Allstate Screws Up, Costs Me $100

Joseph says Allstate is sticking him for more than $100 in unwarranted charges because he was so bold as to switch his policy over to a new car. He says none of his arguments have convinced the company to correct the charges and the bill has gone to collections.

His story:

My name is Joseph and I’ve been an Allstate customer for over two years. During my two+ years with Allstate, I’ve been pretty happy with the service and prices that the company has provided. However, over the past few months, my faith in the company has been significantly reduced due to a mistake on the company’s part that has now cost me over $100.

It all started when my wife and I got rid of her Hyundai Elantra. We decided to go with something a bit larger and more luxurious, so we bought a Honda Accord. Right before we purchased the vehicle, we contacted Allstate about getting a new policy to cover the Accord. They gave us our quote, asked us if we wanted to just alter the old policy to remove the Elantra and add the Accord. We informed them that I would also need to be added to the policy because the vehicle was registered in my name (we have separate policies). They informed us that in this case, we would not be able to use the existing policy, a new policy must be generated. So, we get a quote for $111. They get all of our paperwork in, verify everything, and get set. Buy the car, love it, sell the old one. The Allstate representative informed us that everything with the old policy would be taken care of.

One month later, we get a bill for $256. I call Allstate, who informed me that I am not a member of the policy and therefore am not permitted to be provided with any information from it. My name is clearly on the policy. Allstate declines to assist any further. A day later, my wife calls. They inform her that the bill is correct and that there are no issues. She asks them to explain the substantial leap from $111 to $256. They inform her that they cannot explain this. She begins arguing with them, they hang up. A week later, I call back. I get the same response — I’m not on the policy and cannot be provided information from the policy. A few days later, my wife calls back. They yet again tell her that the bill is correct and they cannot explain the jump.

Finally, at this point, a month has gone by. I call Allstate again and this time have to get rude with the outsourced customer service representative in order to get any information. The rep finally provides me information, informing me that the policy we previously had was updated to include myself and the new vehicle. The way the premium system works, you have six months to pay off your premium amount. We had been four months in to a six month premium cycle when the Honda was “added” without our consent to the policy. Because of this, the premium shot through the roof. We were then responsible for paying the difference. So basically, instead of paying off the premium in six months, we were told we would have to pay it off in two months. I immediately terminated my policy. The agent on the line told me that my policy had already been terminated due to non-payment two days after the bill was late. He told me that i would receive a bill in the mail asking for the rest of the payment, but to not worry about it because he would take care of it.

Two weeks later, the bill arrives. I ignore it.

A week later, bill #2 arrives, informing us that we must pay the amount. I called Allstate, who informed me that I am responsible for paying back any difference I owe Allstate.

A week later, bill #3 arrives. I call Allstate again and spend two hours on the phone explaining the situation to a supervisor. The supervisor continues to inform me of why this has occurred. He does not offer any assistance for the fact that we are forced to pay money because of Allstate’s decision to change our policy without our approval or consent. He informs me that he can send the issue over to a Customer Support Specialist, who can contact me once reviewing the case. We do that.

A few days later, I have a voicemail sitting on my phone. I work from 8 to 5 in a secured, classified environment that I am unable to bring a cell phone into. The voicemail is from the specialist, who informs me that I am required to call back and talk to her and that her hours are from 8:30 to 4 Monday through Thursday. So basically… I must contact her in a 7 1/2 hour period throughout the day, and cannot contact her on Fridays, when I am off.

Two days later, my bill is in collections.

At this point, I’m being forced to pay the collections agency or suffer a substantial impact on my credit score. Allstate still refuses to talk to me. I’ll no longer pay Allstate for anything and am severely disappointed in the company’s policies.

If you’ve succeeded in getting Allstate or another insurer to correct a billing snafu, how did you pull it off?

