Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Apr 12, 2022

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Well, if Allstate has their way, we should worry about everything unless they are our insurer.

Normally known as the “Good Hands People,” Allstate has switched gears with this campaign in an attempt to capture a larger market share by having both the “good hands” and “mayhem” campaigns run at the same time.

The goal is to catch both the price sensitive and those who worry they might not be covered properly if they are not insured with a company who has nationally televised commercials.

The recession forced many insurers to focus their advertising on premium price, as many Americans felt the squeeze and looked to save money in the family budget anywhere they could…often times looking to insurance as a means to save a buck.

This is the opposite of the usual (pre-recession) message of many national insurers who advertise on television and radio, which are normally priced higher than many lesser known insurers.

Companies like Allstate, State Farm and Farmers normally focus their advertising dollars on brand recognition and “selling” service, security and longevity, creating a sense of exclusivity associated with their company…

All of which are nice thoughts, but are swept to the side when the reality of insurance, paying a premium for liability and physical damage coverage, comes to the forefront of a tight budget.

What is Allstate Mayhem?

“Allstate Mayhem” is the insurance company’s most recent advertising campaign to hit the web and the airwaves.

This new round of commercials is meant to instill fear in the insured and make us question how well covered we are with a company that might not be nationally known or use its advertising dollars for television and radio commercials.

You may have seen the commercial where the “mayhem” character knocks a tree limb down onto a car during a windstorm. There are also commercials where the mayhem involves a distracted teenage girl, a downpour of snow, and a puppy chewing up the backseat of a car.

We are then asked to contemplate if we have coverage for that particular type of loss. If we are not sure, we need to contact an Allstate agent to make sure.

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What’s the reality of the situation?

As usual, the reality of the situation is much different than what a TV commercial might tell you.

Similar to a single paper towel soaking up a gallon of water in one swipe (while a disclaimer in tiny point font tells us it actually took 45 minutes for the water to soak up), Allstate is not necessarily being fair with the statement.

For the record, a tree limb falling on your car would be covered by comprehensive coverage on any auto insurance policy.

Comprehensive coverage is not sold exclusively by Allstate. In fact, you can purchase “comp,” also known as “other than collision” coverage, from almost every company who sells auto insurance.

Nevertheless, like Progressive’s Flo, the Mayhem guy, played by Dean Winters who you may recall as Liz Lemon’s boyfriend Dennis Duffy in the show 30 Rock, is tremendously popular with the public.

The commercials, which began airing in 2010 during college bowl games, were instantly successful and disseminated widely on social media platforms.

What’s the bottom line?

Unless, in an attempt to save money on your auto insurance, you removed physical damage coverage from your policy when switching insurance companies, Allstate isn’t doing you any favors. If your current policy has “comp” and is still cheaper than Allstate, you don’t need to switch again (this is the part of the story the commercial leaves out).

For the record, you typically must carry full coverage on an auto insurance policy if you have a loan/lease out on the vehicle. Your lender, known as the loss payee, demands this coverage to insure their financial interest in the vehicle.

Of course, if you did remove coverage in an attempt to lower your insurance premium to fit a shrinking budget, it is highly recommended you add the coverage back to your policy as soon as you can afford to do so…with Allstate or any other company who offers you the best deal.

A savvy insurance consumer will make sure to compare coverage apples-to-apples between any two (or more) insurance companies before making a decision to purchase.

Be sure to contact a local independent insurance agent to ensure you have the coverage you need at the price you want. If that happens to be Allstate…great.

Read more: Top auto insurance companies.

(photo: erickilby)