The Allstate Corporation is one of the largest insurance providers in the United States and one of the largest that is publicly held. The company also has personal lines insurance operations in Canada. Allstate was founded in 1931 as part of Sears, Roebuck and Co., and was spun off in 1993. The company has had its headquarters in Northfield Township, Illinois, near Northbrook since 1967. Its current advertising campaign, in use since 2004, asks, "Are you in good hands?" The corporate spokesperson is Dennis Haysbert.
|The Allstate Corporation|
|Founded||April 17, 1931|
|Headquarters||Northbrook, Illinois, U.S.|
Thomas J. Wilson|
(Chairman, President, and CEO)
|Revenue||US$38.524 billion (2017)|
|US$3.991 billion (2017)|
|US$3.189 billion (2017)|
|Total assets||US$112.422 billion (2017)|
|Total equity||US$22.551 billion (2017)|
Number of employees
|~42,900 (December 2017)|
Encompass Insurance Company|
In 1925, Sears held a national contest to decide the name of a new brand of car tires. After over two million name submissions, "Allstate" was chosen. The trademark was adopted the next year. The tires' success in the catalog and retail stores prompted Sears Chairman General Robert E. Wood to praise the Allstate tire's contribution to Sears' retail store success.
The idea for Allstate Insurance Company came during a bridge game on a commuter train in 1930, when insurance broker Carl L. Odell proposed to Wood, his neighbor, the idea of selling auto insurance by direct mail. The idea appealed to Wood, and he passed the proposal to the Sears board of directors, which approved it. Allstate Insurance Company, named after Sears’ tire brand, went into business on April 17, 1931, offering auto insurance by direct mail and through the Sears catalog. This was in line with one of the objectives of a company to sell automobile insurance in the same manner as Sears sold its merchandise.
Lessing J. Rosenwald was Allstate's first board chairman, and Odell was named vice president and secretary.
In 1933, at the Century of Progress World’s Fair in Chicago, Allstate’s Richard E. Roskam sold insurance at a booth in the Sears pavilion. In 1934, Allstate opened its first permanent sales office in a Chicago Sears store.
In 1941, only about a quarter of US drivers had auto liability insurance. This led to the state of New York passing a law which established the financial responsibility of drivers for damage or injuries resulting from auto mishaps. That law inspired legislation in other states, and by the mid-1950s nearly every state had some sort of financial responsibility law on its books.
In 1949 the Allstate Headquarters Building was completed at 3245 W. Arthington Street in Chicago. The mid-rise building is currently vacant (as of 2013) and in danger of demolition. The building is noted for its early post-war mid-rise construction. This location was vacated when the company relocated in the post-war years.
The company’s "You're in Good Hands with Allstate" slogan was created in 1950 by Allstate’s general sales manager Davis W. Ellis. At the end of the decade, it was used in the company's first network television advertising campaign, which featured actor Ed Reimers.
Allstate added products throughout the 1950s, including fire insurance in 1954 and homeowners and life insurance in 1957. Allstate began selling insurance to Canadians in 1953. Allstate Insurance Company of Canada was incorporated in 1964. (In 1952 and 1953, Sears also sold an automobile called Allstate.)
In 1967, the company's home office was moved from Skokie to Northbrook, Illinois. Allstate continued to sell additional types of insurance to customers throughout the decade, including worker's compensation insurance in 1964, surety bonds in 1966, inland-marine coverage in 1967 and a business package policy in 1969.
The brand itself expanded in the 1950s and 1960s and could be found on a variety of products like fire extinguishers and motor scooters. In 1952, an Allstate car was produced, but it was a flop; it was pulled from stores by 1953. The Allstate brand was eventually limited to insurance, tires, and car batteries by the late 1960s before becoming insurance-only in the mid-1970s. In 1991, the company went public before becoming completely independent in 1995.
In 1984, Neighborhood Office Agent program was introduced to make agents more accessible to customers.
In 1985, Allstate began to move agents out of Sears stores and locate agents in neighborhood offices. In June 1993, 19.8% of Allstate became public through a stock offering. Allstate became completely independent in June 1995, when Sears spun off the remaining 80% stake in the company, distributing 350.5 million shares of Allstate stock to its stockholders.
In 1993, Allstate went public when Sears sold 19.8% of the company. At the time, it was the largest IPO to date.
In 1996, their website www.allstate.com was launched.
