July 26, 2013: A former agent under contract to Allstate Insurance Co. has initiated a lawsuit against the insurer alleging it violated a Minnesota statute when the company terminated him for failing to meet life insurance quotas.
Jerry Deleski, an Allstate agent for 39 years, and his attorney, Chris Daniels of Daniels & Kibort PLLC, are working with the National Association of Professional Allstate Agents Inc. (NAPAA), a nonprofit organization representing former and current agents under contract with Allstate, to determine whether Allstate violated state laws when the company terminated Deleski and other Allstate agents in Minnesota.
A spokeswoman for the Minnesota Department of Commerce confirmed that it investigated Allstate’s dismissal of Deleski and charged the company with violating the statute as well as second that required Allstate to inform Deleski of his right to a hearing before a review board. The Minnesota Department of Commerce also confirmed that in November 2012, Allstate agreed to pay a $5,000 civil penalty to the state in lieu of facing formal proceedings on the charges.
“Allstate cooperated fully with the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s investigation of Deleski’s claims, which the company resolved amicably with the department,” said an Allstate spokesman. “The company believes Deleski’s lawsuit is meritless, and the company intends to defend against it vigorously. Allstate continues to position agency owners to best serve our customers and grow the business. We are committed to helping prepare and protect our customers for all of life’s uncertainties.”
Allstate instituted a quota system in 2006 that required agents to meet specific sales goals, NAPAA said, and agents were instructed that failure to attain their quotas could result in the loss of their contracts.
Allstate Corp., the largest publicly traded U.S. home and auto insurer, halted sales of its Your Choice Auto product in California after a consumer group said drivers were cheated.
“It is clearly a negative for Allstate,” Paul Newsome, an analyst with Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP in Chicago, said via e-mail.
“The company has been struggling to build its policy count for some time and this will not help.”
The company had touted the insurer’s Your Choice products to investors as a way to limit price competition as the U.S. market for property-casualty coverage contracted. The program costs consumers more while cutting deductibles the longer a driver goes without a claim. It also allows a policyholder to report an accident without it affecting rates.
“Your Choice Auto became a cash cow for Allstate by charging customers more than they should be paying under California’s good driver law,” said Todd M. Foreman, in-house counsel for Consumer Watchdog. “Allstate was receiving $20 million a year in extra premiums since it began selling the program in California in 2008.”
Newsome said pulling the Your Choice Auto product from the most populous U.S. state probably won’t have “a significant effect” on earnings in coming quarters.
Your Choice was created by Allstate after considering “what would the consumer want and what would they be willing to pay for?” Wilson told investors in a conference call in February. The insurer had been introducing new offerings “so we don’t compete just on price,” he said.
“Transitioning away from YCA and putting this debate behind us puts us in a stronger position to introduce even better, stronger pricing and products for California consumers,” said Bill Mellander, a spokesman for Allstate, in Sacramento. The company has about 100,000 YCA policies in force in the state, Mellander said.
“The matter is closed from our perspective,” said Ioannis Kazanis, a California Department of Insurance spokesman. “It comes down to being a business decision on Allstate’s side.”
This is just another example of deplorable behavior by Allstate. Why are they allowed to continue to operate?
A Staten Island, New York, couple said their insurance company short-changed them after superstorm Sandy destroyed their home, and then used their house in a commercial.
In October, Sheila Traina, 64, and her husband, Dominic, 66, had evacuated their home in New Dorp Beach in response to warnings from local authorities about the storm.
Traina said a neighbor who had stayed behind called and told them the wind had knocked the roof off their two-story home but their insurer, Allstate, said the damage to their home was due to flooding.
Allstate told her it was storm surge that caused the damage, she said.
The insurance company offered the Trainas, who did not have flood insurance, about $10,000 for the damages. They say the amount is well short of the $280,000 for which their home and its contents were insured.
She said she has refused to accept the $10,000 and is planning to hire an attorney to fight for a settlement that matches the value of her home.
In the meantime, the Trainas are staying in a family member’s home that is three miles away. Her husband is retired but they have income from his late mother’s home, which they are renting.
Traina, an administrative secretary, said she had hoped to retire next year, but her plans are on hold until they can rebuild their home.
A spokeswoman from Allstate said the company is “committed to resolving the matter in accordance with the policy they purchased from our company.”
“Allstate is always focused on ensuring our customers are completely satisfied,” the spokeswoman said. “In major disasters such as Sandy, we are often the first on the scene providing financial and emotional support.”
The Trainas said they previously had flood insurance, provided by the U.S. government’s National Flood Insurance Program, but their payments were more than the reimbursement amounts they received for previous incidents.
Traditional private homeowners policies, such as those of Allstate, do not cover flood losses, the company said.
“We encourage our customers to consider flood insurance to protect themselves in ways that would not be covered under a homeowner’s policy,” Allstate said.
What the Trainas said upset them further was that an image of their damaged home was used in a commercial for Allstate.
After their Thanksgiving dinner, Traina said her husband and grandchildren were watching a football game when her grandchildren said they saw their home in a television advertisement.
“It was just a picture of our chair and our kitchen window but it was noticeable what they were showing,” she said. “It was not a happy Thanksgiving after that.”
Allstate said the advertisement “showed general images of the destruction caused by Sandy including a partial image of the Trainas’ home.”
“It does not reference them as customers or in any way imply they are satisfied with the status of their claim. We regret any concern this advertisement may have caused the Trainas and images of their home will not be included in Allstate’s advertising,” the company said.
Allstate said it has made almost $1.1 billion in claim payments and continues to work with local Allstate agencies and The Allstate Foundation’s support of non-profit organizations.
