Negotiating an Allstate Car Insurance Settlement

June 25, 2013

Learn how to file an Allstate Insurance claim, determine whether a settlement should be made, and negotiate an Allstate settlement.

If you have recently been injured in an automobile accident, you may be keen to negotiate an Allstate settlement, should they happen to be your insurers. Don't worry that you are going to be deprived of much needed money. As with all insurance companies and brokers, you will find that they will put up a struggle, but you do not have to be too worried, so long as you take care of yourself by following a few rules to getting a good Allstate insurance settlement.

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Be prepared

You should always be over-prepared when it comes to making an insurance claim after a car accident. That means reading through all of your policy documents, to make sure that you fully understand what you are covered for. This will help you if your company later has queries about your claim. It will also prevent you from being rejected because you claimed for something you were not entitled to.

Gather your evidence

You will need evidence of all the bills incurred as a direct result of the accident, plus police reports and witness statements which could help your case. Add any personal bills which are also the result of the accident, including medical bills.

Write a letter

State your full claim, as you understand it, in a letter to the insurance company. This letter serves as a formal claim. Include in the main body of the letter all the details of the accident. in the last paragraph, set out the total amount you wish to claim. Make this amount as unambiguous as possible, so your insurers have to deal with this sum as the amount you think you are owed.

Phone your insurers

Once the letter has been sent, wait about a week, and then follow up your claim with a phone call. This will reassure you that your insurers have your letter, and will also make clear to them that you are interested in pursuing it and working with them to get a claim. This always seems to encourage them a bit. You should phone them regularly, but not too persistently.

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How to File an Allstate Insurance Claim

Filing an Allstate Insurance Claim is simple, thanks to their computer-based customer service system. Filing a claim with Allstate involves the following steps.

  1. Contact Allstate at 1-800-255-7828. This is an easy but important step to take right after the accident happens. It alerts the insurer that an accident has happened, and it puts you in touch with a customer service representative who can walk you through the steps needed to file successfully.
  2. Make sure everyone is okay. Check with everyone involved in the accident before filing an Allstate accident claim, to ensure that there are no injuries. If injuries have occurred, try to obtain reports on the extent of the injuries from the police or paramedics or the other driver involved.
  3. Contact a local police agency. In most cases where property damage exceeds $500, you're required to contact a local police agency so that you can have your accident recorded. A police officer is an impartial judge of an accident, and will file an official accident report covering the findings.
  4. File your own official accident report. If property damage is more than $200 or personal injury is involved, most states require you to file your own official accident report within 72 hours of the accident. Be sure you do so. Make good notes and report only the facts.
  5. Indicate where the adjuster can find the vehicle and cause. This is an important step because it is at the heart of the process of determining not only the damage to your vehicle, but whether Allstate will consider it fixable. If the vehicle costs more to fix than its Blue Book value, the company will cut you a check for the value of the vehicle, which you can use to pay off the balance and look for a new vehicle. If the repairs are less than the value of the vehicle, the adjuster, who will take extensive pictures of the vehicle, will file a repair estimate. There are accidents where Allstate may not be involved at all, except to start the filing process. For example, most states consider a rear-end accident prima facie evidence of negligence, i.e., the driver didn't have control of the vehicle, and will then bill the other insurer for the cost of all repairs. This is why good notes are required.
  6. Repair the vehicle. The final step is to repair your vehicle. Allstate usually has recommended shops, so be sure to take Allstate's advice before you go ahead with repairs. Allstate's recommended repair outlet could save you money. Make sure you have alternate transportation, probably a rental car, so you can get around while vehicle is repaired. Rental or loss of use insurance is usually part of any insurance package.

Claims Payment and Reputation

Generally speaking, Allstate Insurance has a very good reputation for quickly paying claims and settling claim disputes. Allstate Insurance has been known to diligently fight for the company's insured drivers, and go after divers insured by other insurance companies when disputes about fault and liability arise.

Most complaints about claims payment from Allstate arise from drivers other than the Allstate insured driver. Many complaints lodged against Allstate Insurance have to do with low settlement offers for car repairs or medical expenses incurred by the driver not insured by Allstate. On the other hand, most reviews of claims payments by Allstate customers seem to be positive and reflect a quick and fair settlement to the insured.

Allstate is considered to be one of the most dependable and reliable insurance companies in America. Allstate insurance continues to receive solid financial ratings from organizations like AM Best, which rates insurance companies on dependability and financial strength.

Allstate Accident Forgiveness

Allstate Insurance was one of the first companies to offer accident forgiveness programs to its customers. Its accident forgiveness program actually acted as a model for many other insurance companies' forgiveness programs. Allstate Insurance allows customers that maintain full coverage insurance to purchase additional coverage which will protect them from rate increases in the event they are involved in the at fault accident.

The accident forgiveness program offers several different levels of protection from rate increases and cancellations. Customers can choose from partial forgiveness programs—which result in only modest increases—up to a total forgiveness program, which guarantees no rate increases or cancellations due to a first time at fault accident.

Allstate Premium Rates

Car insurance premium rates offered by Allstate range from excellent to poor. Generally speaking, Allstate is known for offering very attractive rates to full coverage customers that have excellent credit scores and excellent driving histories. On the other hand, Allstate premium rates for drivers with past driving problems are considered to be much higher than many other car insurance companies. In short, Allstate offers excellent rates for good drivers and very expensive rates for drivers with poor credit and poor driving histories.

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History of Allstate Insurance

Allstate Insurance began in 1931, as a part of the Sears and Roebuck Company. Insurance was offered in the Sears and Roebuck catalogs of the day. Within a few years of its opening, Allstate become one of the largest insurance companies in the country.

Allstate Insurance spun off from Sears and Roebuck in 1993, and became publicly traded company. Sears finally divested its remaining shares to stockholders in 1995, thus making Allstate Insurance a completely independent company.