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|Current Executives||Jeffrey Dailey - CEO
Scott Lindquist - CFO
Paul Wilson - CIO
|Number of Employees||13,015|
|Total Assets (2017)||$16.1 billion|
|HQ Address||6301 Owensmouth Avenue
Woodland Hills, CA
|Premiums Written (Auto, 2017)||$10,364,451|
|Best For||Bundling, those that prefer working with an agent|
Farmer’s Insurance Exchange is part of a major group of insurance companies operating across the United States. The original company was started to provide auto insurance, and they still do that to this day – although now they also offer home, life, and a range of specialty insurance products through several companies.
Farmers is one of the ten largest car insurance companies in the nation. True to their roots, they continue to operate as an exchange and is owned by its policyholders.
They’re one of the best-known insurance companies in the country, with agents found in small towns and large cities across America. But is Farmers Insurance a good choice for you?
You want a company you can trust, that will offer you good value, and that be there for you in the event of a claim. How do you know if even a big name insurance company like Farmers will do all those things?
Continue reading for all the details on Farmers Insurance that you will need in order to make that call.
We’ll cover Farmer’s products, their prices, and their reputation in this review so you can compare them to your other options and choose the best auto insurance for your needs.
There are a number of trusted sources for insurance company ratings out there. They can provide a balanced view of Farmers Insurance, from financial stability to customer satisfaction.
Here are the ratings for Farmers – read on below for a breakdown of what each of these means.
|Better Business Bureau||A+|
|NAIC Complaint Index||0.79|
|JD Power||Claims Satisfaction 4/5
Shopping Study 3/5
The first three ratings on the table above are all related to Farmers’ financial stability and credit outlook. That’s not something people give a lot of thought to when shopping for car insurance, as a general rule, but it is information worth having.
You’re giving your money to an insurance company with the understanding that if something goes seriously wrong, they’ll be there to cover you. A company that doesn’t have a solid financial footing may find itself in a position where it can’t keep up its end of the bargain.
AM Best is probably the best-known of the financial rating companies. It gives Farmers an A rating, which is an “Excellent”. There is one step higher than this, which is a “Superior” rating of A+ or A++. Excellent is, well, excellent. It indicates Farmers is financially stable.
Both Moody’s and Standard & Poor (S&P) are also financial rating companies, focusing a bit more on credit-worthiness, although financial strength is definitely a part of it. Farmers rates well with both.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) rates companies on the number of complaints received compared to the size of the company, the company’s response to and ability to close those claims, and other factors like length of time in business.
Farmers’ A+ is the top rating from the BBB. They have 775 complaints on file in the past three years, which isn’t high for a company this large.
J.D. Power‘s ratings probably carry the most clout of any, since the name is so well-known and companies like to brag when they win one of the J.D. Power awards. Farmers ranks pretty well here.
Of the two national car insurance surveys, they rank best in the claims satisfaction area – which is a vital part of an insurance company’s reputation.
There are also regional surveys of auto insurance satisfaction from J.D. Power, and Farmers’ ranking varies in different areas. You can easily check the regional ranking on the J.D. Power site.
Similar to J.D. Power, Consumer Reports gathers company information and ranks them based on a variety of factors. The top ranking available is 100, and Farmers’ score is pretty high. Competitors State Farm and GEICO have the same rating.
Finally, we looked at the complaint data gathered by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which gathers complaint information on insurance companies.
Farmers’ complaint index is below the national median of 1.16, which means they have fewer complaints for the number of customers than average.
Farmers was founded in 1928 by partners Jack Leavey and John Tyler, and originally served farmers – hence the name. The Farmers Automobile Inter-Insurance Exchange began with door-to-door sales and survived the Great Depression that hit not long after its founding.
By paying out auto damage claims in a 1930s California earthquake, Farmers became the pioneer of comprehensive auto insurance. They would continue to innovate and offer new types of coverage in the following decades.
The company expanded nationwide, acquiring several other companies along the way and expanding into many types of insurance coverage. In 1998 Farmers itself was acquired by Zurich Financial Services.
Today Farmers operates as a group of companies that includes the three major Exchanges — one of which is the main company, Farmers Insurance Exchange.
Moving another level down the organization chart, there are a handful of fairly popular insurance companies that ride under the Farmers banner. They include:
In 2015, Farmers ranked as the fifth largest car insurance company in the U.S. with five percent of the market share.
