Problems With Farmers Insurance

by Christine Lebednik

Reports abound of problems and complaints regarding Farmers Insurance. Consumers, former consumers, at least two former adjusters for the company and multiple professional reporting agencies alike all reported a range of problems with Farmers Insurance. Complaints ranged from unjustified and-or unusual charges and fees to failure to settle legitimate claims.

Extra Charges

One individual who had used Farmers Insurance indicated that Farmers charged exorbitant fees, according to "Complaints board: Farmers Insurance." This person reported that Farmers Insurance charged a $15 fee every time the insured made a policy change: a service normally included as a standard procedure by insurance companies. In addition, J. D. Power and Associates gave Farmers Insurance a "Worst" rating when it came to the company's pricing structure, as described in "Farmers Insurance is rated Worst: Farmers Insurance has the Most Complaints." .

Billing for Previously Canceled Policies

The same individual who reported on the fees for policy changes also reported on the same complaints forum that Farmers Insurance continued to send collection letters on a policy the insured had previously had with Farmers, but that the insured had canceled more than six months before receiving the collection notice. This individual reported having, in fact, received a prior payment in full notice soon after canceling the policy, only to receive the collection notice several months thereafter.

Do Not Pay Claims

Another individual who had had experience with Farmers Insurance, also reporting in the same complaints forum, described what appeared to be a quite legitimate claim with automobile insurance, but indicated that Farmers Insurance would not pay out on the claim. Another insured reported on the same forum no satisfaction from the company despite three open claims with Farmers Insurance: in this case involving homeowners insurance. The ultimate outcome of this inadequacy on Farmers' part actually caused loss of the insured's home because of ongoing damages resulting in safety issues. Consumer Reports also rates Farmers Insurance "Worse" in terms of delayed payments and not paying out on claims. Further, J. D. Powers rated Farmers Insurance as the worst insurance company regarding claim settlement. .

Understaffed

In a rather unusual situation for adverse reporting of this sort, an individual identifying himself as a former Farmers Insurance adjuster posted very negative information on the company to the Internet in the forum "Greenspun; Insurance Problems". This individual indicated that a part of the problem with Farmers Insurance is understaffing: the caseloads of adjusters are such that they cannot keep up with them even were they to work 16-hour days. Shortly thereafter, another former Farmers adjuster also posted to the same forum corroborating the statements of the first adjuster to post the understaffing information.

Adverse Ratings

According to the U.S. Public adjusters website, "Farmers has the worst rating among insurance companies." The company ranks worst among insurance companies based on the reports of a variety of entities. Those cited giving Farmers Insurance adverse ratings included Consumer Reports, the Better Business Bureau, J. D. Power and Associates, collision repair shops and the Texas State Department of Insurance.

About the Author

A writer/editor since 1984, Christine Lebednik has spent much of her career in business and technical writing, and editing. Her consumer print and online articles include product descriptions for TDMonthly Online, book reviews for Catholic News Service, consumer reports for Consumer Search and works for various other publications. Lebednik received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Salem State College.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of David Lisbona