September 3, 2012
I have three policies with Allstate Insurance, including an auto policy. One of the attractive features of Allstate’s auto policy is that it offers a “Safe Driver Bonus” that equates to a 5 percent rebate for every six-month period its policyholders do not file a claim.
While parked at my health club, my car was hit by another vehicle that left the scene. As I approached my car, I could see the damage on the driver’s side rear quarter panel and called my insurance agent right away to see if I needed to file a police report. My agent was great. Over the phone, he assessed the extent of the damage and referred me to a nearby Allstate facility with an on-site adjuster. There, my vehicle was inspected, a claim was processed, the repair was scheduled at an approved body shop, and a check was cut on the spot. Pretty impressive, huh?
I thought so too until my next premium notice arrived in the mail. As I read through it, I realized that Allstate had withheld my “Safe Driver Bonus.” Apparently, because another driver hit my unattended car in a parking lot and didn’t have the decency to accept responsibility, according to Allstate, I was no longer a safe driver. In a way, I was offended. (I can think of many objectives that Allstate might have for its customer correspondence but offending policyholders is not one of them.)
If Allstate is going to withhold this bonus from longstanding safe drivers who are the victims of irresponsible hit-and-run drivers, it should at least call it what it really is: a “No Claims Bonus.” All we safe drivers can do is park our cars between the lines in parking lots. What happens after that, while we’re away from our vehicles, has nothing to do with our driving ability or whether or not we are safe drivers.
In order to reflect the true intent of this rebate, Allstate should amend its name from “Safe Driver Bonus” to “No Claims Bonus” or, more accurately, “Paid Insurance Premium But Did Not Access Any Policy Benefits Bonus.”
What do you think?