The Allstate Corporation ( ) is the second-largest personal lines insurer in the United States (behind State Farm) and the largest that is publicly held. The company also has personal lines insurance operations in Canada. Allstate was founded in 1931 as part of Sears, Roebuck and Co., and was spun off in 1993. The company has its headquarters in Northfield Township, Illinois, near Northbrook. Its current advertising campaign, in use since 2004, asks, "Are you in good hands?" The corporate spokesperson is Dennis Haysbert.
Allstate sponsors many sporting events, including the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard NASCAR race, and the United States Olympic Committee. In 2009, Allstate's total revenue was $32 billion, of which $26.2 billion came from Property Liability.
In 1925, Sears, Roebuck & Co. held a national contest to decide the name of a new brand of car tires. After over two million name submissions, "Allstate" was chosen as the winner; the trademark was adopted the very next year. The tires success in both the catalog and retail stores, prompted Sears Chairman General Robert E. Wood to praise the Allstate tire's contribution to Sears' retail store success.
The idea for Allstate Insurance Company came during a bridge game on a commuter train in 1930, when insurance broker Carl L. Odell proposed to Wood, his neighbor, the idea of selling auto insurance by direct mail. The idea appealed to Wood, and he passed the proposal to the Sears board of directors, which approved it. Allstate Insurance Company, named after Sears’ tire brand, went into business on April 17, 1931, offering auto insurance by direct mail and through the Sears catalog.
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