Allstate Auto Insurance Review: Great Local Agents But High Premiums
Rating as of based on a review of services October 5, 2022.
Allstate works best for drivers looking for a huge array of discounts and a local agent to help you secure them. You’ll likely have to pay higher premiums to secure these benefits, but this may be well worth it for the right customers.
- New car buyers
- Bundle shopping
- Customer service
If nothing else, Allstate has some great commercials. They’ve got the guy who everyone thought was Morgan Freeman, and their “mayhem” commercials make you laugh while still demonstrating the very real reasons you need good car insurance.
Luckily, good commercials aren’t all Allstate has. There’s a reason Allstate is one of the go-to auto insurance companies. They’re like the Target of insurance providers — you’ll pay a little extra for good service, good selection, and high quality.
Let’s take a closer look at one of the biggest names in car insurance.
What Is Allstate?
Founded in 1931, Allstate is a massive American insurance company currently ranked no. 66 on the Fortune 500 list.
The company got its name from Sears, who began selling the Allstate automotive product line in 1925, which included tires, batteries, and a novel commodity called auto insurance. By the 1950s, Sears even began selling the Allstate car.
Because consumers didn’t trust a car sold at a department store (and it was a clunker anyhow), the Allstate subbrand refocused its efforts on its most profitable product: insurance.
Today, the insurance giant is best known for its robust auto insurance policies but also sells home, renters, life, and more.
Allstate at a Glance:
- Allstate offers discounts like multi-policy, new car, and smart student discounts to qualified drivers.
- Local agents make Allstate what it is, with hundreds across the U.S. Even rural communities have agents in their area.
- The biggest qualm users have with Allstate is their high premiums, which tend to be above average.
Pros & Cons
- Robust website — Allstate is thorough, user-friendly, and even educational, helping you to understand how different coverage types and limits affect your premiums.
- Agents available — If you would like the support of a live agent to help you choose coverage and navigate claims, Allstate has over 10,000 agents nationwide.
- Competitive discounts — Though premiums start high, steep discounts for new cars and good driving behavior could drop them to more competitive levels.
- Good customer service — Allstate scores above-average customer satisfaction and A.M. Best ratings.
- Above-average premiums — Allstate offers a wide selection of products and good service, but higher-than-average premiums.
- Phone number required during quote process — Allstate makes it abundantly clear that they intend to share your information with local agents, even before you make a purchase. This means you’ll likely be inundated with phone calls trying to sell you products.
How Does Insuring with Allstate Work?
As someone who gets a lot of insurance quotes online, I got a solid first impression from Allstate’s online quote process. Mercifully, it makes bundling so much easier than its competitors; once you pick a type of insurance from the homepage, it asks “what else?” and offers big, clear buttons for additional policy options to create a bundle.
This was great for me when I bought my home and decided to bundle.
After providing Allstate with my phone number, I proceeded through an exceptionally smooth and well-designed quote process.
You’ll go through the basics, answering questions about yourself and your vehicle. You’ll also need to know how much you drive annually (an estimate is fine) and whether you own or finance your vehicle.
Many other insurance carriers could learn a lot from Allstate. Both the discounts and premiums pages display complex information in a simple, digestible format.
Best of all, the premiums page clearly outlines how your rates were calculated, empowering you to change up coverage types and limits to see how it affects your premium. This is a highly educational tool that every insurance shopper should tinker with.
Allstate.com is a great place to begin your quote collection process since its coverage page lets you play around to see how different levels of coverage generally impact your rates. For example, a slight decrease in your Bodily Injury Liability Limits may save you hundreds per year.
Read more: What Type of Car Insurance Do You Need?
How Much Does Allstate Auto Insurance Cost?
I’m an Allstate customer and I pay about $55 a month for car insurance. A few years ago I was paying a much higher rate, simply because I was a single 24-year-old guy. These are three of the worst things to be when you’re shopping for car insurance.
Read more: At What Age Do Car Insurance Rates Go Down?
Now, I’m 29, married, and I recently bought a house and bundled home and auto insurance with Allstate. Since then, my price has dropped significantly.
Even when my insurance was higher, it definitely wasn’t as high as some of my friends’ car insurance premiums. Thankfully, I haven’t been involved in any accidents or gotten any tickets, and I maintained a good student discount while I was in high school and college (I’ve been with Allstate since I was 16).
