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South Mississippi Living 4/07

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Allstate Will Not Refuse to Renew New York Policies

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Allstate Corp. (ALL.N: Quote, Profile , Research), avoiding a showdown with New York Insurance Commissioner Eric Dinallo, on Wednesday agreed it would renew homeowners' insurance for customers who do not take other Allstate policies.

In August, Dinallo had issued a citation to Allstate, the largest publicly traded home insurer in the United States, for failing to comply with his directive ordering insurers to continue policies to homeowners regardless of whether they bought automobile and life insurance from the company.

Allstate was due for a hearing on Sept. 19, but has now agreed to comply, Dinallo said.

Allstate spokeswoman Krista Conte said her company believes it was obeyeing New York state law but "respects the Insurance Department's authority."

The insurance department had charged Allstate with discrimination, saying it dropped thousands of homeowners since January 2006 simply for not taking other insurance products.

The Northbrook, Illinois-based property insurer is trying to reduce its coverage in storm-exposed areas such as Long Island as a result of the $5 billion of losses it took in 2005 when hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma hit the U.S. coast.

In other insurance department news, Dinallo said he was forming an Elder Protection unit that would support seniors dealing with insurance such as Medicare Advantage, long term care insurance and community care residential centers.

Dinallo said he was seeing a "growing number of complaints," including unfair and deceptive sales practices.

(Reporting by Ed Leefeldt)

© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved.
Originally published here on September 12, 2007, by Reuters UK.

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