analyst with MER was on CNNFn discussing
hurricane affects and ALL, current damage estimates are
1-5B, may affect 3Q
just released bulletin stating Floyd would cost
the entire insurance industry less than $500 million.
With a 12% market share, Allstate's loss will be less
than $60 million. All will make that up on the
handling of flood claims for the Nat'l Flood Insurance
Program. Reason stock was up yesterday and today. Should
move up nicely from here unless market continues to
It's the first big day in months......let's hope
the beginning of a rebound. Keep up the positive
comments. I thought we were ALL in this for the same
reasons but I see by the attacks you receive that they're
a few people (?) that would rather see the company
do poorly than succeed. BTW. Not much by any
standard but I've picked up about 200 shares since the
first of Sept. Again, don't let your detractors sway
you. Most of us get a pump out of your POSITIVE
I think the two prior posters each made some
valid observations. As an e-employee (non sales) from
California who worked on the highest levels of Regional
management, I have come with hindsight to see some of the
issues with more detachment.
wholeheartedly that much of the discontent does come from the
agent side of the employee force. California agencies
rank high in the discontented lot, but they are not
alone around the country. It is true that that at the
highest levels of the company they have taken a hard line
with the agency force. The agents would call this hard
line policy aggrogant while the non agent employees
would call it necessary tough medicine. The hard line
agents are not supported by the vast majority of non
sales employees. As a matter of fact the agents are
more often cited as arrogant with home office
management in second place.
The agent view of the
world and Allstate is very self centered. Many do not
turnover simply because they have it too good from premium
renewal income. Their real concern is that they don't
want their plum renewal income to take a second seat
to new business. New business means the loud old
timers have to work a full work week, the renewal
business means they can contune with their part time jobs
and full time income. It is really a matter of deep
seated anger at being forced kicking and screaming into
the new world of competitive growth. Allstae no
longer has daddy Sears as our only shareholder. We now
have mutual funds, pension funds and individual
shareholders as our owners. They would like to see a decent
return on their investment. All they ask is our agent
force to be competitive and grown our premium base.
They do not reward part time work and collecting
renewal premium income.
Those days are history and
the sad fact is the die-hard agents of yesteryear are
being dragged kicking screaming and suing into the 21st
century. It's called a competitive marketplace. The rest
of the 35,000 non sales employees made the leap of
faith and the agency force now is the arrogant minority
but the most vocal adherents of
Just a few thoughts,
There is certainly a thread of truth woven
through your long post. I agree, for example that agents
are self centered, they don't get folded into a
corporate culture as do RO employees. We all are faced with
the reality of an evolving market and will have to
bend. Some agents will be left behind.
disagee with the part of your post where you say that you
are a detached observer. I think perhaps you are
resentful of the income earned by successful agents. If you
think the agent job is high paying and requires only
part time effort, why have you never become an agent
and enjoyed the good life yourself? Could it be that
dealing with customers on the front line is hard work and
maintaining a large book is very laborious?
turnover was misstated in a recent quote by Lawson at 2%.
The correct quote should have been that tenured
agents have a low turnover rate. New hires are failing
at the rate of 43%.
Renewal income is indeed the
main source of agent income, but it is not a freeride.
Agents do not leave once they have succeeded in building
a book, that proves nothing, except how an
insurance sales career works.
Agents make an easy
target to blame for low growth, when in fact ALL is
persuing a policy of keeping prices high and waiting for
the cycle to change. Consumers are very rational,
they won't pay a 20% surcharge over the price of a
State Farm Policy. When our prices are roughly egual to
State Farm we will kick their butts.(ok we're arrogant
The experience of agents in California is the
poison in the well that is effecting employees
nationwide. Those agents who
were fired in 1996 are mad,
not at the fact that it happened but at the way it
came about and how it was handled. I doubt seriously
that the case will ever go to trial. ALL would never
want its behavior in Calif to be in the public record.
Here is a question for you to ponder excal. There are
roughly 58000 employees. About half of them are agents or
adjusters. Why does it take one person in the back-office
for each worker on the front lines?
If they have never been a captive agent there is
NO WAY they will ever understand it. You have non
entreprenurial types trying to "manage" entreprenurial types.
The best mgmt possibly could do would be give the
sales force the tools and get out of the way and let
the agent mind their own business. Good posts but
very few will see the logic.
Redmond, Washington, Sept. 17 (Bloomberg) --
Microsoft Corp. is expected to reaffirm its commitment to
its CarPoint Web site next week, analysts said,
quelling speculation that it would sell the online
Microsoft President Steve Ballmer
will talk about the ``strategic direction'' of
CarPoint in San Francisco on Monday, a spokesman said.
Microsoft declined to comment further. It may announce a
new alliance with a company such as a vehicle lessor
or insurer, said William Epifanio, an analyst at
J.P. Morgan Securities.
Microsoft wants to
reinforce its support for CarPoint following Ballmer's
comment early this month that ``helping people buy cars''
isn't a ``fundamental mission of Microsoft.'' Still,
CarPoint is valuable in drawing consumers to Microsoft's
network of Web sites, known as MSN, which competes
against America Online Inc. and Yahoo! Inc., analysts
said. ``It's clearly important to Microsoft to keep
their hands on good, high-quality Internet
properties,'' said Epifanio, who has a ``buy'' rating on
Microsoft. ``CarPoint is by far one of the better
CarPoint lets consumers buy new and used vehicles online
and arrange financing, and alerts users when
maintenance work is needed. Partners include automakers
General Motors Corp. and Isuzu Motors Ltd. and insurers
ALLSTATE Corp. and Ohio Casualty Corp.
ranked as the most visited online car-buying site for
the first three months of 1999, topping Autoweb.com,
Cars.com and Autobytel.com, according to Media Metrix.