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Allstate Blocked from Selling All New Policies

January 17th, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

The state upped the ante against Allstate insurance today, banning not just the sale of new auto policies..but all lines of insurance. The order comes 24 hours after the state announced the action. Phones have been ringing off the hook at agents offices, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, an Allstate spokesperson says the situation is difficult.

Allstate agents were still selling insurance when the day began. But those sales ended just after lunch when the state filed its order blocking Allstate from selling not just new car insurance policies…but any new insurance at all, until the company turns over records requested by the state. A spokesman said the insurance commissioner decided to it didn’t make sense to ban just auto insurance sales.

“So he wants to send as strong a message as possible to indicate that he is committed to the consumers here in Florida,” Ed Domansky with the Office of Insurance Regulation said. “And to show Allstate that he means business and expects them to produce the documents.”

This Tallahassee Allstate office acknowledged that a lot of concerned customers were calling, looking for answers. John Cheney Jr. is wondering how long he may be out of business.

“I have five people employed here and if we do get shut down completely, obviously it would be hard to make a living selling insurance,” Cheney said.

Governor Charlie Crist called the suspension bold.

“The question that keeps going over in my mind is what do the have to hide? And so why are they not turning over these records?” Crist said.

Earlier in the day, an Allstate spokesman continued to say the action surprised the company.

Again, we look at this as an opportunity to tell our story about the kind of company we are here in Florida, the responsible business practices we adhere to,” Allstate spokesman Adam Shores said.

The office of Insurance Regulation said if the company was thought it could ignore state subpoenas…it was wrong.

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