Allstate, Encompass Join Forces For Independent Agents

(source: Allstate press release)

To better serve independent insurance agencies, The Allstate Corporation has announced that it is integrating its three independent agency brands under its Encompass independent agency organization, forming one combined sales organization dedicated solely to independent agencies.

Encompass will now manage marketing and sales for all three of Allstate's current independent agency brands - Encompass, Deerbrook and Allstate. The move will allow Allstate to offer a broader array of products and services through independent agents and make it easier for independent agencies to do business with the company. The changes are effective January 1, 2005.

"We are going to become the brands of choice for independent agents," said Doug Wendt, president of Encompass Insurance, who will lead the new organization. "We want to provide the best service and products for the unique needs of independent agencies and customers."

Encompass currently focuses on high-end consumer insurance products, including a package policy that provides coverage for home, auto and personal liability under one plan. Now, Wendt says, the integration is making possible development of new products for Encompass agencies to serve middle-market consumers and for Allstate independent agents to have access to Encompass products and services.

Future product offerings, the company says, could also include financial services, workplace, specialty lines or commercial lines products for independent agencies.

The integration should be transparent to current Encompass, Deerbrook and Allstate policyholders. Wendt says the changes are primarily internal, part of a strategy to make the organization more focused on local marketing efforts, expanding product portfolios, price competitiveness and being easy to do business within the independent agency channel.

"This presents a great opportunity for all independent agents," said Cappy Stults, an independent insurance agent in Hightown, New Jersey and chairperson of Encompass' national agency advisory board. "Allstate's new independent agency organization shows their commitment to being a major force in the IA marketplace."

The new organization will now service more than 12,000 independent agencies across the country and Wendt says they are continuing to look for opportunities to grow their presence in the independent agency market.

"Positioning our independent channel for future success is part of Allstate's overall strategy to grow both our exclusive and independent agency forces across the country," he said.

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