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UPDATE: DRP shop objects to Allstate background check request; insurer says nothing has changed

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An Allstate Good Hands collision shop has taken exception to a DRP background check authorization request they say would expand the insurer’s ability to research personal information.

But Allstate said Tuesday it hasn’t changed any of its policies and it still wouldn’t be checking credit or drug testing results, despite the contract language.

“Accordingly, l hereby authorize all of the following, to disclose information about me to the consumer reporting agency and its agents: law enforcement and all other federal, state and local government agencies and courts; educational institutions (public or private); testing agencies; information service bureaus; credit bureaus and other consumer reporting agencies; other public and private record/data repositories; motor vehicle records agencies; my employers; the military; and all other individuals and sources with any information about or concerning me,” the Allstate authorization request states. “The information that can be disclosed to the consumer reporting agency and its agents includes, but is not limited to, information concerning my: employment and earnings history; education, credit, motor vehicle and accident history; drug/alcohol testing results and history; criminal history; litigation history; military service; professional licenses, credentials and certifications; social security number verification; address and alias history; and other information.”

The shop raised the issue with a trade group representative, who in turn passed along the complaint and document to Repairer Driven News.

According to the trade group representative, the consent for Allstate to collect “drug/alcohol testing results and history” and “employment and earnings history” were additions to the checks and concerns.

“While I understand participation in the program is voluntary, this is disturbing and worth letting our public know if possible,” the representative said.

As the shop understood it, employees would be asked to sign a similar document, according to the trade group representative.

Allstate external communications and public relations manager Justin Herndon said Tuesday this wouldn’t be the case.

“We stand by the original comments made in 2016,” he wrote in an email. “The agreement is for our vendor credentialing the business – owners and shop managers – and not general employees. We do not include credit checks or drug screenings.”

As Herndon indicated, we discussed Allstate’s background check program with the insurer back in 2016. At that time, he called those checks a matter of public safety, pointing out, “I can’t imagine the questions you’d be asking if (Allstate) didn’t do any of them.”

Herndon stressed in 2016 Allstate only requested background checks on “Good Hands” DRP owners and managers — not employees. He also said the vetting by General Information Services didn’t involve credit checks or drug testing. Checks would probably be more along the line of bankruptcy and criminal history checks (both of which are public record), he said then.

Herndon also said then Allstate didn’t actually see the background information, merely receive a score from check firm General Information Services. On Tuesday, he wasn’t sure if this was the extent of the visibility.

The credit checking authorized would be somewhat limited, according to the 2020 authorization document.

“I understand that if the Company obtains a credit report about me, then it will only do so where such information is substantially related to the duties and responsibilities of the position in which I am engaged or for which I am being evaluated,” the document states.

The background check authorization document from 2020 describes Allstate receiving an “investigative consumer report” from GIS:

Allstate insurance Company (the “Company”) may request an investigative consumer report about you from General Information Solutions LLC, a HireRight company (“HireRight”), a consumer reporting agency, in connection with your employment. or application for employment, or engagement for services (including independent contractor or volunteer assignments, as applicable). An “investigative consumer report” is a background report that includes information from personal interviews (except in California, where that term includes background reports with or without information obtained from personal interviews), the most common form of which is checking personal or professional references through personal interviews with sources such as your former employers and associates, and other information sources. The investigative consumer report may contain information concerning your character, general reputation, personal characteristics, mode of living, or credit standing. You may request more information about the nature and scope of an investigative consumer report, if any, by contacting the Company.

Consenting to the document would allow Allstate to “obtain additional consumer reports and investigative consumer reports about you without asking for your authorization again, throughout your employment or your contract period, as allowed by law.”

Based on the contract, it doesn’t sound like Allstate would be permitted to use information discovered during the background check once a shop left the program.

“By my signature below, I authorize the preparation of background reports about me … for the purpose of assisting the Company in making a determination as to my eligibility for employment or engagement for services (including independent contractor or volunteer assignments, as applicable), promotion, retention or for other lawful employment purposes,” the authorization states.

Featured image: An Allstate agency in Acme, Mich., is shown. (John Huetter/Repairer Driven News)

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