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Texas Watch blasts Allstate over advertisement

By J. Lyn Carl, GalleryWatch.com

Austin, TX –

Calling the company's advertising "deceptive and false," Texas Watch Executive Director Alex Winslow today urged Allstate insurance company to pull down what he calls a "misleading" ad.

Winslow said the major insurance company is using scare tactics to encourage homeowners to purchase additional insurance coverage for their vehicles, and has asked Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to investigate.

Winlsow said the ad, titled "Totaled," tells the story of a fictional family that was allegedly forced to give up their home following an automobile accident involving one of the family members. The family lost their home, according to the ad, because their auto liability insurance coverage was not sufficient to cover the damages.

The consumer organization representative said the Texas Constitution prohibits the forced sale of a person's homestead except in narrow circumstances, which would protect homeowners from a situation such as the one described in the Allstate ad.

"A Texas homeowner would never be forced to sell his home because he didn't have enough auto insurance," said Winslow. He said the ad is simply a scare tactic aimed at deceiving Texans into "paying more for their already overpriced auto insurance."

In his letter to Abbott, Winslow called the ad a "deceptive marketing campaign" and urged the attorney general to take "immediate action" to force Allstate to stop airing the ad. He said the exemptions in the constitution "do not include the scenario outlined in Allstate's advertisement."

Winslow points out in his letter to Allstate Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Joseph Tripodi and Edward Liddy, chairman, president and CEO, that Texas laws "clearly protect a person's homestead from forced sale." He said that while insurance policyholders should review their policies to ensure they are adequately protected, "This ad goes beyond the pale."

Winslow encouraged the Allstate officials to "stop airing this ad immediately" as a good faith effort to better serve their policyholders and not mislead Texas consumers.