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Experience with (not) State Farm, Allstate
Old 12-15-2015, 02:44 PM   #1
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Experience with (not) State Farm, Allstate

We are considering a switch for Allstate insurance because a relative recently became an agent.


Contrary to my title it is ALLSTATE and not State Farm I need opinion on

Can anyone speak to their experience with claims or rate increases as insured customers?
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:50 PM   #2
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Yeah, I tried Allstate home insurance a couple of years ago, but they raised the rate from $1100 to $1900 after the first year (with no claims). It appears a common practice around here, to give a "teaser" rate the first year, then jack it up.
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Old 12-15-2015, 03:03 PM   #3
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I had Allstate for a long time. My rate went up every year. I finally got sick and tired of it and switched to a different company with a much lower rate. About once a month for the next year I got something in the mail from Allstate offering me a much lower rate than I had before. No thanks. They should worry more about customer retention.
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Old 12-15-2015, 03:10 PM   #4
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we switched from state farm to allstate when we moved about 5 years ago - been happy with allstate
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Old 12-16-2015, 12:16 AM   #5
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I had a relative doing my insurance for a decade.
Turns out I was not getting any special "deal" from him, and a couple of his actions now in retrospect look a bit shady compared to other insurance companies.

I seriously wonder if I was as fully covered as he told me I was, thank goodness I never needed to find out.

So go into it with an honest open view why are you doing it, is it really just because he is a relative, or you will get better treatment ?
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Old 12-16-2015, 02:07 AM   #6
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I've had Allstate for Renter's and Homeowner's insurance since '99. No noticeable premium increases, but no claims either.


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Old 12-16-2015, 04:00 AM   #7
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I've had Allstate Homeowners and Car insurance for over 20 years - no complaints. I've had some claims on my cars and one small claim on my house - all were handled quickly with no noticeable rate increase. Rate increases seem to be in-line with the inflation rate.
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:27 AM   #8
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To get the best rates, you've got to insure cars AND homeowners. I've found that insurance companies will give you a teaser rate, and then up your homeowners insurance 15% or more per year saying the cost of rebuilding is going up. 2-3 years later, your house is insured for 30-40% more than it's worth--and you're paying rates "by the $ thousand." I try to avoid any claims so I can move to another company if (and when) insurance rates get out of sight.

I went with Allstate last year with 2 cars and 2 houses because MetLife was knocking my head off on rates. I still have State Farm with my my daughter's house and 2 cars.

Allstate has a less than stellar reputation for claims service--deteriorating over the years. State Farm's service is better across the board--more middle pack. My local collision repair shop said the local Allstate adjuster is the best they've ever dealt with, and the quality of the adjuster is very important. That recommendation and prices is why I went over to Allstate.
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Old 12-16-2015, 06:22 AM   #9
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Had Allstate for about 10 years for Home and Auto. Got sick of rate increases, with no claims, so left for much cheaper insurance. That was about 20 years ago.
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Old 12-16-2015, 07:28 AM   #10
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I switched from Allstate more than 20 years ago due to poor service and a problem with a claim, but that was 20+ years ago. Not sure how they are today.
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Old 12-16-2015, 07:39 AM   #11
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If you switch, make sure they agree on the coverage amount up front. I switched from one major carrier to another a couple of years after we bought our last house, and got a quote for a face amount equal to what we'd paid, adjusted for inflation. The new quote was a few hundred $$ less than we were paying. So, I switched companies. A couple of months later I got a letter saying that the replacement value of my house was about twice that, and they raised the premium. There went the savings.


I find the whole "replacement value" thing a bit of a fiction since they pay that only if the house burns to the ground and you rebuild, or if you replace a roof. (Which is why fly-by-night roofers pop up like maggots on rotting meat after a hailstorm.)
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:16 AM   #12
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Assume you switch to Allstate to help your relative, but a few years later you're not happy with them for whatever reason. Will you be able to leave Allstate or remain disgruntled and stay with them to keep the peace with your relative? My two cents is never do business with relatives.


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Old 12-16-2015, 08:22 AM   #13
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Assume you switch to Allstate to help your relative, but a few years later you're not happy with them for whatever reason. Will you be able to leave Allstate or remain disgruntled and stay with them to keep the peace with your relative?
Along this same line, if you do decide to give Allstate (and your relative) a try, I'd suggest making it clear you won't hesitate to go elsewhere if you are unhappy with them or if Allstate's rates don't remain competitive - and lay out what that means (5-10% above what you can get elsewhere?).

