Farmers Insurance Profile
As one of the largest insurance groups in the U.S., Farmers Insurance holds 5th position for market share as of 2014. Farmer’s sells its products through captive agents, and also owns a number of other insurance companies that sell to diverse markets.
Farmers Insurance was founded in 1928 to provide affordable insurance to farmers and ranchers in Los Angeles, California. Known as the Farmers Automobile Inter-Insurance Exchange, the company grew to be one of the leading insurers and expanded their product lineup.
Farmers acquired multiple subsidiaries over the years, including New World Life Insurance Company, Mid-Century Insurance, and Foremost Insurance. Their most recent acquisition was 21st Century Insurance, giving them a strong position in the direct-buy market as well as the agent-driven market.
Directly and through subsidiaries, Farmers sells a full range of insurance products for both individuals and businesses. Products are available across America, although they are not yet sold in Canada.
Farmers is big in the auto insurance market, but also writes a large number of home and life insurance policies as well as commercial.
Products are sold through captive agents, which means that the agents work directly through Farmers and don’t sell products from competing companies. Farmers sells auto, home, and some specialty products directly, but offers many other products through subsidiaries.
Farmers New World Life writes a full range of life insurance products, while Foremost is the group’s specialty and non-standard property insurer. The size and scope of Farmers Group allows them to offer a near-complete lineup of products.
Farmers also has a financial products division offering retirement and other savings plans.
Farmers Insurance is a company that is aimed at low-risk, standard drivers and homeowners who will qualify for the most discounts and thus the lowest rates available. Farmers is generally seen as a more expensive insurance company, partially a function of the captive-agent system that includes commissions in the cost of policies.
Farmers is a competitor for America’s top insurance company, State Farm. Both use the captive agent system and offer similar products and a similar reputation, although State Farm remains much larger in terms of market share. This may be due to the fact that State Farm generally performs better in satisfaction surveys than does Farmers.
In 2014, the J.D. Power Claims satisfaction survey ranked Farmers below the industry average.
Quoting With Farmers
Farmers’ quotes are done primarily through agents, although they do have an online option. Policies can’t be purchased online, so even with online quoting the customer will be sent to an agent to complete the application and purchase. Quotes are also available over the phone.
Since Farmers has more than 50,000 agents across the country, finding one is easy.
Will Farmers Come to Canada?
Of all the American companies not currently providing insurance coverage in Canada, Farmers could be among the most likely to cross the border. Farmers’ major competitors, State Farm and Allstate, have both already done so, and it would not be an unlikely move. There is no current plan for Farmers to expand into Canada.