Allstate opening offices in Massachusetts

John Egan

After an absence of more than two decades, Allstate is opening offices to sell auto insurance in Massachusetts. The first office opened Oct. 1 in North Andover, according to the Boston Globe.

Two more offices are set to open elsewhere in the state by the end of 2012, Allstate spokesman Chris Conner told the Globe. Allstate aims to add an unspecified number of offices in 2013, the Globe reported.

“Our continued evaluation of the competitive changes implemented by the state four years ago gave us the confidence that this was the right move at the right time,” David Schwartzer, a senior vice president at Allstate, says in a news release. “We look forward to providing Massachusetts consumers more of the local presence and customer experience that only an Allstate agent can offer.”

In 2009, Allstate announced plans to re-enter the Massachusetts auto insurance market after shutting down operations there in the late 1980s. Allstate re-entered the market after Massachusetts relaxed its insurance regulations through something called “managed competition.”

“Managed competition (has) helped Massachusetts drivers see premiums drop at a higher rate than the rest of a country, a benefit we expected to be part of this reform,” Joseph Murphy, the state’s insurance commissioner, said in a news release in January. “Consumers have a larger choice of company, coverage and cost under this system, and shopping around for auto insurance can maximize those benefits.”

Until now, Massachusetts consumers could buy Allstate auto insurance only through agents in Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Allstate controls about 1 percent of the auto insurance market in Massachusetts, according to the Globe.

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