Allstate’s Safe Driving Bonus

November 22nd, 2017

With its safe driving bonus Allstate is tapping into a large swath of the population: those who consider themselves to be good drivers. But the bonus is not available in, ahem, all states, despite Allstate’s airing of nationally televised ads for the incentive.

TINA.org looked into the marketing of the safe driving bonus, which sends out a check every six months you’re accident-free, after an Allstate customer in California said he was denied a check not because he got into an accident but because he lives in California. He said this was the case even though it was an ad for the safe driving bonus that aired in the country’s most populous state that led him to inquire about the check in the first place.

Indeed, in a nationally televised ad for the safe driving bonus (below), the only indication that there are any strings attached is a visual disclaimer 17 seconds into the commercial that states, in part, “Not Available in Every State.” It appears on screen for all of six seconds and is the same disclaimer that Allstate uses on its website where it also does not specify the states in which the incentive is not offered.

Allstate has yet to get back to TINA.org with answers on why it would advertise the safe driving bonus in states in which the program is not available, which states are ineligible and for what reasons, and why those states aren’t named in the company’s marketing.

But an Allstate spokesperson told CBS Sacramento in 2015 that advertising in California is “unavoidable” based on how it buys ad time through networks, cable and satellite companies, and that the three other disqualified states are North Carolina, North Dakota and South Dakota. And while the Allstate spokesperson dodged a follow-up question asking why these states are ineligible, a spokesperson for the California Department of Insurance told the CBS affiliate that, at least in California, it’s the result of insurance laws in the state prohibiting rebates based on the view that they unfairly discriminate.

Like the ad alert you’re reading now, the CBS Sacramento report was sparked by a complaint from a Californian frustrated by Allstate’s marketing of a car insurance program in a state in which the incentive is not offered.

“I don’t want to see it,” the Californian said of the ad.

Two years later: Different ad, same lousy disclaimer.

Find more of our coverage on car insurance here.

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