March 18, 2008 / 10:43 PM / 11 years ago

California cuts Allstate auto insurance by 15.9 pct

SAN FRANCISCO, March 18 (Reuters) - Allstate Corp’s (ALL.N) automobile insurance units in California must lower their rates by 15.9 percent effective April 14, marking an estimated $244.67 million in annual savings for consumers, the state’s insurance commissioner said on Tuesday.

“This reduction reaffirms my commitment to ensuring that excessive rates are not charged to California consumers. At the same time, the rate reduction is fair and reasonable for the company,” Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner said in a statement issued after an administrative judge recommended the reduction.

Poizner’s office estimates the reduction represents an average savings of $124 per vehicle annually for Allstate customers in California,

Allstate considers the reduction to be excessive, said Patti Kelly, the insurer’s spokeswoman.

“We feel that it’s unfair,” Kelly said, adding that Allstate is reviewing the judge’s recommendation for a possible appeal. “We’re going to explore our options going forward.”

Northbrook, Illinois-based Allstate had expected a rate reduction of 8.4 percent, Kelly said.

jim.christie@reuters.com, editing by Richard Chang

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