Comments

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  1. rpm773 says:

    This is what agents are for. I thought All-State had agents…

    • georgi55 says:

      What rpm773 said, take all the paper work, and walk into a local All state office. They should be able to fix it. If you are in DC area let me know, I know awesome Allstate agency located in Reston; have car and home owners through them.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      Exactly. Having a local agent you deal with all the time makes insurance a lot easier. They know you, know what you do, what you have, etc. and you always deal with the same people.

    • tbax929 says:

      Agreed. I’ve been an agent for 10+ years and I try to explain to people that buying insurance direct is fine, as long as nothing goes wrong. Had he had an agent, the agent could handle this rather easily.

      • fairandbalanced says:

        That makes no sense.
        If allstate will not fix it why would they fix it just because there is an agent involved.

        All the op needs to do is tell allstate to piss off and dispute it with the credit bureaus and BBB.
        All-state sounds like a horrible company.

    • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

      I have to agree. My family has had the same insurance agent for over 20 years, and we never have these sorts of issues. In fact, we have such good experiences and he so ofter goes above-and-beyond, we’ve stayed with Farmer’s despite being slightly higher in price.

      He needs to contact an All-State agent and see if they can help. Or an EECB (of course).

    • MrsLopsided says:

      Agents can’t control corporate rates. After 4 years Allstate jacked my rate by 50% for no apparent reason (never late on payments, no accidents, no claims….). Our Allstate agent couldn’t explain the rate increase or adjust the rate. We switched insurers. Insurers have no loyalty to you. You should have none for them.

      • rpm773 says:

        If that happened to me, the first thing I would do is get on the phone and ask my agent what was going on. If I couldn’t get the situation reversed, I’d at least get a clear explanation as to why my rates increased. Then I’d determine if it was time for me to find a new provider.

        The point is, you’ll have better luck working through an agent than with a CSR.

    • bokkasrealm says:

      I just cancelled farmers insurance and was bounced around back and forth from my agent to the 1-800 number. Step 1: called the 1-800 number to let them know I would like to cancel. I was told I have to contact my agent. (This is pure and utter BS as my agent is simply a money grubbing middle man. Step 2: Called local agent for cancellation and VM box is full. Called back on a Monday and spoke directly with agent. I was told my policy would be cancelled and the last month of my 6 month prepayment would be refunded by mailed check. I wait for 3 days and get an email from my agent saying he has had trouble cancelling my policy. (What is the trouble is was not defined). He asks that I fax in a written request to cancel. (Fax is so terribly outdated especially when he contacted me by EMAIL!) I write up a short description with my account number and fax the cancellation notice to him. I wait two weeks this time (waiting on the check really) and receive nothing. I called the 1-800 number to verify if the cancellation has been done. Still no cancellation! I drive over to the office the next day and speak directly with him. He makes some lame brained excuse that “they” wouldn’t let him cancel the policy without that fax and they are dragging their feet on it. 3 days later I get an email from my agent showing it is cancelled and a week after that, I receive a check in the mail for the difference. (Guess who I get the check from? Not my agent! I get it from the 1-800 headquarters who should have just cancelled my policy to begin with!) I hate middle men/women who jump in between you and the seller. Agents suck!

  2. pop top says:

    I would suggest to Joseph in the future to use a local branch of whatever insurance agency he decides to do business with. I had a horrible time when I had Progressive insurance for my car. I switched to State Farm and a local branch and haven’t had any problems. They’re very prompt in sending me my new proofs of insurance, and they even go out of their way by regularly searching for discounts for me to lower my premiums. Having a person to talk to in person (heh) would probably make situations like these much easier, and it’d be easier to get things in writing.

    • DigitalShawn says:

      Me and my son was recently rear ended by a Progressive customer. I too am a customer of Progressive. They put me in a rental car (a 2011 Lincoln Town Car) until the settlement is achieved, already paid mine and my sons medical, and given me $1000 towards my pain/suffering. This being my first accident in the 16 years I’ve been driving, I was a little worried what would happen. Turns out they are totaling my truck, and after seeing how much I have after market customized, I think they will give me a fair price for it.