In 1999, Allstate unveiled a new business model that created a single contract for exclusive, independent agents selling Allstate insurance. It also created a network of call centers.
In 1999, Allstate purchased the personal lines division of CNA Financial and subsequently renamed it to Encompass Insurance Company which is written by independent insurance agents, as opposed to the direct writing that constitutes the core part of its business.
In 2012 Allstate Solutions Private Limited (also called Allstate India) was inaugurated in Bangalore which is a technology and operations centre to provides software development and business process outsourcing services to its US parent. Allstate's Bangalore operation is focused on the areas of business intelligence, analytics, testing and mobility.
In 2018, Allstate collaborated with Red Cross to distribute disaster kits across the states.
The people in this section are members of corporate leadership.
Since going public in 1993:
Allstate's slogan "You're in good hands" was created in the 1950s by Allstate Insurance Company's sales executive, Davis W. Ellis based on a similar phrase he used to reassure his wife about a doctor caring for their child. It has been the slogan ever since 1950. Allstate also referred to themselves as the Good Hands People.
In the 1960s and 1970s, TV, print and radio advertising featured Allstate’s spokesman, Ed Reimers. Reimers was often shown making the cupped-hand gesture. For 22 years, he remained the spokesman.
A study in 2000 by Northwestern University's Medill Graduate Department of Integrated Marketing Communications found that the Allstate slogan "You're in good hands" ranked as the most recognizable in America.
Beginning in 2003, as policy growth slowed, Allstate’s television commercials used spokesman Dennis Haysbert. The ads were intended to carry the message that Allstate's service was superior to that from low-cost providers GEICO and Progressive. Haysbert appeared in more than 250 commercials between 2003 and 2016.
In January 2011, Allstate released The Lines, a multi-episode TV drama web series starring actors Teresa Cesario, Kyle Sandgate-Blix, Jackson Schultz, Bridgette Pechman, Chase Maser, and Corey Doyle cast as High-School seniors. The series, filmed in the style of a television drama, depicts the cast in common situations facing teens with respect to driving (Texting while driving in particular). The series appears aimed at promoting interest and support in favor of responsible teen driving and road-safety in general. The Lines spans a total of 8 episodes, each 6–8 minutes in length. Allstate and other large corporations are attracted to the rapid growth of social media for use in their advertising campaigns.
Allstate Corporation owns and operates 18 companies around the United States, Canada and India.
Based in San Francisco, California:
Based in Northbrook, Illinois:
Based in Bridgewater, New Jersey:
Based in Hauppauge, New York:
Based in St. Petersburg, Florida:
Based in Irving, Texas:
Based in Jacksonville, Florida:
Based in Markham, Ontario:
Based in Bangalore, India:
Based in Pune, India:
Allstate sponsors branded field goal nets at over 67 colleges and universities. For each field goal and extra point kicked, Allstate donates into collegiate general scholarship funds. To date, those donations exceed $2.9 million. Allstate also sponsors branded nets during field goals and extra points at over 20 college bowl games, including the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the BCS National Championship Game.
Additionally, Allstate is a partner of the Southeastern Conference and its 20 sports, including football.
Since 2007, Allstate has been the title sponsor of the Sugar Bowl, one of the four games that make up the Bowl Championship Series. The game is played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which is also the home of the New Orleans Saints. Allstate is also a sponsor of the New Orleans Saints.
The 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game was played on January 9, 2012 and broadcast on ESPN.
The Northwestern Wildcats and the Illinois Fighting Illini played a collegiate football game at Wrigley Field on November 20, 2010. It was the first football game at Wrigley Field since 1970 and the first collegiate football game at Wrigley Field since 1938 when DePaul University played its regular games at Wrigley. Allstate title sponsored this game.
Allstate advertises through the American Football Coaches Association "Good Works Team" in which local Allstate agents surprise players with trophies in key Allstate marketing regions.
In 2007, Allstate became a sponsor of the Mexico National Team, and in 2011 partnered with Major League Soccer and the United States Soccer Federation.
Allstate was a sponsor of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard from 2005-2009 – the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in late summer. Driver Kasey Kahne was featured in advertisements.