All that being said, this is my personal rate. A number of factors could change your rate for better or for worse.
What Makes Allstate Auto Insurance Different?
I’ll admit, when I first signed up for insurance with Allstate, I wasn’t a fan of having to call an actual agent (or go in to see one down the street). But that’s due to the fact that I’m just another Millennial with an aversion to speaking on the phone.
When I actually got on the phone with an agent, we talked about the insurance I wanted, the discounts I qualify for, auto-pay, and how my mom was doing (she’s been an Allstate customer for years), all in under 15 minutes.
He also left me with helpful advice — to call back the day I turn 25 so I could get a lower rate.
There’s definitely a benefit to a hands-on approach. Many people like the fact that an actual person is dealing with all their insurance information. It makes it easier to call up and make your case in the event of a missed payment or any other financial issue.
While every insurance company offers discounts, Allstate wants to make sure you actually get one.
The discounts Allstate offers seem endless. But that’s not the only nice part. I’ve found that agents tell you about them of their own free will. This is unlike some insurance agents who wait until you bring it up and then reluctantly give you the discount.
You’ll find discounts like:
Multiple Policy Discount
Allstate prides themselves on their bundles. Throughout the quote process, you’ll be told multiple times that you can secure a discount by bundling renters, homeowners, motorcycle, or other insurance.
New Car Discount
If your car is a year old or less, you could qualify for a new car discount. New cars often come with features that keep them safer, and they haven’t been on the road for that long, so the chances of your insurance company having to pay out a claim goes down. That equals a discount for you.
Smart Student Discount
If you’re an unmarried college student, you could qualify for a discount if you have a B- average or a GPA of 2.7 or higher. You may also qualify if you’ve completed the teenSMART driver education program or if your college is at least 100 miles away from where your car is.
Safety Feature Discounts
Safety features make your car… well, safer. This can mean fewer accidents, which means fewer claims. If you’re a part of Allstate’s safe driving club, you could earn yourself a discount.
Drivewise® is a safe driving tool within the Allstate mobile app. The system gives you personalized feedback as to how safely you’re diving from week to week. Then, you can earn a policy discount every six months you go without an accident or moving violation (exact amounts of the discount vary by state).
Allstate’s eSmart® discount rewards those who go paperless with their bills.
When you pay your policy in full, whether that be a six-month or a year-long policy, you could qualify for a substantial discount.
If you go 12 months without submitting a claim, Allstate will reduce your deductible by $100, for up to $500. The rewards reset to $100 off once you submit a claim. And because the initial $100 for Deductible Rewards comes at sign-up, you can reach that $500 plateau in four years, not five.
It’s comforting to know that if you make it four years without a claim and then have an accident, you won’t pay a dime out of pocket.
New Car Replacement
Though not exclusive to Allstate, NCR is worth mentioning. If you have this type of coverage and total a car under two years old, Allstate won’t just cut you a check for the depreciated amount — they’ll totally replace the car. This is a must for rapidly depreciating cars, like luxury or sports cars.
Though the focus of this review has been on Allstate’s auto insurance, this perk of their home/renters insurance is worth mentioning.
If you’re nervous about Airbnb-ing your room or your entire place, HostAdvantage insurance covers your property for up to $10,000 per host period. You’ll get coverage for both damage to your property and/or theft.
A Wide Selection of Insurance Products
Allstate offers a huge selection of insurance types including auto, home, renters, motorcycle, off-road, term life, and many more. And while other large insurance companies can compete on selection, Allstate offers some industry-leading bundle discounts.
Read more: How Much Insurance Should You Have?
To make themselves stand out, Allstate has created a rewards program, Allstate Rewards®, which gives you points you can redeem for savings, gift cards, sweepstakes, and more.