      All in all, I am very happy with Progressive, and will continue to use them.

      • pop top says:

        I got into a small fender bender (not my fault, someone in a large truck side-swiped me because they were too busy tailgating someone to notice my car was next to them when they swerved over to avoid hitting the person in front of them) and Progressive dicked me around for weeks, and that was when I could get a hold of someone. This was back in 2005, so maybe they’ve changed since then, but my premium with State Farm is MUCH lower and I get much more out of it.

      • tbax929 says:

        There are lots of folks who are happy with their direct-writing company. The issue is that when something does go wrong, an agent is your advocate. If you’re going directly to the carrier, you miss out on the help a “middle man” could provide you.

        The fact that you had a good claim experience with Progressive is awesome, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’d probably be better off using an agent who understands insurance better than a lay person.

    • Coalpepper says:

      That won’t necessarily help you, i used to have Allstate, and according to them i owe them two missed payments. Neat trick, since missing one will get your insurance cancelled, and yet my policy ran uninterrupted for all six months, so either someone forgot to cancel my insurance (hmmm, do computers forget?) or they’re lying through their teeth. Considering how bad my credit is, i’ll fix this when i have time, since i’m going to be going through my records and my ‘local’ agent’s records, which could take some time.

  3. dolemite says:

    I went through the same kind of thing with Allstate. My wife missed a payment, so they tried to make us pay for like 6 months all at once. I canceled the policy, and only paid for the month we owed. Months later, we receive a bill for $190. I call, and the representative states it was their mistake, so he removed it. A few weeks later I get another letter stating it is about to go to collections. I call back.The operator says he has no record of my previous call, and that I do indeed owe money. He “recalculates” it, and says it is closer to $140. Basically, I pay it just to avoid any more issues.

    The same thing happened with Progressive saying we owed them money when we switched from Progressive to Allstate! Unfortunately, I didn’t catch that one in time, so I have the first and only “negative” on my credit report.

    • Buckus says:

      Paying it just to get rid of it? I think that’s called “Extortion”…The “X” makes it sound cool.

  4. kc2idf says:

    I am confused.

    We decided to go with something a bit larger and more luxurious, so we bought a Honda Accord. Right before we purchased the vehicle, we contacted Allstate about getting a new policy to cover the Accord. They gave us our quote, asked us if we wanted to just alter the old policy to remove the Elantra and add the Accord.

    . . . but . . .

    We had been four months in to a six month premium cycle when the Honda was “added” without our consent to the policy.

    ??!?

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      This part:

      We informed them that I would also need to be added to the policy because the vehicle was registered in my name (we have separate policies). They informed us that in this case, we would not be able to use the existing policy, a new policy must be generated.

      That should clear it up. They told him they couldn’t just use the existing policy because he wanted to be on it, that they’d have to get a new one. Then they put him on the existing one after the couple had signed up for a new one.

      • kc2idf says:

        Got it. Thanks.

      • tbax929 says:

        This, by the way, is a stupid rule. I don’t deal with Allstate, since they use captive agents, but I’ve never had a carrier have to rewrite a policy just to add a driver. This should be a simple endorsement. If the driver being added has some tickets or at-fault accidents, there might be a pro-rated addtional premium.

        I’m aslo confused because I thought Allstate used agents, but it sounds like the OP is dealing directly with them.

      • JMILLER says:

        Singing up for a new one does not cancel the old one. It seems the OP has no concept of how insurance works. If a new policy was generated in his name, he would have that new policy number. He HAD to have something with that on it, since the car dealership can not allow a car off the lot without the insurance. The finance manger would send that to the finance company and give him a copy. If he paid cash the legal amount of insurance would be required prior to registering the car.

        I would question why they have two separate policies unless they have two cars. Get one policy and put the other as another driver. If they have two cars they could get a multi-car discount.

