News Column

Geico Gains Ground on Allstate in Auto Insurance

March 12, 2013

Becky Yerak

Allstate Corp. remained the nation's No. 2 auto insurer in 2012, but the gap between it and No. 3 Geico continues to narrow, a new analysis shows.

Allstate wrote $17.48 billion in auto premiums in 2012, compared with Geico and its Berkshire Hathaway parent's $16.75 billion, according to an analysis released late Monday by SNL Financial. The Charlottesville, Va.-based data cruncher studied year-end filings from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

That's a difference of nearly $730 million. In 2011, the gap between Allstate and Geico was $2.1 billion.

Allstate has been willing to give up market share, including through higher rates and cautious underwriting in catastrophe-prone areas, to remain one of the industry's more profitable players.

Allstate acquired online insurance retailer Esurance in late 2011 to better compete against direct marketer Geico. Were it not for that deal Allstate might have fallen to No. 3.

Auto premiums at Esurance cracked the $1 billion mark and were up 18.4 percent from 2011, SNL found.

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Source: (c)2013 the Chicago Tribune Distributed by MCT Information Services

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