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Allstate Life Insurance Company First to Change Underwriting Rules for Travel to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza

Attorney William Shernoff of Shernoff Bidart & Darras Commends Decision by Allstate

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06/29/2004 - NORTHBROOK, Ill.

Allstate Life Insurance Company, as of today, will now consider new life insurance applications for customers who indicate on their application that they are planning future travel to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, areas that are currently on the U.S. Department of State’s Current Travel Warnings list. Allstate is taking this action in connection with a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County, Calif., against 13 major life insurance companies alleging unfair business practices in their failure to issue life insurance policies for travelers to Israel. Allstate is the first company among the 13 to make this proactive decision.

“Allstate is committed to protecting customers who choose or need to travel to Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza for work or to be with family,” explains Casey Sylla, chairman and president, Allstate Life Insurance Company. “Upon further review, we decided that
the benefits to our customers outweigh the risks.”

Prominent Claremont, Calif., attorney William M. Shernoff of Shernoff Bidart & Darras and Los Angeles based Co-counsel Lisa Stern, have been actively representing the interests of travelers regarding this issue.

“We believe it’s time for the other life insurance companies named in the suit to take the responsible and appropriate action and change their practices and procedures,” said Shernoff. “Allstate should be commended for its swift action in doing the right thing and we urge other life insurance companies to follow Allstate’s lead.”

Previously, Allstate did not offer new life insurance policies to individuals planning to travel within the next two years to any of the 20 plus countries on the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Warnings list, which apprises Americans of increased risk of death or bodily injury related to traveling in those listed countries. The list, along with a variety of other factors, is used during Allstate’s and many other insurers’ underwriting processes to analyze risk when writing new life insurance policies. Allstate’s life insurance applications do not specifically ask about past travel.

Allstate still believes there is an increased risk associated with travel to countries on the government’s list; however, the company is choosing not to use that risk factor for customers who may travel to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

In keeping with sound actuarial principles, Allstate will continue to evaluate each life insurance application on an individual basis, and will continue to use a variety of other factors in the underwriting process in order to determine risk, such as considering health conditions.

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®” slogan, Allstate provides insurance products to more than 16 million households and has approximately 12,900 exclusive agencies and financial specialists in the U.S. and Canada. Customers can access Allstate products and services through Allstate agents, or in select states at and 1-800 Allstate®. EncompassSM and Deerbrook® Insurance brand property and casualty products are sold exclusively through independent agents. Allstate Financial Group includes the businesses that provide life insurance, annuity, retirement, banking and investment products through distribution channels that include Allstate agents, independent agents, worksite, financial institutions and broker-dealers.


Rebecca Hirsch, Allstate Insurance Company, (847) 402-5600
Jason Sanchez, Shernoff Bidart & Darras, (909) 621-4935 x 218

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