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Esurance vs. Allstate: What’s the Difference?

Aug. 10, 2017
Auto Insurance, Insurance
Esurance vs. Allstate: What’s the Difference?
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Allstate owns Esurance, but the two insurance companies take very different approaches to business.

Here’s a detailed look at what differentiates them.

Allstate vs. Esurance: insurance options

Car insuranceYes, in all statesYes, in 43 states
Usage-based car insuranceYesYes, in seven states
Insurance for other vehicles (motorcycles, RVs, boats)YesYes (offered through partners in some states)
Homeowners insuranceYes, in all statesYes, in 31 states (offered through partners in other states)
Renters insuranceYes, in all statesYes, in 21 states (offered through partners in other states)
Umbrella liabilityYesYes (offered only through partners)
Flood insuranceYes (through the National Flood Insurance Program)Yes (through the National Flood Insurance Program)
Life insuranceYesYes (offered only through partners)
Business insuranceYesYes (offered only through partners)
Supplemental health insuranceYesYes (offered only through partners)
Other financial services (investments, identify theft coverage, college savings plans, etc.)YesNo

Allstate vs. Esurance: how to buy

  • Allstate offers a full range of policies and products in all 50 states through a network of agents. You can get Allstate insurance quotes online, although you will be assigned a local agent if you want to buy a policy.
  • Esurance provides a plethora of online tools to help you buy insurance yourself. It doesn’t have agents to meet in person. The company sells only online and by telephone.

“Some consumers prefer a local agent to physically walk them through the process,” says Alan Gellman, Esurance’s chief marketing officer. “And then there are the self-directed consumers who only want help if they need it.”

Allstate vs. Esurance: usage-based car insurance

Both offer “usage-based” car insurance — DriveWise from Allstate and DriveSense from Esurance. These policies provide pricing based on actual driving behavior, including mileage, time of day, sudden acceleration and hard braking. Esurance also has a pay-per-mile program in Oregon, which charges a base rate and per-mile fee.

Allstate vs. Esurance: price

To get an idea of how Allstate and Esurance measure up on price, we looked at car insurance rates in the 10 largest states (see full methodology below). Esurance is significantly cheaper in nine states. Allstate offered lower rates only in California.

One reason Esurance can offer lower rates is that it has fewer offices, Gellman says.

Allstate vs. Esurance: average car insurance rates

Source: NerdWallet research
Other 9 largest states$2,382/year$4,427/year86%

Allstate vs. Esurance: customer service, online tools

Policies sold onlineNoYes
Local agentsYesNo
Photo/video claimsYesYes
Online claims trackingYesYes
Online repair trackingYesYes

Esurance’s online tools, which are among the most comprehensive, include:

  • Coverage Counselor, which tailors coverage recommendations for you
  • Photo and video claims, which allow you to submit photos to have damage appraised or chat by video with an appraiser
  • RepairView, which allows you to track repairs, including getting a daily photo of your car
  • What If Calculator, which provides personalized estimates of how tickets, accidents, moving, or changing vehicles could impact your rates

Allstate vs. Esurance: claims satisfaction

When it comes to customer satisfaction, Allstate is the clear winner among the two companies. The J.D. Power 2016 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study says Allstate is “about average” for overall satisfaction. Esurance received J.D. Power’s lowest ranking of among “the rest” when it came to overall satisfaction with the claims experience in 2016.

Allstate vs. Esurance: insurance shopping satisfaction

Esurance nudged out Allstate in the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study. While both companies were deemed “about average,” Esurance had a slightly higher score. The study reflects shoppers’ satisfaction with policy offerings, price and other factors.

Which should you go with?

If you’ve narrowed your choices down to Allstate and Esurance, your decision depends on what matters more to you: personalized service from a local agent (Allstate) or lots of online tools and generally lower prices (Esurance).

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» MORE: Allstate Insurance review

NerdWallet is a free tool to find you the best credit cards, cd rates, savings, checking accounts, scholarships, healthcare and airlines. Start here to maximize your rewards or minimize your interest rates. NerdWallet


» MORE: Esurance review

We looked at rates in 10 states in 2016 for a 30-year-old driving a 2015 Toyota Camry up to 10,000 miles a year. The rates included bodily injury liability limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident, and $50,000 in property damage. They also included comprehensive and collision coverage with a $500 deductible, uninsured motorist coverage and, in states that require it, personal injury protection. Your rates will be different. Since rates for Allstate and Esurance came from different sources, we matched details as closely as possible.