|Allstate Insurance Company|
Allstate's Deceptive Ads
Research now shows that, contrary to old stereotypes, teenaged drivers are more responsible than their older counterparts. They're not only safer drivers because of their quick reaction times, they are also less likely than older drivers to engage in irresponsible conduct such as speeding or talking on cell phones or texting while driving.
Allstate Insurance Company is struggling against reality to keep alive the stereotype of the reckless young driver. They are spending big money running ads portraying teenagers as irresponsible, reckless, and stupid. One print ad bears the insulting headline "Why do most 16-year-olds drive like they're missing a part of their brain? BECAUSE THEY ARE." [emphasis theirs.] A series of TV ads shows an Allstate spokesman portraying various disasters that could damage your car; in one, he drives a pink SUV, tells the viewer, "I'm a typical teenaged girl," then answers his cell phone and crashes into a car. (Again: the ad would have been more realistic if the middle-aged man had said, "I'm a typical middle-aged man.")
Why is this myth so important that Allstate spends millions to keep it going? Because it allows Allstate to make millions more through price-discrimination. By perpetuating the myth that young drivers are bigger risk-takers than drivers of other ages, Allstate (and other insurers) are able to get away with charging teenagers an arm and a leg for the same coverage they sell to older drivers at a fair price.
All auto insurance companies profit from the ageist myths about young drivers, but Allstate is actively promoting these myths in hopes of making even deeper profits.
Lobbying for GDL's
Not only do they spread lies, they are lobbying for graduated driver licenses (GDL's) in all 50 states. These GDL's are not only insulting, they are dangerous. In the states where they are now used, GDL's have caused an increase in highway fatalities.
Why does an insurance company support legal policies that will force them to pay out more money in accident claims? For two reasons.
First, more accident claims can be used to justify even higher premiums.
Secondly, these GDL's help promote the ageist myths about teenaged drivers. Once a law is passed, citizens don't want to believe the law exists merely because lobbyists wanted it. They assume the law must be justified by something. As citizens wonder, "Why do we have more restricted licenses for teenagers?" they will, in most cases, assume it must be because teenagers can't drive as safely — the very message Allstate is pushing in their ads!
As people increasingly cling to this myth to make sense of the laws around them, regardless of actual facts known to researchers, people will increasingly accept insurance companies price-gouging the young.
Making Things Right
We need to stop this. Not only should Allstate pull their deceptive ads, they should run new ads apologizing and correcting the myth they've promoted. They spent money pushing lies, let them now spend money publicizing the truth.
The Pro-Youth Pages is asking everyone who cares about fairness to take three steps.
First: Boycott Allstate until they make amends. Currently when you do business with Allstate, they charge you not only for their costs insuring you, they also charge you for the cost of running these hateful ads. Do not fund their ageism.
Second: Contact Allstate and ask them to run new ads apologizing to our youth and admitting the truth. Allstate's contact info:
2775 Sanders Road
Northbrook, IL 60062
or email them at: https://messaging
If you call them at the toll-free number, you'll have to spend a few minutes chatting with a cheap-labor phone-monkey at an overseas call center who may try to sell you insurance before transferring you to a corporate spokesperson who can finally discuss these insulting ads. Don't worry. Time is money. Their money. The longer they spend on the phone with you, the less time they have to sell insurance to suckers. Feel free to engage the person in a lengthy discussion about honesty in advertising, about ageism in general, or about anything else you feel appropriate. Educate them and maybe they'll change the company from within.
Be polite, but be clear: you will not do business with them until they apologize to youth and admit the truth.
If the corporate rep who finally talks to you says they won't change their ads, feel free to call again on a regular basis to see if they've changed their minds yet.
Third: Ask your friends to do the same.
If we keep the pressure on, eventually Allstate will do the right thing.