Founders: Then and Now

Founded in 1928, Farmers Insurance was originally created to insure the vehicles of rural farmers. Having steadily grown from there, according to their website, Farmers is now comprised of several companies which make up the Farmers Insurance Group. Three reciprocal insurers, Farmers Insurance Exchange, Truck Insurance Exchange, and Fire Insurance Exchange, make up the Farmers Exchanges and are owned by their policyholders. These companies have developed from the original basic vehicle insurance agency to, ” a multi-line, multi-company insurer and financial services group with a solid reputation…” as stated on their site. Over ten million households are served by Farmers Insurance at this time, spanning all 50 states.

In order to evaluate and compare Farmers insurance company’s rankings against other insurance companies, the methods of popular research and ratings companies are utilized to determine a ranking according to various factors. Customer satisfaction, policy offerings, policy prices, agent and call center interactions, claims processing procedures, and other evaluations can all be factors. Research and ratings companies can include such prominent names at A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard and Poor’s, which each assess a unique array of such factors

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Our Rating

Pros

  • Long-term company history

  • Partnership with Tesla for forward progress

  • Lots of policy offerings

Satisfaction Rating

Claims Rating

Shopping Rating

Offerings Rating

Stability Rating

Farmers Policy Offerings

Farmers Insurance covers a variety of needs including automobile insurance, renter’s insurance, home insurance, recreational insurance, motorcycle insurance, business insurance, life insurance, pet insurance, umbrella insurance and financial services.

Ratings on:

Customer Satisfaction, Claims Processing, Pricing, and Policy Offerings are assessed through the yearly J.D. Power study.

J.D. Power Study’s Ratings on Farmers for 2017

For example, a 2017 J.D. Power study reveals that in the area of U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction, their study revealed a rank of 12th place for Farmers, with more specific ratings as follows:

Farmers earned 3 out of a possible 5 stars, or an average rating, in six out of seven factors measured, including:

The seventh factor measured, known as the repair process, earned Farmers 2 stars out of a possible five, or a below average rating.

But the J.D. Power study indicated a broad range of rankings when the different regions and states within the country were considered.

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  • Overall Satisfaction

  • FNOL (First Notice of Loss)

  • Claim Servicing

  • Estimate Process

  • Repair process

  • Rental experience (with any necessary rental vehicles while damaged car is being repaired)

For example, in California’s 2017 U.S. Auto Insurance Study from J.D. Power, Farmers ranked slightly lower overall with the following scores:

Farmers earned 2 out of 5 scores, or a below average rating, on five out of six factors, which were:

  • Overall Satisfaction

  • Policy Offerings

  • Billing Process/Policy Info

  • Interactions

  • Claims

The sixth factor of price, earned Farmers three out of five stars in the California study.

In the Central states study from J.D. Power, Farmers ranked in 9th place overall, with the following scores:

They earned 3 stars out of five, or an average rating, on the areas of:

  • Overall Satisfaction

  • Policy Offerings

  • Billing/Policy Info

  • Interactions

They earned a 2-star rating, or below average, on the category of Price, and a 4-star rating, or above average, on Claims.

In the Florida study, Farmers did not rank high enough to be included in the top 15 rankings provided.

In the MidAtlantic region’s study, Farmers ranked in 10th place with scores as follows:

3 stars out of a possible 5 in the factors of:

  • Overall Satisfaction

  • Price

  • Billing Process/Policy Info

  • Interactions

  • Claims

They earned a score of 4 stars in the category of: Policy Offerings

For the New England region’s study, as well as New York State, Farmers did not rank high enough to be included in the top scores provided.

In the North Central region, Farmers ranked 16th, with scores of:

Three out of five stars, or an average rating in: overall satisfaction, policy offerings, billing process and policy info, interactions and claims.

They earned 2 stars, or below average, in: Price

For the Northwest region, Farmers ranked 4th overall, with slightly better with scores of:

Three out of five stars, or average, in: Overall Satisfaction, Policy Offerings, Billing Process/Policy Info, and Claims.

