Farmers Auto Insurance ReviewSunday, 15 December 2013 17:29
Farmers Insurance Group is one of the top five largest auto insurance companies in the United States and it sells insurance in all 50 states through a large network of agents. Farmers is known for its financial stability and for several notable acquisition in recent years, however the company has been the subject of several negative customer reviews. The company offers several discounts to its customers and a wide range of insurance options that are similar to other large insurers. Third party review organizations have given Farmers less than average ratings for customer satisfaction.
Company Background Information
Farmers Insurance Group is headquartered in Los Angeles, California and was founded in 1928. It is currently the fifth largest auto insurance company in the United States and is a large conglomerate of several other insurance companies that were acquired throughout the company’s history. The company was founded by John C. Tyler and Thomas E. Leavey for the purpose of offering lower priced insurance to local ranchers and farmers. In 1953 Farmers acquired New World Life Insurance. In the late 80s and early 90s the company suffered serious financial setbacks due to the California earthquakes at that time as well as the 1991 Oakland fire.
In 2000 Farmers acquired Foremost Corporation of America, an RV, boat, and specialty insurance provider and in 2007 it acquired Bristol West Holdings, a non-standard auto insurance provider. In 2009 it made another major acquisition when it purchased Century 21 Insurance from AIG for $1.9 billion, and this acquisition made Farmers one of the five largest auto insurance companies in the United States. At the moment it currently employs over 24,000 people at its offices throughout the United States. It sells insurance in all 50 states through a network of over 50,000 independent agents.
Farmers Insurance was rated “A” by A.M. Best with a credit rating of “a” for all of its subsidiary companies due to its national strength and financial stability. The outlook for its financial ratings was also stable. In spite of the positive financial ratings, Farmers has consistently received poor customer service reviews both from customers and third party independent review organizations, with J.D. Power rating Farmers just 2 out of 5 power circles for customer service satisfaction.
Pros of Farmers Auto Insurance
- One of the five largest auto insurance companies in the U.S. with a strong financial outlook
- Several insurance products offered for different customer needs
- A wide range of discounts offered
Cons of Farmers Auto Insurance
- Multiple negative reviews from customers and negative third party reviews
Farmer’s offers several different discounts for its customers, and the discounts may vary based on the state. Discounts include the following:
- Multiple policy discounts for purchasing auto and home, renters, motorcycle and life insurance
- Safe driving discounts for drivers with a clean record
- Early shopping discounts for getting a quote for a policy 7 days or more prior to the current policy lapse date
- Good student discounts for students who get at least a “B” average
- Multiple vehicle discount for insuring more than one vehicle with Farmers
- Alternative fuel discounts for green and hybrid vehicles
- Discounts for members of professional groups and for particular professionals such as doctors, engineers, firefighters, RNs, teachers, dentists, police officers and many others
The company mentions that the available discounts will vary based on the state, and that more information on discounts can be determined by speaking with a Farmers agent.
Types of Insurance Offered
Farmers offers a large range of different insurance options including auto, renters, life, home, business, motorcycle, financial, umbrella and recreational insurance products. Customers can save money with multiple product purchases.
For its auto insurance products it offers the standard options of liability, comprehensive, medical payment, collision, uninsured/underinsured motorist, and personal injury protection coverage. Coverage limits and details on coverage vary based on the state.
Additional Insurance Products
In addition to these standard options, Farmers offers several insurance supplements such as:
- Accident forgiveness for one accident in a three year period
- New car replacement for the full value of the vehicle without depreciation for its first two years or 24,000 miles. OEM parts are also used for vehicle repairs on new vehicles
- Extra coverage for additional equipment such as stereos and theft coverage for vehicle additions
- Rental vehicle reimbursement for the use of a rented car after an accident
- HelpPoint glass replacement and repair services to find a quality glass repair company locally
- HelpPoint Roadside Assistance which offers 24/7 roadside assistance services including towing, jumpstart service, locksmith service and other vehicle breakdown services.
- Personal liability umbrella insurance to supplement any current liability coverage
The Farmer’s website is very modern and clean and well designed. There is a moderate amount of information about the company’s insurance products, and it often recommends that interested customers speak with a Farmer’s agent to get more information about the unique discounts that may be offered in their state. Interested customers can get a quote on the website and also find a local agent. Claims for all Farmers insurance products can also easily be reported from the website and the claims department is open 24/7. The My Farmers login allows customers to manage their policy, pay their bill and download insurance documents.
The downside of Farmers Insurance is that the company has received several negative reviews describing a wide range of difficulties with claims processing and customer support problems. Reviews mentioned extra fees, high quotes for auto insurance, increased premiums without a particular reason, problems and delays with getting claims payouts, trouble contacting claims adjusters, and other issues. J.D. Power rated Farmers with just 2 out of 5 power circles for customer satisfaction, which substantiates some of the negative reviews of the company.
Although Farmers is a large and well established insurance company with several discounts and products, the negative reviews of the company’s customer service practices from past customers and third party review organizations make it difficult to recommend them for auto insurance. At the least, rates from Farmers should be compared to other insurance providers, and if you are looking for insurance now you can get rates from several providers by entering your zip code on this page.
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