They dropped into ninth place in 2016 with 2.56 percent of the market share. That number rose back up close to the 2015 level in 2017 at 4.48 percent, earning them a ranking of seventh.
The car insurance industry has been leaning in favor of direct-buy companies for several years, with internet-centric insurers like GEICO and Progressive climbing the ranks to the detriment of old-school agent-driven companies like Farmers.
The 2016 drop, however, seems to be an anomaly as the company recovered a lot of ground the following year.
– Farmers Sales Approach
Farmers operates with a captive agent model, which means that their products are sold by agents that work solely and specifically for them. That’s different from an independent agent that sells policies from a variety of companies.
The main source of sales for Farmers is their agents.
Like most such companies, they have adapted to the modern age, and some policies can be purchased online. They also have sales available by phone.
Insurance policies that aren’t sold directly by an agent are assigned to an agent. That means that even if you buy your policy online, you will have an agent and that person will earn a commission from your policy.
You can choose your own agent rather than a randomly assigned agent, but all policies are serviced by someone specific.
– Farmers Advertising
Since 2010, Oscar-winning actor J.K. Simmons has been the face of Farmers and appears in their advertisements playing University of Farmers’ Professor Nathaniel Burke.
The current ad campaign from Farmers follows on a history of showing the many different claims the company has covered. Based on real claims files, the “Hall of Claims” ads show some of the more absurd and laughable claims the company has seen.
“We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two” sums up the company’s view of the many different situations they have handled.
Farmers has had basically the same logo since its inception, although in 2013 it saw an update, freshening the look but keeping the same idea. The company finishes each ad with the simple “We are Farmers” slogan.
The general approach is to present Farmers as the company that can be trusted because it’s been around a long time and has seen and covered just about anything imaginable.
We’ll look at how well they live up to that promise.
– Community Service
Farmers is involved in a variety of philanthropic activities benefitting local communities and focused on some specific groups.
Their Suits for Soldiers campaign is part of a company-wide initiative to assist veterans with transitioning to civilian life. The program gathers and distributes professional attire to veterans entering the civilian workforce.
Farmers also provides a variety of education and job opportunities for veterans directly with the company and as agents.
The company supports agent and employee efforts with their Volunteer Incentive Program and Matching Education Gifts Program.
The Farmers Family Fund takes care of employees and their families directly by providing financial assistance in times of crisis or unexpected hardship.
A number of the company’s efforts are focused on disaster preparation and response, as well as rebuilding communities affected by disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes.
Each year, Farmers gives grants to schools through their Thank America’s Teachers program; in 2018 they gave away more than $1 million in grants.
– Farmers’ Position For The Future
Farmers is an old company that is successfully moving into the modern age, a necessity for old-school insurers in the age of the mobile app and no-middle-man insurance sales.
Although their place in the market share ranking has changed over the years, they remain a top-ten company on stable financial footing.
Their customer service ratings have been improving, and they appear to be responding to the needs of today’s insurance shopper. They’re likely to remain a strong competitor into the future.
– Employee Demographics
Nearly 60 percent of Famers employees have been with the company for up to 10 years, according to Great Places to Work.
They’re split pretty evenly by category in a further breakdown; 20 percent fall into the under two years category, while another 20 percent fall into the six to ten-year category, and 19 percent have been with Farmers 2-6 years.
Fourteen percent of Farmers employees have a tenure of more than twenty years.
Employees generally have a positive impression of the company. Farmers made the 2019 Fortune list of the Best Places to Work at number 91 and ranked at number 26 among insurance and financial services companies.
83 percent of Farmers employees surveyed say it’s a great place to work.
Farmers’ workforce is pretty diverse in terms of age, with 39 percent born before 1997 and 40 percent born between 1965 and 1980.
– Awards and Accolades
We have already noted that Farmers earned a spot on the Fortune list of best places to work, but that is not the only way the company has been recognized.
In 2018, Insurance Nexus named Farmers their Carrier of the Year, an award presented to the company that has shown exceptional innovation in claims int he previous year.
Farmers has also been honored by the Human Rights Campaign as one of the companies to earn a full 100 – the highest score – on their Corporate Equality Index.
The index ranks companies on their dedication to inclusion of the LGBTQ community. The ranking earns Farmers a spot on the list of Best Places to Work for LGBTQ equality.
Cheap Car Insurance Rates
Farmers isn’t generally seen as a low-cost car insurance company, nor do they try to position themselves that way.
