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Agent Dissatisfaction with Allstate Continues

Source: Chicago Tribune

Posted on 09 Feb 2012

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Nearly three-fourths of Allstate Corp. agents aren't very satisfied with their relationship with the Northbrook-based company, according to a study done by an agents' group.

The survey, which began in early January, was conducted by the National Association of Professional Allstate Agents Inc. The group said it found that 73 percent of agents responding to the survey were "not very" or "not at all" satisfied with their relationship with the company.

When asked if they'd be willing to refer a friend or relative to become an Allstate agent, 85 percent responded either "not likely" or "would recommend against it."

NAPAA said it sent e-mails to nearly 8,800 Allstate agency owners. It received more than 1,800 responses for its survey.

"Our survey was open to all Allstate agency owners," said Jim Fish, executive director of NAPAA, which is often critical of the company. He said that, of the 1,800 respondents, about 500 were NAPAA members.

Last month, in an internal company survey obtained by the Tribune, satisfaction among Allstate's exclusive insurance agents nationwide was 49 percent in 2011, down from 60 percent last year.

In the company's own survey, overall satisfaction was higher among exclusive financial specialists for Allstate, which sells home and auto insurance and such financial products as life insurance and retirement and savings products. Their satisfaction dipped by 4 percentage points to 61 percent.

Allstate has long had strained relations with its agents. These days, the company is trying to make a bigger push into selling insurance on the Internet and is overhauling its agency compensation structure.

Last month, Allstate, which says it has more than 10,000 agency owners, said its success hinges on the strength of its agent network.

"We continuously solicit agency owner feedback on the company's overall objectives, business strategies and operational approach and make adjustments where needed to execute successfully," a spokeswoman said Jan. 31. "We are making the appropriate investments to help support our agency owners and we will work closely with them to ensure the success of our strategy."

NAPAA said it believes that the number of Allstate agents has fallen to about 9,000 agents.