Good luck in keeping peace in the family, no matter what you decide.
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:24 AM   #14
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Along the lines of the above, I think it is a bad idea to do business with relatives on a number of levels.
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Old 12-16-2015, 12:33 PM   #15
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Your best bet is to find a good, reputable, local independent insurance agent that represents a number of companies. They can place you with the best company for your needs, best pricing and have alternative markets if one company's pricing gets noncompetitive. I know insurance agents that will not do business with relatives to avoid family problems later due to a poor claim experience, the relative not paying their premiums, etc. I would be happy to explain the way insurance companies behave to anyone interested, but assume that not everyone here wants to read about the ins and outs of the insurance business.
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Old 12-16-2015, 12:55 PM   #16
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We were with Allstate the past 19 years for home and 2 autos. The past 3 years, home insurance rates kept rising 10-15% a year, despite never making a claim in the 19 years we were with Allstate. When we asked why, the reply was that construction costs were rising. Final straw was purchasing a new car last year and receiving a quote of $1,800 a year, nearly $700 more than AAA (who we did not have multi policy discounts). So we switched home and auto to AAA.

Furthermore, Allstate no longer handles homeowners insurance directly in California; they broker it out to a third party. So we would have had to deal with Allstate for any claim, who then goes to the 3rd party, who then tell Allstate whether it's covered for whatever amount, and Allstate comes back to the client and says sorry, that's all they'll cover. With AAA, at least I can deal directly with the insurance company.
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:49 PM   #17
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I had Allstate for decades, and was fine with them. I shopped around occasionally, but the "huge" savings never were really that significant so I never changed. I had to change when we relocated to FL, since no reputable insurer will insure homes down here. And Allstate wouldn't continue insuring our second home in MD since they didn't insure our primary anymore. That sort of pissed me off. Plus at the same time our long time agent/friend retired and sold the agency, and the new people started bombarding us with LTC and whole life and other gimmicky policy offers, which we never had to deal with before.

I do still have a term life policy with them. I'm about half way through a 30 year fixed policy with a great rate, so I'll keep that, although I'm hoping they win the bet instead of DW.

Overall, I thought they were a good company, although being friends with the agent may have masked some of the BS.
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Old 12-16-2015, 10:56 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
To get the best rates, you've got to insure cars AND homeowners. I've found that insurance companies will give you a teaser rate, and then up your homeowners insurance 15% or more per year saying the cost of rebuilding is going up. 2-3 years later, your house is insured for 30-40% more than it's worth--and you're paying rates "by the $ thousand." I try to avoid any claims so I can move to another company if (and when) insurance rates get out of sight.

I went with Allstate last year with 2 cars and 2 houses because MetLife was knocking my head off on rates. I still have State Farm with my my daughter's house and 2 cars.

Allstate has a less than stellar reputation for claims service--deteriorating over the years. State Farm's service is better across the board--more middle pack. My local collision repair shop said the local Allstate adjuster is the best they've ever dealt with, and the quality of the adjuster is very important. That recommendation and prices is why I went over to Allstate.
There's no sense in being seriously over-insured, but...
What your house is "worth" (market value) and "cost to rebuild" can be wildly different.
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:05 AM   #19
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We had Allstate and my only claim ever for homeowners ins. Had full replacement value. The claims adjuster was about 22 yrs old, tried to pay me $80 (oak interior door) to replace a heavy duty full hardwood custom extra thick entry door ($3300-$10k+). Apparently, he didn't know the difference between an interior and exterior door until I asked about it. Then they claimed I "staged" the break in using a crow bar to damage my front door, rear patio door and a side window. Since I was selling the house, I explained to them that I increased my deductible from $1k to $2.5k and asked how that made any sense to pay more out of pocket myself? After dragging this on for 6 months, they finally paid me a little less than 50% of full replacement value! My agent did keep trying to get my new house insured. I will never use Allstate ever again.
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:15 AM   #20
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Your best bet is to find a good, reputable, local independent insurance agent that represents a number of companies. They can place you with the best company for your needs, best pricing and have alternative markets if one company's pricing gets noncompetitive. I know insurance agents that will not do business with relatives to avoid family problems later due to a poor claim experience, the relative not paying their premiums, etc. I would be happy to explain the way insurance companies behave to anyone interested, but assume that not everyone here wants to read about the ins and outs of the insurance business.

This, times 1000!
And agree, insurance is boring, to most people. Present company excluded, of course.
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