Agent-driven insurers, as a general rule, put customer service and good coverage as their top draw for customers over price. That doesn’t mean that Farmers isn’t going to have competitive rates – it depends on a number of factors including where you live.
Farmers doesn’t offer car insurance in every state. Their rates vary, sometimes below and sometimes above average, and can be further affected by factors like driving record.
We’ll take a look at several samples of Farmers rates covering a variety of scenarios to see where they offer their cheapest premiums.
– Rates By State
Below are some sample rates for Farmers in all of the states where car insurance is available.
|State||Annual Premium||Higher/Lower ($)||Higher/Lower (%)|
Farmers tends to have rates below the average in the Midwest, with the cheapest state being Minnesota. Rates in the Land of 10,000 Lakes are more than 40 percent below average.
The most expensive state to carry Farmers as your auto insurer is Hawaii, where rates are 45 percent above average.
In 22 of the 31 states Farmers covers, rates are above average.
– Rates Compared to Other Companies
Here’s a look at Farmers compared to nine other top companies on a state-by-state basis.
|State||ALLSTATE||AMERICAN FAMILY||FARMERS||GEICO||LIBERTY MUTUAL||NATIONWIDE||PROGRESSIVE||STATE FARM||TRAVELERS||USAA|
|Alaska||$3,145.31||$4,153.07||NA in State||$2,879.96||$5,295.55||NA in State||$3,062.85||$2,228.12||NA in State||$2,454.21|
|Alabama||$3,311.52||NA in State||$4,185.80||$2,866.60||$4,005.48||$2,662.66||$4,450.52||$4,798.15||$3,697.80||$2,124.09|
|Arkansas||$5,150.03||NA in State||$4,257.87||$3,484.63||NA in State||$3,861.79||$5,312.09||$2,789.03||$5,973.33||$2,171.06|
|Arizona||$4,904.10||NA in State||$5,000.08||$2,264.71||NA in State||$3,496.08||$3,577.50||$4,756.25||$3,084.74||$3,084.29|
|California||$4,532.96||NA in State||$4,998.78||$2,885.65||$3,034.42||$4,653.19||$2,849.67||$4,202.28||$3,349.54||$2,693.87|
|Colorado||$5,537.17||$3,733.02||$5,290.24||$3,091.69||$2,797.74||$3,739.47||$4,231.92||$3,270.77||NA in State||$3,338.87|
|Connecticut||$5,831.60||NA in State||NA in State||$3,073.66||$7,282.87||$3,672.34||$4,920.35||$2,976.24||$6,004.29||$3,190.00|
|District of Columbia||$6,468.92||NA in State||NA in State||$3,692.81||NA in State||$4,848.98||$4,970.26||$4,074.05||NA in State||$2,580.44|
|Delaware||$6,316.06||NA in State||NA in State||$3,727.29||$18,360.02||$4,330.21||$4,181.83||$4,466.85||$4,182.36||$2,325.98|
|Florida||$7,440.46||NA in State||NA in State||$3,783.63||$5,368.15||$4,339.60||$5,583.30||$3,397.67||NA in State||$2,850.41|
|Georgia||$4,210.70||NA in State||NA in State||$2,977.20||$10,053.44||$6,484.90||$4,499.22||$3,384.88||NA in State||$3,157.46|
|Hawaii||$2,173.49||NA in State||$4,763.82||$3,358.86||$3,189.55||$2,551.83||$2,177.93||$1,040.28||NA in State||$1,189.35|
|Idaho||$4,088.76||$3,728.79||$3,168.28||$2,770.68||$2,301.51||$3,032.19||NA in State||$1,867.96||$3,226.29||$1,877.61|
|Indiana||$3,978.81||$3,679.68||$3,437.55||$2,261.07||$5,781.35||NA in State||$3,898.00||$2,408.94||$3,393.75||$1,630.86|
|Kentucky||$7,143.92||NA in State||NA in State||$4,633.59||$5,930.97||$5,503.23||$5,547.63||$3,354.32||$6,551.68||$2,897.89|
|Louisiana||$5,998.79||NA in State||NA in State||$6,154.60||NA in State||NA in State||$7,471.10||$4,579.12||NA in State||$4,353.12|
|Maine||$3,675.59||NA in State||$2,770.15||$2,823.05||$4,331.39||NA in State||$3,643.59||$2,198.68||$2,252.97||$1,930.79|
|Maryland||$5,233.17||NA in State||NA in State||$3,832.63||$9,297.55||$2,915.69||$4,094.86||$3,960.87||NA in State||$2,744.14|
