Glitch Shares Allstate Insurance Info

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    NEWSLETTERS

    When Jennifer Duman logged onto her Allstate account back in November, she noticed something more than the new online layout the insurance company designed.

    “Eight policies were available for me to make changes to, make a payment on, cancel, etc,” she told NBCDFW.  Duman and her husband live in the Denton County town of Aubrey.

    “My husband and I have two policies with Allstate,” Duman explained.  “The other six belonged to someone with the same name as my husband.”

    Duman said she spent 42 minutes that day on the phone with three levels of Allstate customer service.  

    She tried for days to get the company to fix the problem, but said no one seemed to have answers to how something like this could have happened.

    “Maybe if I cancelled one of [the policies I had access to] there would be a greater sense of urgency,” Duman joked.

    The Duman’s weren’t the only people affected by this glitch.  About 100 people nationwide either had access to, or had their insurance account information shared with other people who logged on to Allstate.com.

    That’s barely a fraction of a percent of the nearly 17 million customers nationwide the company claims to have. 

    “In Texas, we have just over a million customer households. Of those million, about eight households were affected,” Allstate spokesperson Laura Strykowski said.

    Allstate stresses no key information that could be used for identity theft -- like social security numbers, credit card numbers and birth dates -- were compromised due to the issue.   Still, the company has taken proactive measures to notify those customers whose information was shared, and offer them free identity theft and credit monitoring just in case. 

    Allstate said Tuesday they were implementing a fix “as we speak.”  The insurance agency, however, would not answer questions as to how this release of information happened, or what exactly its doing do keep it from happening again on a larger scale.

    “I worked really hard to get you the numbers,” Strykowski said in a telephone interview 57 days after Allstate was first notified of the problem.  “I just don’t anticipate being able to get that information for you.”

    As for the Duman’s, they said it took about a week before they no longer had access to other customers’ information.  They still don’t know if other people could see their policies.

    “In addition to apologies from many executives up the chain of command, in IT, and overall, they sent us a gift certificate as a ‘thank you for your trouble and understanding’,” Duman said.

    Duman maintains that the people whose accounts she saw can rest assured their information was in good hands.  

    “I didn't print any of the policies I had access to, as I would hope if someone would have had access to my information, they would have been somewhat respectful of my privacy.”