They earned a 2-star rating, or below average, in price and a 4-star rating, or above average, in interactions (customer service).

For additional details on J.D. Power study scores for Farmers in the Southeast, Southwest, and Texas regions, please visit this site.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners Reports

On the National Association of Insurance Commissioners site, NAIC provides information on insurance topics like complaints and licensing financial information. In regard to Farmers, they provided the following information:

For Farmers Mutual Aid Society of Farmers Retreat: Zero complaints were reported on the NAIC site for the year 2017 thus far. 2016 also noted zero complaints.

For Farmers Automobile Insurance Association, zero complaints were reported for 2017. It should be noted, however, that a star replaces a number in most states’ categories, which means that the company did not write business in the state in the year 2017. The same is true for 2016, with the exception of 4 complaints being filed in the state of Indiana.

For Alamance Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, zero complaints have been reported for the year 2017, with the same situation being true for the company not writing business in many states this year. 2016 revealed the same results for Alamance.

For American Farmers and Ranchers Insurance Company, zero complaints were reported for 2017, with a large number of stars indicating the company did not write business in many states this year. The same is true for 2016, with the exception of one complaint reported for Oklahoma.

The exact same reports were made for American Farmers and Ranchers Life Insurance in 2017 with zero complaints and many stars indicating no business was written in many states this year. 2016 also had one complaint in the state of Oklahoma.

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Financial Stability

To evaluate Farmers on the company’s financial stability, we can look at Moody’s and A.M. Best’s analyses.

As of January 2017, A.M. Best issued a press release with the following ratings on Farmers Insurance, according to their website:

A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a” of the members of Farmers Insurance Group (Farmers) and Farmers Reinsurance Company (Farmers Re) (Woodland Hills, CA). Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “a” of Farmers management company and attorney-in-fact, Farmers Group, Inc. (FGI), as well as the Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IR) of “bbb+” on the outstanding surplus notes of Farmers Insurance Exchange (Exchange) (Woodland Hills, CA) and Farmers Exchange Capital. The outlook for all Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.”

Moody’s gave an overall rating of “stable” as well in their Rating Action here.

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Discounts and Deals with Farmers

Farmer’s offers a Friendly Review® Session once per year where customers can meet with an advisor either in person or online. This can be useful for discussing changes to the household or other events that may impact insurance policies.

They also offer a Farmers® Rewards Visa® Card which can be used to accumulate points toward gift cards, travel, Farmers products, and various types of merchandise.

Farmers offers discounts on insurance which varies according to state. New Mexico customers, for example, can qualify for discounts like:

  • Bundle discounts (multi-policy discounts for more than one type of insurance, i.e. home, car, business, etc.)

  • Business and professional group discounts

  • Distant student (any student who attends school at least 100 miles away but leaves their car at home while attending)

  • Multi-car discounts (similar to bundle discounts, but for more than one vehicle insured per household)

  • Teen discount – for policyholders of at least two years to apply when they add their teen child or grandchild to their existing policy

While Vermont offers:

  • Distant student

  • Multi-car

  • Good student discounts (generally for students ranking in the top 20% of their class or earning at least a B average)

  • Mature drivers’ discounts (take a state-approved drivers’ training course to get this discount)

  • Drivers’ training discount (for those under 21 who successfully complete an approved drivers’ training course)

The rates can vary considerably based upon your situation and setting as well. For a married 45-year-old woman in Hanson, South Dakota, driving a 2012 Acura primarily to work and school, for example, who is currently insured and employed as an educator, having had no accidents or violations within the past 3 years, a rate of $36 per month for basic liability and $249 per month for full coverage may be expected. For the same individual in Hammond, Indiana can expect to pay $73 per month for liability or $570 per month for full coverage.

Overall, Farmers Insurance is a reasonable choice for students, families, individuals, and businesses that want to protect their belongings and livelihoods from damage