|Massachusetts||$2,708.53||NA in State||NA in State||$1,510.17||$4,339.35||NA in State||$3,835.11||$1,361.86||$3,537.94||$1,458.99|
|Michigan||$22,902.59||NA in State||$8,503.60||$6,430.11||$20,000.04||$6,327.38||$5,364.55||$12,565.52||$8,773.97||$3,620.00|
|Minnesota||$4,532.01||$3,521.29||$3,137.45||$3,498.54||$13,563.61||$2,926.49||NA in State||$2,066.99||NA in State||$2,861.60|
|Missouri||$4,096.15||$3,286.90||$4,312.19||$2,885.33||$4,518.67||$2,265.35||$3,419.14||$2,692.91||NA in State||$2,525.78|
|Mississippi||$4,942.11||NA in State||NA in State||$4,087.21||$4,455.94||$2,756.53||$4,308.85||$2,980.48||$3,729.32||$2,056.13|
|Montana||$4,672.10||NA in State||$3,907.55||$3,602.35||$1,326.11||$3,478.26||$4,330.76||$2,417.74||NA in State||$2,031.89|
|North Carolina||$7,190.43||NA in State||NA in State||$2,936.69||$2,182.71||$2,848.03||$2,382.61||$3,078.65||$3,132.66||NA in State|
|North Dakota||$4,669.31||$3,812.40||$3,092.49||$2,668.24||$12,852.83||$2,560.35||$3,623.06||$2,560.53||NA in State||$2,006.80|
|Nebraska||$3,198.83||$2,215.13||$3,997.29||$3,837.49||$6,241.52||$2,603.94||$3,758.01||$2,438.71||NA in State||$2,330.78|
|New Hampshire||$2,725.01||NA in State||NA in State||$1,615.02||$8,444.41||$2,491.10||$2,694.45||$2,185.46||NA in State||$1,906.96|
|New Jersey||$5,713.58||NA in State||$7,617.00||$2,754.94||$6,766.62||NA in State||$3,972.72||$7,527.16||$4,254.49||NA in State|
|New Mexico||$4,200.65||NA in State||$4,315.53||$4,458.30||NA in State||$3,514.38||$3,119.18||$2,340.66||NA in State||$2,296.77|
|New York||$4,740.97||NA in State||NA in State||$2,428.24||$6,540.73||$4,012.93||$3,771.15||$4,484.58||$4,578.79||$3,761.69|
|Oklahoma||$3,718.62||NA in State||$4,142.40||$3,437.34||$6,874.62||NA in State||$4,832.35||$2,816.80||NA in State||$3,174.15|
|Pennsylvania||$3,984.12||NA in State||NA in State||$2,605.22||$6,055.20||$2,800.37||$4,451.00||$2,744.23||$7,842.47||$1,793.37|
|Rhode Island||$4,959.45||NA in State||NA in State||$5,602.63||$6,184.12||$4,409.63||$5,231.09||$2,406.51||$6,909.45||$4,323.98|
|South Carolina||$3,903.43||NA in State||$4,691.85||$3,178.01||NA in State||$3,625.49||$4,573.08||$3,071.34||NA in State||$3,424.77|
|South Dakota||$4,723.72||$4,047.47||$3,768.80||$2,940.29||$7,515.99||$2,737.66||$3,752.81||$2,306.23||NA in State||NA in State|
|Tennessee||$4,828.85||NA in State||$3,430.07||$3,283.42||$6,206.69||$3,424.96||$3,656.91||$2,639.30||$2,738.52||$2,739.28|
|Texas||$5,485.44||$4,848.72||NA in State||$3,263.28||NA in State||$3,867.55||$4,664.69||$2,879.94||NA in State||$2,487.89|
|Utah||$3,566.42||$3,698.77||$3,907.99||$2,965.57||$4,327.76||$2,986.57||$3,830.10||$4,645.83||NA in State||$2,491.10|
|Virginia||$3,386.80||NA in State||NA in State||$2,061.53||NA in State||$2,073.00||$2,498.58||$2,268.95||NA in State||$1,858.38|
|Vermont||$3,190.38||NA in State||NA in State||$2,195.71||$3,621.08||$2,128.21||$5,217.14||$4,382.84||NA in State||$1,903.55|
|Washington||$3,540.52||$3,713.02||$2,962.00||$2,568.65||$3,994.73||$2,129.84||$3,209.52||$2,499.78||NA in State||$2,262.16|
|West Virginia||$3,820.68||NA in State||NA in State||$2,120.80||$2,924.39||NA in State||NA in State||$2,126.32||NA in State||$1,984.62|
|Wisconsin||$4,854.41||$1,513.27||$3,777.49||$3,926.20||$6,758.85||$5,224.99||$3,128.91||$2,387.53||NA in State||$2,975.74|
|Wyoming||$4,373.93||NA in State||$3,069.35||$3,496.56||$1,989.36||$3,187.20||$4,401.17||$2,303.55||NA in State||$2,779.53|
You’ll note that while Minnesota stands out as the cheapest state for Farmers, they aren’t the cheapest option among the top companies in that state – in fact, most of the top companies have rates that are below average.
