Allstate Testing ‘Your Choice’ Auto Policy Option in Tennessee Market

April 29, 2005

The goal of a new auto insurance plan introduced by Allstate Corp. in Tennessee attempts to drive the market away from a price obsession and refocus attention on products and features. Called the Your Choice options, it promises Tennessee policyholders it will pay for an accident without a rate increase.

“We are giving something to motorists of all demographics something the insurance market has never offered, so our focus is to shift the discussion away from cost,” Michael Brewer, Allstate’s senior communications consultant in Nashville said. “The advertising message has always been about price, but insurance is not a commodity. We want people to realize that.”

Allstate is introducing the plan first in Tennessee, Utah and Oregon. The product will be refined based on those results.

Tennessee was chosen as a debut market, Brewer said, because it has a mix of urban, suburban and small towns that provide the best cross-section for evaluating new products.

The rates drivers pay will still be based on underwriting standards. Among the features Allstate is now offering are:

• Accident forgiveness, either once, or one time every three years. Typically, drivers only get preferred rates if they’ve had no claims in three years.

• Deductible rewards, which shave $100 off the deductible for each year of accident-free driving.

• Auto replacement for cars that are totaled, rather than just paying the book value.

• Safe driving bonuses at each six-month renewal.

The product was crafted based upon consumer surveys asking what aspects of insurance they find most irritating, and how they would like it changed.

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