Allstate is a funny organization. They turn a blind eye to end of misconduct on the part of certain agents, but others receive the “full frontal” treatment for even the smallest infraction:
Allstate and its manager has elected to terminate [NAME REDACTED]’s R3001 contract and have chosen not to allow him to keep his office open for the remainder of his 90 days. It was reported to me that a manager and 4 men with security shirts descended on his office and turned everything off and took Allstate files along with personal information owned by [NAME REDACTED]. This was done at a very vulnerable time without [NAME REDACTED]‘s permission.
Once again just as we think Allstate cannot sink lower …………………….they seem to find a way to do it.
Small wonder people are calling for a boycott of Allstate.
Here’s a complaint about Allstate agent Linda Clifton of Sunnyvale, TX:
I had been a faithful customer of Allstate Insurance through the agent of Linda Clifton of Sunnyvale, Texas for about 10 years. About my 2nd year of consumer service with Allstate Insurance, I married and became a stepfather of 2 young boys. About a year later, my new wife and I bought a house.
I persuaded my wife to switch to Allstate Insurance along with insuring our new home along with both of our autos as Allstate claims for discounts insuring both. Allstate took my new wife’s personal information, credit history- mandatory for insuring our home, but never disclosed that with my wife’s better credit we could qualify for a better rate on auto. So a few years passed and my stepsons became drivers on my policy.
Nearly 3 years after the boys were driving, the truth came to surface that I was being charged about $10,000 a year for auto coverage for the 4 of us and finding out that other major Insurance companies will charge us less than half, (less than $5,000 a year for the same coverage) based on my wife’s credit. The truth of OVERCHARGING only had came to surface based on a separate dispute with Allstate Insurance. I was a long term loyal customer to Allstate Insurance never missing a payment.
As has been reported previously, Allstate agent, Michele Linca, is often seen socializing with Lauren Woodard.
Woodard, is still listed on the Mission Capital website as the controller.
Here is an arrest report on Woodard. As you can see, she was arrested for DUI in May of 2011. Maybe someone in Florida can get to the bottom of what happened, and report the results here as a comment?
In my day to day activities I have the opportunity to meet with agents from all companies. On Wednesday I met a former Allstate agent. This person started a scratch agency and survived for 5 yrs. The area managers encouraged this person to ‘invest more’ in your business. This was during the 2002-2007 period and real estate was increasing in value. So, believing their repulsive story…the agent refinanced twice. NOT ENOUGH PRODUCTION was the call…and eventually took TPP–but not before, the agent lost the house and car. Naive–you bet. Business person–questionable….a failure?…not in anyone’s eyes except Allstate’s. I spent time with the agent assuring that he/she was not a failure but rather was lured into a situation that was a ‘no–win’ situation. Now, more agents are buying into the 8/8 contract because “We can make up to 14% more”…..and perhaps they will. However, insurance cos are NOT static and there is the ‘insurance cycle’. Finally, as the company allows large agencies to buy smaller agencies–my question: “Who will ultimately purchase these large agencies?’” The company will do it, and it will be valued at a 8% commission level. When this happens, those ‘fat cat’ agents will scream — “That’s not fair!” Naive perhaps, business people–questionable–drinkers of ‘kool aid’–unfortunately.
Three independent sources one manager from the field and two sources were informed Friday of Tom Wilson’s strategic move to eliminate the bottom 30% of the agency force by year end. The sales field will have additional follow-up meetings within weeks to implement these procedures. They are terminating 30% of agents by year end.
Allstate is going to finance at 5% , 7% and 9% the terminated books of business. They will allow agents to merge the terminated books of business into their books. If they meet the goals of production from the terminated agents they will have loan forgiveness and interest forgiveness of the acquisition cost of the terminated agents. There will be such a glut of books of business on the market that Allstate feels this will be easier for the new agents to purchase as the prices will dramatically fall.
Their goal is to increase or show an increase of APA (Apps Per Agent) by terminating the agents in mass and merging them into larger agencies. This will at least initially not increase production for the company but will look like the APA has increased due to the mergers.
The goal is to convince Wall Street of the increase in Apps Per Agent even if we fall in Policies In Force or Agency count. This will be supplemented by Allstate financing the glut of agencies on the marker at a new all time low on agency values.
Again agents will be rewarded by loan and or interest forgiveness if they grow the terminated agents books of business.
It has also been reported to me that it is Tom Wilson’s intent to further reduce agency bonuses. This is an attempt to reduce net income to between 80k and 100k per year for large agencies. There will also be intimidation used (my opinion) to convince agencies to “invest” 8k plus each month to sustain agency growth.
My last day as an allstate agent is (better not say the exact date). Anyway, after 30 years they have decided that I am not quite what they want. Also, I was informed by a very reputable source that 4 other agents with as much or more time, and I mean some heavy hitters of years past just got their 180 day warning letters.
Bet you 5 bucks the next thing you see in Kentucky is a service center (Canadian Style) open up. Amazing, just amazing that a corporation is allowed to steal the livelyhoods of those that helped build this company. Don’t know why I am surprised, heck I sat there and watched them fire us 11 years ago.
Just sat there.
Still believing that the Lone Ranger would come riding in. Fairy tales are just that. Fairy tales. Shame on me for believing. I wish all those that I leave behind the luck of the world. You will surely need help stopping this Titanic from sinking. I am afraid the gash in the side of this ship is too great to fix. I wish you all good fortune and peace.
Disolusioned, but not really surprised. Also ashamed that I let this happen.