– Rates By Commute
Does Farmers ding you on rates for having a long commute? Take a look at the average rates.
|Commute Type||Farmers Average Rate|
|10-mile, 6,000 miles annually||$4,179.32|
|25-mile, 12,000 miles annually||$4,209.22|
The answer is not really – Farmers shows a very small increase in annual rates for a daily commute that’s more than double the length.
– Rates By Coverage Level
Insurance companies generally increase the cost of a policy based on the amount of coverage it includes. This makes sense since their possible payout in a claim increases based on the limits you choose, so they charge more for higher limits. Below you’ll see rates for Farmers at three levels of coverage.
|Coverage Level||Farmers Average Rate|
It will cost you close to $600 a year to make the jump from low to high coverage, which breaks down to less than $50 a month. For many people, that’s a lot of money to add to the monthly budget, but if you have a lot of assets to protect it’s well worth the expense.
– Rates By Credit History
Most companies (in states where they are legally permitted to do so) use credit history as one of the factors for calculating rates. People with poor credit pay the most; at Farmers the difference between poor and fair credit is around $1,000.
|Credit History||Farmers Average Rates|
The average credit score in America for 2017 was 675, according to Experian. 21.2 percent of people had a score of below 600, which would likely put them in Farmers’ most expensive category.
– Rates By Driving Record
A clean record will always get you the best insurance rates no matter the company. But accidents happen and mistakes are made – so how much will they cost you at Farmers?
|Driving Record||Farmers Average Rate|
|1 Speeding Ticket||$4,079.01|
A DUI will cost you more than either a speeding ticket or an accident, but none of the sample situations shown have an astronomical increase in rates. Still, the clean record is by far the cheapest rate.
Insurance Coverage at Farmers
Let’s take a look at their extensive list of product offerings.
- Car Insurance – Like most large consumer insurance companies, this is their bread and butter. Whether you are looking for a state minimum liability or full coverage policy, Farmers can make it happen.
- Home Insurance – Homeowners insurance and condo insurance fall under this category. Customers can get standard coverage options, as well as popular add-ons like scheduled personal property and identity theft protection.
- Renters Insurance – Similar to home insurance policies, except they do not cover the structure. Farmers’ renters insurance policies are fairly standard compared to competitor’s offerings.
- Life Insurance – These products are not technically sold under the primary Farmers Insurance brand, but rather a subsidiary. The usual suspects are available: term life insurance, whole life insurance and variable life insurance.
- Business Insurance – Although typically thought of as a personal insurance company, Farmers does offer a number of business insurance products such as workers compensation, business liability, business auto, and commercial property.
- Motorcycle Insurance – It’s easy to assume that GEICO is the only company that sells motorcycle insurance, since they seem to be the only one advertising it. However, Farmers offers basically the same coverage.
- Recreational Insurance – Farmers offers coverage for RVs, boats, off-road vehicles, motor homes, travel trailers, and 5th wheels.
- Umbrella Insurance – This serves as an extension of auto and home insurance policies, by adding a sizeable amount to the overall liability coverage. It also can fill in the gaps where a typical home insurance policy may fall short. For example, if you are sued for libel or slander, umbrella policies can often pick up the attorney fees and/or judgment costs.
– Types of Car Insurance Coverage
Farmers writes both liability-only and full coverage insurance policies, with a range of options and add-ons that can customize your coverage.
The basics of a car insurance policy start with your state’s legal requirements. Depending on where you live, that may include some form of no-fault insurance coverage in addition to bodily injury and property damage liability.