        This is why you go to an agent. They can help save you money long term. Two years is not a long time to be with a company for insurance in reality. Whenever I think of buying a car, I immediately call my agent, and he sends me a print out of the estimated cost increases or decreases based on what I getting. This gives me an idea of what the total cost of owning the car is as opposed to the monthly payment. Find an agent you trust and stick with them. I have been with mine for 15 years, and would have been with my last one for longer, but he retired. I have been with the same company since I have lived in Michigan.

        • Destron says:

          It depends where you live I think. When I bought a car in Texas they made me get on a computer right there in their office and add my car to my policy before I left, but I just recently bought a new car in another state and insurance was never brought up – not even once. I left in the brand new car – without insurance – and when I got home I thought about removing my car I just traded in and it hit me my new car was not insured yet.

          Another thought could be that this time the car was financed through Capital One and not the dealer so maybe they did not give a damn…

        • Silverhawk says:

          Maybe in your state. I’ve bought new cars in Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota and Arkansas and never had to provide proof of insurance prior to driving off the lot. All I did was call my State Farm agent (after the sale) and confirmed the new purchase, either adding or substituting the new car on my policy.

    • failurate says:

      Yeah, that was confusing. But it appears that instead of creating a policy for him and his wife, they simply added the Accord as a second car on his wife’s policy.
      At least that is the way I am reading it.

  5. CycloneBD says:

    Can Joseph contact the insurance commissioner’s office in the state that he lives in? They might have a consumer protection office, or an office set up to handle consumer car insurance issues.

    • DanRydell says:

      Can’t anyone fix their own problems without having to involve the government?

      • common_sense84 says:

        Nope. You would have to go to court to do that. Luckily the government regulates insurance and can fine allstate for scamming people and all you have to do is notify them. No need to waste your time in court.

      • greggen says:

        Cant anyone not whine about about having the government regulate businesses it regulates?

  6. RogerX says:

    Er, I think Joseph has lost himself in a shell game thanks to an unclear explanation during the initial quote process.

    It sounds to me like $110 is the pro-rated premium increase for the policy that was in effect at that time, to add a new vehicle and driver during the 6-month policy. The $254 is the next policy cycle.

    I may be wrong, but I’m working with what I have. The very unclear why he describes it makes it seem to me that he isn’t clear on what he’s paying for himself.

    • tiatrack says:

      Having just bought a car myself, that’s exactly what it sounds like. The $111 is for the remaining months on the policy, and the $256 is for the next 6 months.

    • tomz17 says:

      I agree… the numbers in his story are gibberish without any definitive meaning attached to them.

      P.S. as a side note, I just recently purchased a car. Changing my Geico policy (over the phone) was literally a 3 minute affair from when I hit send on my cell phone. The rep was definitely American (not outsourced), extremely efficient, and super nice. I had the new insurance ID cards in hand (faxed to the dealer) within 10 minutes!

  7. adrew says:

    Another vote for using a local agent. I have Allstate auto and homeowner’s insurance — whenever I need to change anything (sell an old car, get a new car, etc.) all I have to do is send an email to the local folks.

  8. Keep talking...I'm listening says:

    I have Allstate and my agent is awesome. I’ve had no issues and no one is able to beat her price for the coverage I have on my house and car. I’ve had no issues getting claims resolved quickly.

    That said, the few times I’ve tried to deal with Allstate ‘corporate’ (I use ‘corporate’ to mean ‘not my agent’) it has been a disaster. My last interaction with them was when Allstate billed me for a monthly premium after I had paid the 6 month policy in full. I called the 800 number (it was the weekend — so I didn’t want to bug the agent at home) and got the run-around for half an hour.

    I called the agent Monday morning and it was resolved in under 5 minutes.

    For the record — I had similar experiences with Progressive corporate vs Progressive agents. The agents seem to know what buttons to push to get things done.

  9. Dutchess says:

    Uh, isn’t the rate your agent provides you only a quote?

    When it goes to underwriting they fix the actual cost.

    Perhaps there was something in the rate you or your agent missed that came up in a records search?

    Pretty standard.