You can earn points in a number of different ways. For example, signing up for Drivewise® or Milewise® (Allstate’s pay-per-mile program) earns you 10,000 points. You can also earn rewards by:
- Visiting AllstateRewards.com and activating your account = 5,000 points
- Making 10 safe trips with no high speeds or sudden braking = 200 points
- Driving three consecutive days with no sudden braking = 200 points
- Driving three consecutive days with no high speeds = 200 points
This is just a handful of ways you can earn rewards. As for redeeming your points, the ways you can do so are seemingly just as endless. You can use rewards for:
- Travel, including booking car rentals and hotels
- Magazine subscriptions
- Bidding at online auctions
- Discounts (up to 40%) at popular retailers
- Daily deals offered by Allstate
My Experience as an Allstate Customer
I’ve been an Allstate customer for 13 years now, and I’ve never run into a problem. Anytime I’ve needed to call my local office, I was greeted with friendly staff that always had the answers to my questions.
I liked my local agent so much that I decided to stick with them even though I moved an hour north.
Getting a quote process is much easier now than it used to be (back when all you could do was call and ask what your rate would be), but Allstate’s discounts have always been amazing. Looking at my policy, there are at least 10 discounts I qualify for, and every time I call my agent, they seem to come up with more.
Overall, I would highly recommend Allstate. Yes, you do have to pay a little more (but not much, if you qualify for a bunch of discounts like me), but the cost is worth the service you get.
Who Is Allstate Best For?
New Car Buyers
When combined, Allstate’s New Car Replacement and New Car Discount are a heavy incentive package for a new car buyer, both protecting your purchase and slashing your rates.
If you tend to visit the dealership when looking for a car, Allstate may be well worth it, since you’ll get ultimate protection.
Allstate’s home and auto bundle discounts are some of the best in the industry (I know from experience). Plus, they tend to score average- to above-average for customer service in both categories, so your ride and your home will be “in good hands.”
Safe drivers get better premiums through most insurance companies, but Allstate really prioritizes those with squeaky clean driving records. With many discounts and a whole Drivewise® program dedicated to giving better rates to drivers with no violations, it’s worth giving Allstate a call if you’ve maintained a good driving record thus far.
Who Is Allstate Not Ideal For?
Though insurance premiums vary wildly by region, vehicle, driver history, etc., it’s unlikely that Allstate will offer you the absolute lowest premium in a list of, say, 10 quotes from competitors.
That being said, their low-overhead, online-only subbrand Esurance is more likely to offer competitive rates.
Buyers Who Aren’t Interested in a Relationship (with Their Provider)
Allstate’s website reminds me of the classic Mad TV sketch Can I Have Your Number. They want those digits so they can connect you to a live agent ASAP.
But some buyers just want to purchase insurance like they purchase any other commodity online: in a few clicks, without the interference of a live representative. Others just don’t want to share their phone number with a major corporation.
But take it from me — someone who doesn’t like to stay on the phone for more than 10 minutes — Allstate agents make the process quick and easy.
Allstate vs. the Competition
Allstate falls into the unique position of offering higher premiums than its competition but more discounts.
That’s why I can wholeheartedly recommend that you spend time carefully tinkering with Allstate’s online quote process to ensure you capture every discount available to you.
But, for comparison, here are a couple of alternatives to Allstate you may want to consider.
- Advantage compared to Allstate: Lower premiums for drivers with spotty records
- Disadvantage compared to Allstate: Fewer discounts
When Allstate is stacked against Liberty Mutual, things become more muddled.
Both companies score above average customer service ratings and offer above-average premiums reduced by a generous list of discounts. Liberty Mutual also offers lower rates to drivers with spotty records.
However, Allstate’s slight advantage is having a superior website and an easier online quote process.
- Advantage compared to Allstate: Superior online experience
- Disadvantage compared to Allstate: Equal or higher rates, typically
Progressive is like Allstate in many ways. They claim steep discounts and great rates. But, where Progressive and Allstate differ is that Progressive is less about in-person agents and more about an easy online experience.
So it’s up to you to decide which type of insurance company you prefer.
One standout tool that Progressive offers is the Name Your Price tool, which tries to fit an insurance policy to your financial situation. This can be great for someone who needs low-cost insurance.
The Bottom Line
I’m driving home my Target analogy because I can’t think of a better parallel to Allstate. You know that Walmart is cheaper, but sometimes you just want to go somewhere quiet, clean, and with better service, and you don’t mind paying a few extra bucks for it.
Allstate is Target. You pay a little extra for a good selection, good service, and high-quality products. If that resonates with you, grab a quote from Allstate.