Allstate is the largest publicly traded property casualty insurance company in the US. Products include:
Asset protection: auto insurance, homeowners insurance, condominium, renters, scheduled personal property, business umbrella, commercial auto, commercial inland marine, small business owner, customizer and business package policy, landlord package, manufactured home, mobile home, motor home, motorcycle, boat, personal umbrella, comprehensive personal liability, recreational vehicle, off-road vehicle, motor club, loan protection and flood protection.
Estate planning products, business succession planning products, fixed survivorship life, and variable survivorship life family protection insurance, term life, universal life, variable universal life, long-term care and supplemental health
Asset management and accumulation, life insurance and retirement
Allstate has a Sustainability Leadership Team composed of officers and senior staff from all areas of the company. The team focuses on sustainability efforts from a company-wide perspective — including environmental initiatives that embed “green” programs and processes throughout their operations.
In July 2008, the American Association for Justice ranked Allstate No. 1 among nation's worst insurers. This ranking was given because: “While Allstate publicly touts its ‘good hands’ approach, it has instead privately instructed its agents to employ a ‘boxing gloves’ strategy against its policyholders,” said American Association for Justice CEO Jon Haber. They've since revamped their approach. Allstate criticized the report, with a spokesman noting that "The personal injury lawyers behind this report provide no support for their statements other than decade old recycled allegations that have been shown to be without merit in courts of law." In 2009 Allstate successfully fought to obtain Federal government TARP fund eligibility only to decline it once they obtained eligibility.
An investigative report in February 2007 by CNN found that major car insurance companies, like Allstate, are increasingly fighting auto insurance claims from those who incurred injuries by their insured members. Allstate currently commands 18% of the auto insurance market in the United States.
The PBS television program Now, in conjunction with Bloomberg Markets magazine, did an exposé regarding Allstate and other major insurers' homeowners insurance policies.
Allstate has stated intentions of reducing its exposure in hurricane-prone Florida. In November 2006, Allstate did not renew 120,000 policies that were expiring at that time. Governor Charlie Crist and the Florida Cabinet passed a 90-day emergency order to temporarily prevent insurance companies from nonrenewing policies. On February 20, 2007, Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty clarified the order, stating that insurance companies can nonrenew policies if they satisfy certain conditions, including filing new, lower rates with the state and give customers 100 days’ notice.
The book relates profit-boosting strategies that consulting firm McKinsey & Company presented to Allstate to maximize profits and diminish the amount of money sent to clients who put in a claim. McKinsey specializes in redesigning product delivery systems for Fortune 100 companies (including controversial clients such as Enron) to maximize profits. McKinsey’s recommendation to Allstate, according to Berardinelli, was to low-ball claims so that desperate customers in dire straits would be more likely to accept a settlement offer while Allstate continued to make a profit and collect interest on the insurance payment. Allstate would offer its "good hands" in the way of a low-ball claim and, if the customer did not accept, to get out "boxing gloves."
The book was reviewed by Business Week magazine. According to that article, Allstate responded to Berardinelli's allegations by claiming that Berardinelli's allegations were "unfounded and unproven." Rather than trying to cheat customers, the company stated that its major goal was to benefit policyholders by identifying "exaggerated and fraudulent claims" and that its "processes are absolutely sound . . . to investigate, evaluate, and promptly resolve each claim fairly, based on the merits."
Court decisions on the issues debated by Berardinelli and Allstate have gone both ways. According to the Business Week article, as of 2006, "Courts and regulators in a number of states, including New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, have forced Allstate to halt or change its practice of handing out a controversial 'Do I Need an Attorney?' form to people involved in accidents." On the other hand, the article also states that "Although plaintiffs have had piecemeal success in bad-faith cases against Allstate, the insurer points to seven court rulings that have rejected attacks on CCPR. Last December a Montana state court noted that while CCPR practices may be illegal 'if misapplied in a particular case, they nevertheless are neutral with no manifestly illegal purpose.'" While many of the cost-reduction strategies McKinsey recommended at Allstate remain in place, some have been reined in following legal and regulatory challenges in several states.
Many criticisms leveled against Allstate (and other insurers), including Barardinelli's book, involved the use of a software program called "Colossus" to process claims. In 2010, Allstate paid a $10 million fine to settle a lawsuit brought by 41 states concerning inconsistencies in the manner in which Colossus was used. It also agreed to standardize its use of the software. However, “it is important to note that we found no systemic underpayment of bodily injury claims,” New York Insurance Superintendent James J. Wrynn said in a press release.