    • JMILLER says:

      The quote for his wife versus him alone could account for the difference. Having a penis makes you a greater risk. We as men pay more for insurance.

  10. teke367 says:

    What state is the OP from? Many states have really strict laws about how a company can charge a customer. If the customer can prove they sold the car (receipt for turned in plates, or a sales receipt), in many cases the company HAS to backdate the deletion.

    Cancelling a policy two days after the due date seems a little fishy too. I work for a different company, and we give you MUCH more time, and I think part of the reason are laws in many states require a larger window than 2 days. Allstate is a big company, I can’t imagine them not having a larger window than 2 days, sounds like somebody messed up.

    File a complaint. I’m not sure if it will get you the $100 back, but it definitely seems like somebody at AllState goofed. When you deal in direct insurance, the company walks a fine line. Technically, only a licensed agent is able to talk to the customers, but sometimes CSRs are able to take the calls too, but they are only supposed to be able to do very limited things. If you don’t get your money back, at the very least, odds are you’ll cost Allstate a lot more than $100 with a complaint.

    • Destron says:

      The did not cancel it after 2 days – they told him it had been canceled 2 days ago from non-payment, from the article it seems like at least 6 – 8 weeks or more went by before they canceled because he spent all that time trying to dispute it.

  11. jim says:

    eh, his fault. I changed insurance, got a statement, saw what they did was wrong compared to what they said, called them, had it corrected and then received another note with the correct changes.

    he apparently ignored the notification and ignored future mailings so it is pretty much his fault.

    • common_sense84 says:

      Damn, people are ignorant. He said when he got the next statement it was wrong and they contacted them. Did you not read it?

      And allstate’s mistake is their mistake. The customer is never responsible for it.

  12. BrianneG says:

    Do people really pay that little for car insurance? My car isn’t brand-new and I’ve been driving for 15 years but I still pay over $400 every six months and that’s only because I just got married and we combined policies and got renter’s insurance. Maybe I should switch to Allstate from State Farm.

    • Destron says:

      Wow – that seems pretty steep. However the car you drive makes a big difference and older cars are actually more expensive because of less safety features.

      I have two cars on my policy a 2010 and a 2009 and my insurance is $128 a month through progressive.

      • Jack Handy Manny says:

        Older cars are not more expensive. The less the car costs the less it costs to insure. Assuming it’s not high-performance.

        • SissyOPinion says:

          That is not necessarily true. My 73 Beetle costs much more to insure than you would think. It may not cost much to replace but paying death or lifetime disability benefits could equal a big pay out for the insurance company.

      • Destron says:

        Oops read that wrong – I thought it was $400 monthly, and on that line of thinking I wrote that as well, mine is actually quarterly – every 3 months.

    • seth_lerman says:

      Well we really don’t even know what these amounts cover, how long a period and what the coverage is. With some insurance companies you can pay by the month, 6 months, 3 months, etc… Geico whom I just switched to has a whole chart of how you can pay and what the payments per month would be, My coverage on 2 vehicles (1 liability only and one full coverage with both my wife and myself as drivers) is $455 per 6 months. Would have been slightly higher if I paid for a period of less than 6 months (like $10 more for splitting it into 2 payments, not sure how much more if I did it in 6 payments like you are doing if you say what you pay per month).

      • seth_lerman says:

        Oops, mixed up your message (you are paying by the 6 months) with Destron who is paying by the month.

    • tiatrack says:

      The big question is, where do you live? When my husband moved from Florida to Oregon he said his insurance dropped by more than half! Location really plays a huge part in the cost of your insurance.

    • sponica says:

      it depends what state you live in….i think my annual premium is something like 550 after the discounts. although i don’t NEED insurance on my car…i have it because i don’t trust the other drivers on the road.

    • aka Cat says:

      You’re paying $400 for a full six months? That’s only about $66 per month, which isn’t bad. And premiums can vary wildly depending on things like your zip code, whether your car is garaged, and what your deductibles are.

