Allstate tries to fix public relations blunder
The insurer shows ads featuring the home of policyholders hit by Superstorm Sandy. But those customers are irate over how their claim was handled.
Sheila and Dominic Traina were offered $100,000 by Allstate to pay for damage their Staten Island, N.Y., home sustained from the October storm, according to the New York Post. That's a fraction of what the home is worth.
According to Trulia.com, the average price for homes in Staten Island sold between September and November 2012 ranged from $238,730 and $825,020. Seeing their home in the Allstate ad upset the Trainas, the Post says. "I got disgusted,” Dominic Traina is quoted by the Post as saying. Allstate, which called its ad "1,000 Thank Yous," is trying to make amends to the couple.
"The advertisement in question showed general images of the destruction caused by Sandy including a partial image of the Trainas' home," writes Linda Strykowski, a company spokeswoman, in an email. "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."
A phone number listed for the Trainas was out of service. Sadly, the problem that the Trainas is experiencing is a common one. Policyholders and insurance companies are often at odds over what is wind damage and what is flood damage. Traditional homeowner insurance covers damage caused by wind but not flooding. People who are vulnerable to flooding are required to buy separate flood insurance, coverage which the Trainas decided to drop before Sandy struck, according to the Chicago Tribune.
President Obama recently signed a bill to pay for $9.7 billion in flood insurance claims related to Sandy. Insurance losses related to the storm are expected to top $20 billion. In a separate matter, flood insurance rates may rise as much as 20% in a given year, twice as high as was previously allowed, because last year's passage of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.
--Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
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If they didn't have flood insurance, and their house got, not only blown down, but flooded, what do you expect from the insurance company??
Maybe they should have considered that living around water, flood insurance might have been a good thing to keep...
Allstate is a company of theives
I dumped them because EVERY policy I had with them was TWICE the cost of their competition.
Advice to all...get 3 or 4 quotes EVERY year and switch.
Allstate the company most sued by their insured's and the state of California after every
major fire. If you think you are in good hands you are wrong.
Insurance is nothing more than legalized gambling that bets your premiums against a loss.
The deck is automatically stacked against you in the form of micro print on your policy and the house always wins those bets. They have rich investors to answer to after all.
In the case of a wide spread catastrophe like Sandy and Katrina, the insurance companies always recoup their losses by jacking up the rates on every policy they write. So, they get rich while you get screwed.
You can protect yourself by not living anywhere near a flood plain.
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Reports say the generous benefactor behind the huge gratuities is a former PayPal executive.
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