REUTERS EVENTS Allstate is looking for more agents, but not as “human modems”

Tom Wilson, President and CEO of Allstate Insurance Company, speaks onstage during We Day California in Inglewood, Calif., April 7, 2016. REUTERS / Danny Moloshok / File Photo

NEW YORK, June 23 (Reuters) – Allstate Corp (ALL.N) wants to buy more independent insurance agencies this year to expand the business it acquired with the purchase of National General, told Wednesday Reuters Allstate Managing Director Tom Wilson.

But agents will be there to talk to clients in depth, not to enter data into a computer to get a quote, Wilson said at the Reuters Future of Insurance USA 2021 conference.

“There’s no future in there – no more need for a human modem,” Wilson said. Allstate’s strategy is to provide agents with client data via desktop to enable “real conversation,” he said. “” ‘You can have a different kind of conversation. This is what we are trying to do.

Allstate’s strategy stands out after a year in which many insurance companies accelerated their “digital transformation” in response to the world of work from home during the pandemic, and rely more on the website and mobile applications to interact with customers.

Earlier this year, Allstate sold its life insurance and annuity business and bought National General Holdings Corp., significantly expanding its network of agents who sell products from various companies, even as sales through the Internet and through Allstate phones are showing substantial growth.

On the issue of climate change, Wilson said the US government should, over a period of several years, withdraw from the flood insurance program and transfer coverage to the private sector. This would help risk being more expensive and prevent pricing decisions from being “embedded in a political process where some local congressmen are fighting against raising their rates because they want 150 more votes,” said Wilson.

The national flood insurance program, which has debt of $ 20.5 billion, is partially overhauled this year.

However, Wilson said the government can play a role in insuring major climate risks – the ones it will pay for anyway.

If a Force 5 hurricane hits Dade County, Florida, for example, the state and insurers will need help. “The federal government is going to have to come in and figure out how to build the infrastructure, to help people rebuild their homes,” Wilson said.

“The federal government should think about this in advance, rather than waiting for it to happen.”

To learn more about the Reuters Future of Insurance USA 2021 conference, please click here (

Reporting by Alwyn Scott in New York Editing by Matthew Lewis

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