Michigan car insurance lawyer says Allstate’s “good hands” are really into your pocketbooks – not your protection after a serious crash
Allstate is raking in huge national profits and still doesn’t hesitate to overcharge Michigan drivers. That’s why our car insurance lawyers are calling out Allstate on our 2011 list of the worst auto insurance companies.
In 2009 (the latest statistics available), Allstate didn’t seem to have any problem growing its bottom line, even during this tough economy. Allstate insurance posted an almost 10 percent increase in profits compared to 2008. It pulled in earnings of $518 million, and generated a nearly 23 percent boost in total revenues.
Our car insurance lawyers have no problem with Allstate making a profit. What we don’t like is how Allstate does it.
Allstate making record-breaking profits by taking advantage of auto accident victims
Documents made public in 2008 (1) describe a two-pronged strategy for how Allstate cut payments to its own customers as a way to boost profits:
1. The company evaluates claims with a computer program called Colossus, designed to reduce claims payouts by as much as 20 percent of what the company once paid for the exact same personal injuries.
2. Then Allstate pushes car accident victims to accept quick but very low settlements. The company deliberately tries to settle injury cases “cheap” before people will hire an injury lawyer.
The approach often is combined with an implied, and sometimes quite explicit threat that if a customer doesn’t accept what Allstate offers right away, or has the nerve to hire an injury lawyer, then the customer will be punished.
The documents reveal that Allstate claims adjusters are trained to suggest that the customer will spend years in court while bills go unpaid — a strategy Allstate spelled out in company guidelines for insurance claims adjusters as something that “forces the claimant and attorney to think about the obstacles they must overcome …”
Our car insurance lawyers are all too familiar with Allstate adjusters sitting on files and not returning calls – the start of delays that continue when an auto accident lawsuit is filed without regard to the customer’s health and welfare. This is part of the three D’s strategy: delay, deny and defend. Allstate routinely delays handling your claim and sending your No-Fault insurance benefits, denies you were hurt and defends their wrongs in court. The 3D’s forces people to hire lawyers and further delay in litigation, before paying out a compromised settlement in the end.
When choosing your auto insurance company, you might want to think twice about landing in the “safe hands” of Allstate.
Source: 1 “How a get-tough policy lifted Allstate’s profits” – Herald Tribune, April 6, 2008
– Steven M. Gursten is head of Michigan Auto Law. He is recognized as one of the nation’s top lawyers handling serious car and truck accident cases and No-Fault litigation. Michigan Auto Law has received the highest jury verdict for a car accident or truck accident in seven of the last 10 years, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly.
Additional resources to protect yourself:
Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident and No-Fault insurance lawsuits throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights to better serve you. Call (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with a car insurance lawyer.