Allstate: Insurance Claims and Settlements
Allstate is one of the largest insurance companies in the world, receiving six million automobile, property and bodily injury claims a year, totaling approximately $15 billion in payments to customers and claimants. It has a great deal of market share in Maryland in automobile insurance and other third party personal injury claims insurance.
Allstate’s handling of personal injury accident claims in Maryland has led to the conclusion by some victims and lawyers that it is the “worst” insurance company to deal with in handling accident claims.
Allstate’s reputation is based on a number of factors. First, it is a pretty awful company to deal with on injury claims. Actions have consequences and word has spread that Allstate does not play fair.
Then there is the infamous advice from McKinsey & Co to overhaul its claims practices, symbolized by the use of "boxing gloves" to characterize how it should treat third party claims victims and even their own policyholders who balk at settlement offers it made. That was just the visual image everyone needed.
Another piece of advice McKinsey gave, which really resonated with claimants after the advice was implemented, is stalling claims where the victim did not rollover on settlement. Sure, this advice was given 15 years ago. But, certainly, some core of the message is still being used today by some of their adjusters.
Another complaint against this company is its use of Colossus, a computer system that takes human beings out of the equation and calculates injury settlements based on factors such as the severity of the injury, the age of the victim, and the victim’s accident lawyers’ record of filing suit and taking cases to trial (this is no minor point). Reliance on Colossus took out of the equation both the subjective qualities of the claimant (judges and juries give more to victims that appear to be quality people), and the fact that not everyone responds the same to the same accident or the same injuries.
Still, in spite of its reputation as the anti-good hands company if you are making a claim, we actually don't see them as the worst car insurance company to deal with in Maryland. In fact, Allstate's settlement offers are typically better, in our experience, than what you would receive in the exact same case from Progressive Insurance, GEICO, or State Farm. [Learn more about these insurance companies here.] And while our lawyers certainly do have to bring Allstate accident cases to trial, many cases are able to settle either before or after a lawsuit has been filed.
For cases that are in suit, Allstate's lawyers in Maryland are house counsel that often do not share their adjusters' view of the case. If you file a lawsuit against them in a case where there is little likelihood the claim will exceed the value of the insurance policy, defense counsel are most likely to be in-house lawyers employed the the insurance company. If there is a risk of an excess verdict, i.e., a jury award that exceeds the amount of the insurance policy, those cases will get referred to outside attorneys not employed by the company directly. These law firms include:
- McManus, of Sasscer, Clagett & Bucher in Upper Marlboro
- McCarthy Wilson in Rockville (and now Baltimore)
- Cohen & Green (Annapolis)
- Anderson Coe & King (Baltimore)
- DeCaro, Doran, Siciliano & DeBlasis (Bowie)
- Rollins, Smalkin, Richards & Mackie (Baltimore)
There two house counsel offices in Maryland, one at 400 East Pratt Street in Baltimore and another at 6411 Ivy Lane in Greenbelt.)
Serving the Lawsuit
If you are serving Allstate directly, you can serve the Maryland Insurance Commissioner in lieu of serving the company directly. If you are suing a driver that was insured by Allstate, then you must serve that driver. The insurance company in those situation provides a lawyer and will pay out any judgment or settlement - potentially limited by the size of the policy - but the negligent driver is the legal defendant.
Getting a Experienced Maryland Trial Lawyer to Fight for You
If you have been injured in an automobile accident in Maryland, you need a lawyer to either handle your case or, in smaller cases, at least point you in the right direction.
You can call Miller & Zois at 800-553-8082. Free claim evaluations are also available online to answer any questions you may have.
More Information Dealing with Allstate
- Dealing with Encompass Insurance
- Who is licensed to use Colossus
- Look at sample interrogatories from Allstate
- Sample PIP Application from Allstate (example PIP application)
- Deposition of an Allstate Adjuster (in a Maryland car accident case)
Information on Your Claim Against Allstate
- Get Information on the Real Value of YOUR Claim
- When Should I Settle My Case? (critical moments for settlement)
- Handling Personal Injury Claims Without a Lawyer (tips for injury victims)
- Handling Your Own Property Damage Claim (tips for car accident property damage claims)
- Sample Demand Letter (letter to insurance company for settlement)
- CONTACT US AT 800-553-8082 TO DISCUSS HOW WE CAN HELP YOU WITH YOUR ACCIDENT CLAIM