Allstate Choice Auto Insurance
Insurance protection is a contradiction of terms. Buying insurance coverage means spending your heard-earned money for something that you hope you will never have to use. We could all think of 1,001 other things we would prefer to spend our money on. However, not only is purchasing adequate levels of auto insurance the law, it is wise and just plain good common sense to do so.
Allstate Insurance has introduced a new product called "Your Choice Auto", which so far has been introduced on a limited basis. This product is designed to offer you, the consumer, with more choices when purchasing auto insurance. One of the most attractive features is that it rewards good driving behavior by eliminating paying a deductible if you have not been in an accident for four years.
Allstate President, Thomas J. Wilson, described this feature as revolutionary in the auto insurance industry. He made an analogy with Your Choice Auto to the Ford Model "T" by quoting, "It's like going from the Model "T" where everybody got a black Model "T" off the line to getting a choice of colors. Your Choice Auto has the potential to reinvent auto insurance."
Insurance analysts have grown excited over Your Choice Auto's affect on the insurance industry. They believe that Allstate, the country's second largest auto insurer, may have found the right feature to attract a specific type of driver for life, the type of safe driver who never seems to get into accidents.
Your Choice Auto was initially launched in December 2005 in Oregon, which was followed by Utah, Tennessee, and now Illinois. Allstate now offers four different policies: Value, Standard, Gold, and Platinum.
A Standard policy is the regular Allstate auto insurance that features rewarding drivers with rate reductions for a safe driving history, or requiring them to pay higher rates if they are teenage drivers.
The Value policy offers a five percent discount from the Standard policy because your payments are taken directly out of your bank account, which saves Allstate administrative and billing costs.
The Gold policy costs seven percent more than the Standard policy but offers a number of features:
- Safe Driving Deductible Award - For every year of accident-free driving, a driver is eligible to receive a $100 collision deductible discount. Therefore, if you start with a $500 deductible, with the Gold policy you receive a $100 discount off your deductible. So after four years of accident-free driving, you can end up with a zero deductible.
- Loan/Lease-gap Coverage - if you bought a car for $30,000, after one year it may be worth $25,000 due to appreciation. However, you may still owe $27,000 on your loan or lease but would only be compensated for the Blue Book value, $25,000 under most insurance policies if your car was totaled. Under this policy you would be reimbursed for what you still owed, $27,000 instead of the Blue Book value, $25,000.
- You would also not incur the normal insurance surcharge that would be charged to the insured driver after an accident. Therefore, your first accident would be "free" from a surcharge point of view.
The Platinum policy offers a safe driver's bonus in which for every six-month policy period that a driver is accident-free, he or she will receive a 5 percent credit on his or her next six-month policy premium. Therefore, a $500 premium would be reduced by $25 for the next six-month period. In this policy, no insurance surcharges would be added to an annual premium regardless of how many accidents the driver was involved in. However, if a driver proves to be too accident-prone, as in the case of any insurer, that driver will be eventually dropped from Allstate.
So far, Allstate's Your Choice Auto has experienced very favorable reviews from its drivers. So much so that the country's number one insurer, State Farm, offers discounts off premiums for accident-free driving: a 15 percent discount for three years, a 20 percent discount at six years, and a 25 premium discount at 10 years.
Again, it pays to shop around so you are encouraged to compare insurance policies and coverage limits through www.autoinsurancegroup.com. Then you can address specific questions to an Allstate insurance agent if you are considering purchasing a Your Choice Auto policy.