Farm Bureau Insurance Summary
Farm Bureau is the primary subsidiary of FBL Financial Group, a massive financial services holding company offering a number of insurance and financial products. FBL sells financial services, life insurance, and property & casualty products through its many subsidiaries.
Farm Bureau traces its roots back to the 1930s, when it began as a mutual insurance company for members of the Farm Bureau chapter in Iowa. It is currently headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa and employs around 1,600 people with a network of 4,000 independent field agents.
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Car insurance options for Farm Bureau policies are fairly standard among the industry. Liability-only policies with protection for property damage and injuries are available, along with full-coverage policies with collision, comprehensive and uninsured motorist.
Optional features include new-car replacement, death indemnity insurance, roadside assistance and rental reimbursement. People living or traveling in an RV can also add personal property insurance to protect their belongings inside.
Customers with multiple policies can utilize the Farm Bureau Member’s Choice plan for extra savings. This is a bundled policy that combines auto, home and liability insurance into a single policy with one premium and one deductible per occurrence. Therefore, if your home and car are damaged in the same storm, only one deductible applies for the entire loss. Additionally, losses over $50,000 can receive a deductible waiver of up to $500.
Aside from the bundle option, Farm Bureau provides discounts for drivers with the following criteria:
- Low annual mileage
- Good students
- Accident-free drivers
- Full premium payments
Farm Bureau provides property insurance for homes, farms, ranches, mobile homes and condominiums. It also offers renter’s insurance.
Coverages vary depending on the type of policy being issued and the needs of the policyholder. In general, property insurance provides protection for the structure and its contents against certain perils.
Homes can be insured at three levels:
- 80% of their replacement cost
- 125% of the replacement cost
- Actual cash value (includes depreciation)
Members who already carry another insurance policy through Farm Bureau, can utilize the Member’s Choice plan to bundle all of their policies together under a single premium and deductible.
Life insurance is a major product offered by Farm Bureau, and the company sells a variety of policies to meet the specific needs of various consumer groups.
The two basic types of insurance offered are term and permanent. Term insurance policies cover the customer for a specified number of years and have no cash value. Farm Bureau sells four main term products:
- Choice Term – Sold in 10, 15, 20 or 30 year segments. Coverage begins at $100,000.
- Simple Term – Coverage between $20,000 and $75,000. This policy can be purchased with minimal paperwork and no medical exam.
- Return of Premium – Customer receives their base premiums back if they live past the end of the policy term.
- First Step Children’s Term – A special type of life policy that lasts until an individual turns 25.
Permanent life has no set duration and lasts as long as premiums are paid. They tend to be much more expensive than term policies, because they have an attached investment aspect to them.
Farm Bureau also sells a number of permanent life insurance policies:
- AccumuLife – Claimed to be an investment that will grow the policy’s cash value sooner than other types of life insurance.
- AllLife Insurance – Offers protection and special coverage for customers who become diagnosed with qualifying illnesses.
- Generation Builder – Child’s policy that gives the option of purchasing additional coverage later in life.
- Universal Life – Guaranteed coverage with flexible payments.
- Simple AccumuLife – Designed primarily to cover final expenses.
Aside from its primary products, Farm Bureau provides a number of other financial services:
- Specialized farm and ranch products for the property, vehicles, livestock and crops. Farm-specific liability insurance is available as well.
- Liability and umbrella policies for homeowners. These provide protection against lawsuits in the event that the insured causes property damage or injuries to another party.
- Supplemental health, long-term care and disability income, all of which provide additional benefits beyond what major medical insurance covers.
Farm Bureau Insurance Price (Rates)
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Farm Bureau sells auto policies through independent agents, which tends to increase the price of policies over direct insurers like GEICO and Esurance. This is not true in all cases, but anyone concerned about price as a major purchasing point should get quotes from multiple insurance companies to compare rates.
Farm Bureau claims can be filed online, over the phone or through a local agent’s office. At this time, online or over-the-phone claims can only be filed by policyholders in Arizona, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Utah, South Dakota and New Mexico. Policyholders in all other states need to contact their agent.
Individuals within the states listed above can file a claim 24/7 at 1-800-226-6383, or online through the Farm Bureau website. Only insureds with accounts on the site will be able to file a claim this way.
Once the claim has been filed, an adjuster will be assigned. He or she will be the primary claim handler from that point on. The adjuster’s contact information and other claim info is accessible through the Farm Bureau website.
Life insurance claims are handled separately and must be filed by calling 1-800-247-4170 between 8am and 4:30pm Central Time. A death certificate and beneficiary statement will be required for processing.
Consumer Research and Complaints
FBL Financial Group has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 1955 and has an A+ rating. Just 26 complaints are listed on the site for the last three years, with 10 having been closed in the previous 12 months. Half of the complaints are billing or collection issues, while the other half are regarding products or services.
Farm Bureau auto insurance ranks very poorly on Consumer Affairs’ website, with 97% of their customer reviews being 1 out of 5 stars. It should be noted that consumers who leave reviews on complaint boards tend to have an issue with the organization, so it is not uncommon for insurance companies to score on the lower end of the scale.
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Farm Bureau is a good choice for anyone that wants to protect farm equipment, ranches, etc. If you are simply looking for auto and home insurance, you may find better pricing elsewhere.
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About the Author
I am a former insurance agent turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.