Allstate’s Safe Driver Bonus

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?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/kathy.l.haun Kathy Lemke Haun

    So sorry that you had this experience. Allstate is actually rated the worst insurer for consumers.
    http://law.freeadvice.com/insurance_law/insurers_bad_faith/allstate.htm

  • regirl17

    I too had my car hit in a parking lot by some lowlife that didn’t have the balls to take responsibility. I guess that is why I haven’t received my bonus check. I am thinking about taking my business back to State Farm who I was with for 12 years prior to being insured with Allstate.

  • http://stevecurtin.com Steve Curtin

    Stacey, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I’m still with Allstate. I really like my local rep and have had no service issues with the company. It’s not so much that Allstate withheld the 5 percent rebate. After all, I filed a claim. It cost them money – much more than the 5 percent rebate check they withheld. My issue is that they withheld a “Safe Driver Bonus” which implies that I’m not a safe driver when, in reality, I parked between the lines and, like you, was the victim of a hit-and-run. The incident had nothing to do with whether or not I’m a safe driver.

  • AngelaRitchie

    I was with allstate for 3 years and never got one check from them neither did my husband. we never had any accident. when we purchased my new car my monthly premium increased from 125 to 175 (that’s one car with full coverage and another with liability). so we shopped around and found gieco who gave us the same coverage we had with allstate for 67 a month.allstate is a joke and they tell you lies to get you to sign with then

  • http://www.facebook.com/wdepp Will Depp

    Sue them for fraud. Safe driving has zero to do with someone hitting a parked car.

  • Amber Link

    We have all r vehicles and our house through Allstate and have never received a check from them!

  • JayCee

    You want to know what’s really funny? You have to pay an extra amount on your premium just to be a part of that safe driver discount crap. It’s not a bonus. I used to work for Allstate. I left because of how they treat their customers and employees. If you pay to be a part of that discount, you could either make a few dollars- and I mean a few- or lose that premium you’ve been paying. Great system huh?

  • paul bickford

    Like

  • Hector.

    useful info they will not get my $$$$

  • Jeff in WI

    I have been with Allstate for 17 yrs. In a 6 month span my boat motor’s lower unit was damaged on L Michigan and my mother was in an auto crash and we were sued by the other motorist. The claims specialist was very nice, answering every question I had. They said don’t worry, got it all covered.
    That was 2 claims, roughly $11000 in repairs and no premium increase. Four years later i was in a car crash during an ice storm. That was another $4800 claim, again, no rate increase. That was my first auto claim in 30 yrs of driving. So in all, claims $16000 and no premium increase. I also have had a few speeding tickets thru the yrs.
    My dad is a retired cop and retired sgt major(army). He was a Geico customer and filed one claim, $2300 and was promptly dropped. Perfect driving record, claim free 20+ yrs

  • http://stevecurtin.com Steve Curtin

    Jeff, sounds like you’ve had a great experience with Allstate. So have I. They continue to insure my cars and home – though I do think they’ve fumbled in the implementation of their “Safe Driver Bonus” incentive program (especially its naming). Although I’ve had no personal experience with Geico, its advertising seems to appeal to those who are willing to sacrifice certain advantages (not being summarily dropped after one accident) in order to “save 15 percent or more (by making a 15 minute call).”
    Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

  • evamarie

    I have been with Geico for 15 years and in that time I have had several claims – all were not my fault, but one. I’ve experienced vandalism ($3K worth), two hit-and-runs, was rear-ended by someone not paying attention, and never once has Geico raised my rates. It’s strange how customers are treated so differently by insurance companies.

  • Ncgurl05

    wow…I just had the same thing happen last month, so what you’re telling me is I’m not going to get my safe driver bonus!!!!! uuuuuggggghhhhhh!!!

  • http://stevecurtin.com Steve Curtin

    Only your agent can say for sure but, in my case, Allstate withheld my Safe Driver Bonus even though a careless hit-and-run driver swiped my car while it was safely parked between the lines in a parking lot… Good luck!

  • MH

    The Safe Drivers Bonus is no more than a return of your overpayment of premiums. Allstate collects interest off of the excess payments, this may no sound like a lot but multiply this by 10s of thousands of people and it adds up. If you don’t file a claim in 6 months they return your overpayment ( minus the interest) and call it a Safe Driver Bonus. Allstate has used rip-off tactics like this for decades.

  • QualityTech

    Something to keep in mind on picking out a repair / collision shop. Most are on a “Pro Shop” with any of the major insurance companies.
    It is your car to have repaired where you want. When some shops are put on the Pro Shop list, they are under strict guidelines of what kind of parts to use. Such as Non-Oem parts.. ( after market parts ) also having the shop lower their labor rate.
    Any quality shop will guarantee its work for as long as you own the car.

  • Liz Murphy

    Do a better job hiding the fact that you work for All State. I get what you are doing, but if want to be believable- try another tactic!

  • Liz Murphy

    There also is a Geico trend occurring. I see a lot of real issues littered w insurance agents posting fake stories! I hope anyone looking for advice can see that. Get progressive! Just kidding! They suck too!

  • Jeff in WI

    Nice try Liz, but I don’t work for Allstate. I’m a complete t-10 paraplegic who was injured in an industrial accident when I was 19. I have worked mostly partime as a fitnss trainer(set 5 world records In the bench press after my accident). I am currently a credit analyst/underwriter. I have never worked for Allstate & may God kill me in the most horrific way possible if I am lying. I never said everyone’s experience is similar to mine with Allstate. Perhaps my experience is a total
    fluke but it is what it is. Looking forward to your reply Liz. Best regards
    Jeff

  • Jeff in WI

    The bogus review trend is spread throughout the web whether it’s fake positive or negative reviews of products, services and even restaurant reviews on yelp and urban spoon. Some scammers use the threat of multiple negative reviews to try to extort money from restaurant owners.
    You can never be too informed in today’s world. Be weary of any and all reviews when making purchases, especially large ones or buying insurance. People fixate on size of the premium and then are surprised how poor the service is after filing a claim.Due diligence

  • nobya

    defensive driving course is one of the best safety course http://www.hseinstitute.com

  • Michael

    Excellent point about their calling the program by a false name. I had thought about switching from State Farm, until I read your post. I have been with State Farm for over 30 years, and it sure looks like that will continue now.

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