The Consumer Federation of America accused Allstate of “price optimization” in Wisconsin in mid-January, and those are some pretty serious allegations. If they’re true, that means Allstate has been overcharging people all over the state since 2013; in fact, they use the same rate plan in 16 other states, as well, so there are hundreds of thousands more who have been illegally forced to pay too much for auto insurance.
While Allstate’s spokesman, Justin Herndon, denies the allegations by saying, “Our prices are legal and actuarially sound,” the CFA isn’t buying it. They allege that more than 58,000 people in Wisconsin have paid thousands that should be returned.
Among its complaints, CFA representative J. Robert Hunter says that Allstate charges “different prices to people of the same risk but who have different shopping habits.”
Charging different rates to persons of the same risk is unfair discrimination. Raising rates above the level that covers a policyholder’s risk produces excessive prices, also illegal in the state,” said Hunter.
If that’s the case, Allstate will have to answer to authorities about their underhanded tactics.
“Our rating plans have been and continue to be risk-based, using traditional variables such as driving safety record, garaging location, and type of vehicle. Marketplace considerations, as part of risk-based pricing, are used appropriately, and we are open and transparent with regulators in all aspects of our pricing,” said Herndon.
Nobody likes paying car insurance; we can all agree on that. However, Allstate customers are in limbo wondering whether the company added insult to injury… and whether they’ll get a refund check in the mail any time soon.
What’s your take on Allstate and these allegations? I’d love to hear your thoughts (check out the Carlos Gamino Facebook page to share what you think).