way to expedite the process online; claimants must speak with their claims team in order to hasten their claim or remain informed in-depth.
Allstate has taken some serious heat in the following years for going from "good hands to boxing gloves" with its policy changes and quality of service. Despite this, it still maintains a large and loyal following. While it might not be the best auto insurance company, it's certainly nowhere near the worst. Perhaps by reevaluating its customer service and taking a long hard look at its resolution and repair processes, Allstate will once again rise to the top. For now, however, better car insurance providers are available, including top-rated GEICO, Progressive and eSurance.