Farmers has a full range of liability products available, some of which are only available in specific states to meet no-fault laws.
- Bodily Injury Liability
- Property Damage Liability
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
- Medical Payments (Med Pay)
Depending on where you live, some of the above may be optional coverages. Farmers also offers a good selection of additional coverage, including the most popular options
- Towing and Roadside Assistance
- Rental Reimbursement
- New Car Replacement
- Customized Equipment
- Personal Liability Umbrella
- Accident Forgiveness
- Loss of Use (flat fee coverage)
- Glass Buy-Back
- Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Parts
Farmers’ list of options is a little more extensive than some other companies and includes some unusual options. The Loss of Use coverage, in particular, stands out since it will pay not just for a rental vehicle, but also for costs like taxi or rideshare fares.
It pays out one flat amount you can use however you like to get around while your car is being repaired.
– Bundling With Farmers
Farmers offers quite a few bundling options. In addition to a discount for having more than one policy in force with the company, you can bundle auto insurance with home, life, renters, and umbrella coverage.
Some specialty policies can also be bundled, such as a boat policy. Bundling options depend on the state, and so does the amount – if any – of the discount for bundling.
– Area of Operation
Farmers writes auto insurance policies in 32 states:
- North Dakota
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
– Additional Options From Farmers
Farmers generally shies away from trendy car insurance add-ons, but that doesn’t mean they don’t offer some of the latest options.
Rideshare insurance from Farmers is available for anyone who drives for a service like Uber or Lyft, helping to fill in the coverage gaps between a personal insurance policy and the commercial liability provided by the rideshare company.
Classic & Collector Car coverage is a special car policy that provides the right protection for vehicles of special value. The policy includes coverage at car shows including trips abroad, replacement parts coverage, and agreed value coverage for a total loss.
Farmers Car Shopping Service with TRUECar is the company’s vehicle purchasing service, which helps make shopping for a new or used car easier and can provide a lower purchase price as well as other benefits.
Farmers Guaranteed Repair Program connects customers with approved repair shops that will offer guaranteed work and direct claims service.
Farmers is a little behind the curve when it comes to usage-based insurance. Their program, called Signal, was launched in 2017 and is currently only available in Arizona. The app not only tracks driving behavior but also aims to reduce distracted driving by monitoring signs of phone use.
Farmers lists their available discounts by state. To provide a list of options, we chose the company’s home state of California; not all of these will be available in every state, but it should be similar.
There’s no information given in regards to the percentage of the discount earned for any of the listed options. Here’s what’s available in California:
- Business and Professional Group
- Driver Training
- Good Student
- Alternative Fuel
- Anti-lock Brakes
- Anti-Theft Device
- Electronic Stability Control
- Passive Restraint (seatbelts and airbags)
- Good Driver
- Senior Defensive Driving
- Full Payment
- Paperless Billing/Documents
This list includes all of the most common discounts. They also have a few that are less common, such as the military and alternative fuel discounts.
Farmers also offers affinity discounts to a wide range of professionals and group members; it’s well worth asking if you belong to any of the groups that get a rate cut.
How To Make a Claim
Before we talk about the Farmers claims experience, we will take a look at the company’s loss ratios.
A loss ratio tells us how the company is performing in terms of claims payments to premiums collected. If a company has a high loss ratio, they are paying out too much. Over 100 and the company is paying out more than it’s taking in, putting it at risk of financial problems.
A low loss ratio isn’t good either. It means the company isn’t paying out as much as they should be based on how much they’ve earned in premiums.
|Farmers Premiums and Loss Ratio||2015||2016||2017|
|Direct Premiums Written||$9,985,969||$10,304,622||$10,364,451|
Farmers loss ratios have been fairly stable, with their direct premium numbers rising a little each year. The loss ratio number did drop between 2016 and 2017. However, the industry total loss ratio also dropped in that time period from 71.84 percent to 68.87 percent.
That still puts Farmers’ loss ratios below average, but not alarmingly so.
So on to the question of how Farmers handles claims!
There are several methods of filing a claim with Farmers:
- Contact your agent directly
- Call the 24/7 claims line at 1-800-435-7764
- File your claim online, either as a Farmers customer with a login, by policy number without a login, or as a guest involved in an accident with a Farmer’s insured.
- Use the Farmers mobile app
This is a lot of choices, two of which will put you in touch with a real person, and two of which allow you to handle your claim electronically. Which you prefer likely depends on the type of claim, so it’s good to see options.