      Of course, it can’t hurt to compare rates elsewhere.

    • TasteyCat says:

      That’s about what I pay for a new Lexus. In Connecticut, I paid double that (for a 7 year old Nissan). Bastards.

  13. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    Take the hit – do NOT pay collections.
    “At this point, I’m being forced to pay the collections agency or suffer a substantial impact on my credit score. “

    This is what they’re expecting you to do, if they’ve done it to you – they’ve done it to at least a hundred other people.

    Scheme to be covered in 2 years on Consumerist when someone Finally Sues Allstate.

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      He may need to worry about his coverage lapsing for not paying the premium. If he doesn’t pay, and gets into an accident and injures someone, he’s on the hook for their medical bills. MAYBE down the road he’ll be able to sue Allstate over this billing issue and they’ll retroactively reinstate him IF he wins.

      I also find some fault with Joseph here for not being more proactive about this. He calls, they tell him they can’t talk to him (right or wrong, doesn’t matter). His wife waits until the next day to call, they hang up on her. He waits a week to call back, gets nowhere, his wife waits a few days to call back. He and his wife should have both sat down and called early on, and don’t wait a week to call back.

      At least that’s how I got Comcast to refund my money after screwing up my cable and internet – called EVERYDAY for a week. Just sat on the couch and watched DVD’s while I was on hold. They see that you’ve not willing to give up, they’ll eventually cave.

      • Destron says:

        Not to mention – where I live they cross reference car registrations with insurance records to determine if you have insurance or not, and I understand this is becoming pretty common in many states. When I sold my last car and removed it from my insurance I got a letter in the mail about 3 weeks later warning me that I better get my car insured or call the DMV and let them know I no longer owned it.

        If you get pulled over and have no insurance – first offense $350 and they tow you car. Not worth it.

        Plus – about 6 years ago I was in a car accident that was not my fault and the other person did not have insurance – you don’t want to be that person.

  14. lelliott74 says:

    File a complaint with your state Department of Insurance. They will have to do a full review of the matter and most times they will correct the error just to get done with it faster. It is a small amount of money so it will be nothing for them to write it off even if they “determine” they were not in error here.

  15. bruin14 says:

    I have had the same Allstate Agent for fifteen years and I know that he would fix this with one e-mail or phone call from me.

  16. Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

    Sure did have a problem like this… I was caught up with this f*cking mess:

    http://old.thedailystar.com/news/stories/2003/04/10/ins.html

    Bob Putnam wouldn’t even speak to me regarding her mistakes on my policy… only threatening to sue his business insurance got him to perk up and listen.

  17. rambo76098 says:

    Allstate is by far the worst car insurance company out there. You have to threaten legal action against them to get them to act on anything.

    I had a claim when I was involved with a hit and run motorcyclist (my car was parked). The policy stated under the un/under insured motorist coverage (which I had) that if a car was legally parked & unoccupied it was a covered claim and there was no deductible. They denied my claim because I didn’t know the name of the motorist that hit and ran (nothing in the policy about that).

    They went further to tell me that language was a mistake and was not intended to be in my policy. In hindsight I should had gotten a lawyer. Best part was when our agent went on a yelling & screaming tirade later about politics because we disagreed with him.

    One of my friends who had Allstate was hit by another Allstate driver. They both had collision, but Allstate denied both of their claims and told them ‘Allstate doesn’t pay Allstate.’

    The one thing that I never understood was when we dropped from 3 cars to 2 cars, no other changes, they wanted an additional $5000/year for the same coverage. WTF?

  18. Jack Handy Manny says:

    This makes no sense. Do you have one policy with them or two? (you stated that they couldn’t add your new car the exsisting policy) Allstate can’t update an exsisting policy with a new car and driver while simultaneously opening a new policy with that same new car and driver. I would contact your insurance commish immedately or maybe find an Allstate agent that can help you. You should have added your old car to this new policy that you started for the Honda and canceled the one with the Hyundai.

