In 1931, Sears, Roebuck & Company founded Allstate Insurance Company, according to Allstate. General Robert E. Wood, the Sears, Roebuck & Company president and chairman of the board, had followed up on a friend's suggestion late in 1930 that Sears start an automobile insurance company and sell policies by mail. In 1993, the insurance company initiated a public offering of its stock. Allstate became a company totally independent from Sears on June 30, 1995.
Based in Northbrook, Illinois, Allstate was among the early companies to give safe drivers lower rates in the 1930s, and one of the first to open a drive-in claim office to make handling claims easier in the 1950s, notes Allstate. The company was an advocate for mandatory seat belt laws in the 1960s, and throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Allstate was a key player in establishing the safety factors supporting the use of air bags.
In 2000, Allstate instituted its Good Hands Network, allowing consumers to purchase insurance policies over the Internet, through customer service centers by phone, or through agents, explains Allstate. Reflecting the expansion of its offerings to investment and savings products, the company changed its name to Allstate Financial in the same year. To draw and improve service to motorcycle owners, Allstate launched AllstateGarage.com in 2008.