Options also make the claims process easier. Farmers may not be considered the most modern insurance company, but they have definitely moved claims into the modern age.
Both the website and the app allow easy uploading of claim documents and photographs, and both also allow the insured to track the claim rather than waiting to hear back from an adjuster.
In the past Farmers has struggled with some poor customer satisfaction ratings in the claims department, but that has changed. As we mentioned in the rating section, J.D. Power now gives them an excellent score for claims satisfaction.
How To Get a Quote Online
Farmers online quoting system allows you to compare their rates to other companies before you buy, and without the need to call an agent.
Quotes can be started right from the Farmers home page. To get started, you will need to enter your zip code.
The next page will ask you to enter your name, address, date of birth, and gender, and also ask if you are currently insured.
Farmers will then use this information to pull up records for your name and address, starting with the information about your vehicles. you can select from the list of vehicles or add any that aren’t listed.
Next, you will confirm driver information, and after this, the quoting system will ask for your email address and your phone number.
This is the point of no return for avoiding solicitation; Farmers will pass your contact information to the local agent who is assigned to your quote, and they’ll follow up either on the phone or via email.
Like most agent-driven insurance companies, Farmers counts on agents to close the deal.
If you aren’t willing to enter your contact information here, you won’t be able to complete the quote online. This is also the point where Farmers will ask for your social security number, but entering it is optional.
Here’s what Farmers requires you to provide to get a quote online.
|Driver's License Number||Not required|
|Social Security Number||Not required|
|Vehicle Identification Number||Not required|
Bear in mind that if you like the quote and want to proceed, you will have to provide all of the information listed, and if you don’t enter your social during the quote it could affect the final rate.
Farmers Website and App
The Farmers website is well-designed, and it’s easy to locate the most common pieces of information. Drop-down menus take visitors directly to product details, claims procedures, and company information.
The front-page quote box takes you right to the quote system if you’re just looking for numbers.
The website does lack some detail, particularly in the area of product details. The site doesn’t provide a lot of clear information on the coverage options, and we found we had to dig a bit for discount information. Even then, the amount of each discount wasn’t listed.
This lack of detail is meant to encourage visitors to reach out to an agent – like we already said, agents are trained to close the deal. Certainly, talking to an agent isn’t a bad thing and can help you to better understand your options, but we would like to see more detail readily available online.
The Farmers Mobile App can be downloaded free for iPhone or Android. It offers the following features:
- Access to policy details
- Electronic proof of insurance
- Claims filing and tracking
- Billing and payments
- Agent contact
The app has a 4.8 rating in the iTunes app store, and a 3.9 rating on the Google Play store. Most users declare it easy to use, although a few report difficulty with launching the app and registering for an account.
Pros and Cons
We’ve covered a lot of information about Farmers, but what does it all really come down to? As with most companies, you will have to weigh Farmers’ strengths against the areas where they are weaker and decide what that means for you.
|Solid, dependable company with a good financial base.||Rates are above average in most states.|
|High claim satisfaction ratings||Limited selection of add-ons|
|Good for bundling||Not available in all states|
Farmers is a long-standing company that has been working hard to improve the claims experience and stay on top of technology.
They offer a good combination of the old-school agent service and the modern approach. They’re unlikely, to be the cheapest option for most people, but the cheapest is not always the best.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have some questions about Farmers? We have a few more common questions and answers here, and you can head over to the Farmers website for more.
How do I qualify for the Good Student Discount at Farmers? Farmers offers the Good Student discount to anyone who has less than nine years of driving experience and meets one or more of the following criteria:
- maintains a B average
- Has a GPA of 3.0 or higher
- Is in the top 20 percent of their class
- Is on a Dean’s List or Honor Roll
You’ll need to present proof in the form of transcripts or other documentation and re-qualify at regular intervals.
Can I choose my own Farmers agent or change agents? Yes. You can select a different agent from the one selected for you prior to taking out a policy. You can also request that your policies, once in force, be transferred to a different agent.
After you do take out a policy with a specific agent, Farmers won’t change your agent without your permission, unless your agent is no longer working with Farmers.
Can I quote my auto and home together to see the discount? Yes, Farmers’ quoting system allows you to run quotes for both your cars and your home at the same time. You will be able to see what the discount would be for the auto policy while also comparing rates on home insurance.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.