    In this instance I really just think that Joseph is confused. No way a “new” veichle will cost $111 for the policy term. Is it the additional monthly charge? Are you billed monthly? Did they credit you for the car you sold, if no…will they next bill? It’s also very unlikely that you were cancelled 2 days after the “bill was due”. Maybe 2 days after your “final notice” but definately not after the bill date.

    This doesn;t make sense on many different levels.

    However there are 3 things that people need to learn from this. 1) Don’t buy your insurance direct. There is no reason, and it only benefits the company becuase they pay no commission. 2) There is no his and hers insurance policies wher you are married. It’s “ours” it benefits you to have your policies together. There is no advantage to not having your spouse on a policy. 3) Allstate is horrible. They are pretty much the Bank of America of personal home and auto insurance.

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      ABSOLUTELY. I have auto insurance thru New York Central Mutual (Great company!) and I use an agent, they don’t even allow you to buy directly thru them. I’ve never EVER had an issue with updating a current policy to a new vehicle…. They always say “You have 4 months remaining on your policy for renewal, we pro-rated the new vehicle for the 4 months, and it’ll be $10 more a month” or whatever it usually is.

  19. DanRydell says:

    I can’t even figure out what’s going on here. Partly because I’ve never paid insurance monthly. Do you pay 6 months in advance, or during the 6 months the policy covers? I assume the latter. Either way, why would he have to squeeze 6 months of payments on the Accord into 2 months? He should be paying for 2 months of insurance on the Accord, because he only had it for 2 months.

  20. mcgyver210 says:

    We was with Allstate for around 3 yrs & after hassle with a not at fault accident with another Allstate customer we decided time to leave & not look Back,

    The After this our new agent was called by the Allstate agent & verbally scolded for tacking us from her.

    Needless to say Allstate wont see me again.

  21. KyBash says:

    I investigated and found I could save a whopping $23 a year by going with direct insurance rather than having an agent.

    Even if you tacked a zero onto the end of that, it would still be worth it to have a local agent’s office where I could walk in and begin yelling if there was a screw-up (I’m 6’4″, weigh 240 pounds, and often look like I just walked out of the woods and probably still have my axe handy, so when I walk into a place scowling, people usually fall over themselves trying to do whatever it takes to make me happy).

  22. common_sense84 says:

    Dispute the collections. Tell them the bill was a mistake on allstate’s part and if they want to take you to court fine. You will easily win. They should not be able to touch your credit report, allstate cannot sell them your ssn.

  23. tbail25 says:

    First off, as someone in the insurance business, I can tell you that a. because he made a change with two months left in the billing cycle, the change in premium is pro-rated so that the policyholder is paying for coverage provided between point when adding the car to the next renewal. Meaning if a vehicle is addeded and the quote you’re given is 200 dollars to add the vehicle to the policy, and you have a 200 dollar balance on the account for the two remaining months, divide the change by the remaining months, and add that to the monthly amount. Really simple math. I’m sorry, but Allstate did not make a mistake here with the cost in adding the vehicle. Ignorance is no excuse to say a company is screwing you over.

    Furthermore, I am failing to understand how the Honda was added to his policy without his consent. The first paragraph is worded so that it clearly states that he called up, got a quote, and added the vehicle to the policy.

    And remember folks, quotes are quotes. They can vary, especially if you’re quoted for only adding the vehicle, not including it with the account balance already on the policy.

    • common_sense84 says:

      Are you dense? It clearly says they told him they could not add it to the policy since both drivers needed to be on it. So they sold him a brand new policy with both drivers.

      Then they added the car to the other policy anyways.

      This means one car was on two different policies. The first was unauthorized because they told him it could not be put on it, and sold him a new policy rather than putting it on it.

      It sounds like the operator added the car to the first policy in real time, then he said he needed to be on it, which could not be done. So then the person created a new policy and never undid their changes to the first policy.

      • tbail25 says:

        The whole letter is poorly written, so everything seems jumbled together. First off, why did they have separate policies if married? Even if the vehicles were titled in their names only, they could still be added to one policy since they are married.

