'Expansion of agency force is good news for Rhode Island.'
ALLSTATE CORP. signage stands outside the company's headquarters in Northbrook, Ill.
BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/TIM BOYLE
By Michael Souza PBN Staff Writer
Allstate Insurance Co. is planning an all-out blitz in Rhode Island for new agents.
On July 10, the company said it is looking to appoint 140 new agency owners in their Northeast territory of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Pennsylvania. About 25 new Allstate offices employing a total of 75 are expected for the Ocean State. The company is also looking to expand in Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware and Washington, D.C.
“We see an opportunity in Rhode Island, it’s always been a staple state of the Northeast region,” said David Lamorte, strategic-deployment leader for Allstate in the region. There are 14 Allstate regions across the country and about 32,000 employees. From 2009 to 2011, the company had 220 independent offices in these states, including 54 in Rhode Island, and is now poised to expand.
“Demographically, to support our agents, we have to make sure there are enough households in the area for each location,” Lamorte said. There is no employer – employee relationship. Each agency owner is an independent contractor that owns the economic interest in the agency, but there is a legal contractual agreement between the agency and Allstate.
Chris Conner, a spokesperson for the company, said they are also offering a $5,000 referral award to anyone who refers a candidate who is appointed as an Allstate agent in 2012.
According to Lamorte, their first step will be to introduce the business opportunity to as many people as possible, determine who may be interested and understand their qualifications. Potential agents complete a profile and an agent-selection questionnaire which tests their business acumen and evaluates that they understand small business. It is a thorough process.
Although it helps, candidates do not necessarily need to have a business background. Allstate has an extensive training program, which includes training in their Malvern, Penn., office and in Chicago with experts from the home office. All told, it’s a six-week program.