        Personally, it sounded like the first rep they spoke with made a mistake in stating they needed a new policy because at my company, all the states we service have guidelines stating the only time a car that’s not titled in the policyholder’s name can be added is in the case of a spouse. That was mistake number one.

        I’m very confused that two days after receiving the bill, his policy was canceled. Either his mailman hid this letter for a very long time, or he’s got his dates off. There are state guidelines when it comes to letting someone know their insurance will be canceled. This just sounds fishy.

        I’ve been with Allstate for over 5 years, and not once have we ever had an issue. Not saying that everyone with Allstate doesn’t have issues, but for the most part, Allstate has a good rep. I can think of a few companies right now that don’t have a good rep like that.

  24. SChance says:

    None of what this guy says makes sense.

    It sounds like they added him and the car to his wife’s policy, effectively giving him what he wanted. He doesn’t say if they neglected to remove the old car, or if he has anything on his driving record that hadn’t been pulled yet when the original quote was given – both of which would change the quote.

    If you’re in a six-month payment cycle, and you make a change to your policy four months in – that doesn’t reset the six-month cycle. If you did something that increased your premium, you’re still going to have to pay off that policy by the end of the original six months.

    What we have in this story is lack of details presented by the OP combined with lack of knowledge of how things actually work by the OP.

  25. EcPercy says:

    If you are really worried about the credit score of the equation… I would make a settlement offer to the collection agency for the original $111. If they accept the settlement offer make sure they send you said offer IN WRITING before you pay them anything.

  26. shoyer says:

    I had a prolonged dispute with Allstate regarding their website quoting me the wrong price and issuing me a policy, followed by them insisting one month later that I owed $500 more for my 6 month term than they had quoted me. If I canceled, they would have happily given me a pro-rated refund of their “correct price.”

    Needless to say, complaining to several layers of customer service brought no success, although Allstate did eventually send me a $50 “we’re sorry” gift certificate which arrived the week after I officially canceled.

    However, my complaint with the California Department of Insurance was very successful. After several exchanges of letters with the Department of Insurance, Allstate eventually agreed to give me a pro-rated refund of what I originally paid. And it even all got resolved (barely) before they sent me to collections for the amount I had not paid.

  27. rocklob says:

    I used to use Allstate for car insurance when I didn’t know better. I have since switched to Erie Insurance where people are more pleasant and I’m paying less than HALF the price for DOUBLE the coverage!

  28. RosevilleWgn says:

    You go from an Elantra to a brand new Accord, and didn’t expect the bill to go up? Duct tape and chewing gum for the Elantra don’t cost the insurance company much in repairs, you know. The Accord is in a different league (But still not what I’d call a “luxery” car).

  29. jenl1625 says:

    My dad got a quote from All-State (house and one car) for one price. Signed the papers. Gets the bill a couple of weeks later for 50% more than the agent had quoted… (From $600 to $900.)

    When he called her to ask what on earth was going on, she told him the quote was only an estimate, and she hadn’t realized that we were as far from a Fire Department as we are when she wrote up the quote! Here’s a clue – we hadn’t moved since she wrote up that quote!

  30. bumblefoot2004 says:

    It sucks getting screwed without at getting at least a dinner. Ask Allstate if they’ve heard of consumerist.com, ripoffreport.com, or planetfeedback.com. Sometimes going to the news media can light a fire under a company’s ass. If it is legal in your state, record your phone calls with Allstate. Contact your local BBB as well. Bad press can motivate even the most stubborn company. “Are you in good hands?” Apparently not.

  31. TheSurlyOne says:

    The American Association of Justice (AAJ) recently released their list of the “10 Worst Insurance Companies in America” and Allstate is ranked #1 (THE worst of the worst)! With stories like this one, it’s easy to see why!

    http://law.freeadvice.com/insurance_law/insurers_bad_faith/ten-worst-insurance-companies.htm