Farmers Agents Sue Carrier Over Contracts, Taking Client Info

By Don Jergler | December 27, 2012
torn contract

  • December 28, 2012 at 9:04 am
    mike oldham says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 48
    Thumb down 4

    Just change the name from farmers to Allstate and you have the same situation described.

    • December 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm
      FFA says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 20
      Thumb down 3

      Soon as Farmers loses, make it easier for the Allstate guys to do the same.

  • December 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm
    WyomingAgent says:
    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 9
    Thumb down 23

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • December 31, 2012 at 10:39 am
      Independent Agency Owner says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 18
      Thumb down 1

      Glad this company is in my rear view mirror, they are purging their agency force.

      • January 5, 2013 at 7:40 pm
        Independent Agency Owner says:
        Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 1
        Thumb down 2

        And policyholders. I’m swamped with quoting all their commercial biz that they are running off.

    • January 1, 2013 at 11:05 pm
      Lonestar says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 14
      Thumb down 0

      Wyoming Agent, enter a friend of yours into ECMS and do a bogus auto quote. See if your friend gets a solicitation / quote from 21st Century in about 6-8 weeks. This is happening to many other FIG agents. Do yourself a favor, and do not use ECMS for your customer contact information. Use your own customer management system. This way, when you leave Farmers, you will be in control of all of your client’s contact information instead of Farmers retaining control, and assigning your policies to the next newby agent at 40% of the regular commission. Don’t trust FIG.

      • January 2, 2013 at 8:42 am
        innocenttexan says:
        Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 5
        Thumb down 0

        lonestar

        how does a separate CMS prevent FIG from having the information of a customer. In my FIG world the information must be entered just to get a quote and it remains in ECMS once teh quote is submitted.

        • January 2, 2013 at 1:17 pm
          Lonestar says:
          Like or Dislike:
          Thumb up 7
          Thumb down 0

          Keeping your own CMS database allows you to keep your customers DOBs, DLs and SS#s. FIG will have these too, but you can dummy up the contact information such as phone numbers and email addresses. But the more information you can store in your own database, the better. You never know, if you ever get tired of not owning your own business with FIG, or if FIG involkes the 90 termination clause of your AAA contract, at least you will have a fighting chance to stay in the insurance business. All FIG has to do is assign another agent code to your ECMS and policies, and all the hard work of your data entry now belongs to another newby recruit, at half commission. Just be prepared.

          • December 17, 2014 at 4:00 am
            RL Beam says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 0
            Thumb down 0

            Apparently Farmers does not provide any training on the proper handling of Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

            No one should just take individuals’ DOB, DL & SSN information! That is not information that belongs to ANY person, except the owner. When required, it should be properly maintained and protected by the company who holds the liability for its loss. Did you protect that data when you kept it? Is it encrypted? Is it locked in a safe? If not, you are wrong. Actually, you are wrong anyway.

            This is why I refuse to give my SSN to any company that can’t prove a legitimate need to obtain it.

  • December 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm
    Chad Balaamaba says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 46
    Thumb down 1

    as the commercial says…”We are Farmers…dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb”

    Never one to have an original idea, they do appear to be determined to be the next Allstate…

  • December 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm
    TX Agent says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 19
    Thumb down 0

    Funny how this story is sponcered by Zurich…. Try Telling your insured why their Zurich claim is being handled by Farmers….

  • December 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm
    Ready to Go says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 16
    Thumb down 0

    WyomingAgent, the better question is how did Farmers get the names and addresses of those clients you received the email about. This is going on and many of us have seen it. Try putting in an incorrect name and your office address into ECMS and see if you get a solicitation from 21st Century. The rest of the allegations are true also. Terminating agents without a violation of the contract and giving the policies to new agents at half the commission is rampant.

    • December 31, 2012 at 1:43 pm
      Mr. Solvent says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 7
      Thumb down 0

      All of these carriers have the same idea, agents aren’t necessary. All of them eventually come to their senses, but this is the mess of the meantime.

  • December 28, 2012 at 2:08 pm
    Bob says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 9
    Thumb down 0

    They appointed independent agents in CT 2008. Last year they stopped independent agents from writing new business in CT. Now it has to be written in Foremost (a Farmers Co) with 1/3 less commission. Now they announced any remaining Farmers commissions will be cut to next to nothing.

  • December 28, 2012 at 2:20 pm
    MeIsEinstein says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 39
    Thumb down 0

    In other news, Allstate’s “Mayhem” moves to Farmers…

    • January 10, 2013 at 9:52 pm
      Mark says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 9
      Thumb down 0

      I believe mayhem is the former SVP of allstate that is now running farmers into the ground.

  • December 28, 2012 at 2:20 pm
    RVB says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 26
    Thumb down 0

    Stay independent and truly partner with your underwriters. We cannot succeed without you so we have a seriously vested interest in your success!

  • December 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm
    Patty says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 33
    Thumb down 1

    I have been a Farmers agent for 30 years. I received a 90 day notice 3 months ago. Today is my last day. I am profitable and have a high retention level. I did not sell enough new policies with priced premiums. Therefore I am being terminated. I have never had any E&O claims or complaints. I have a neigborhood office that clients have been walking into to visit while taking care of their insurance. Every client that I talk to tells me they only stayed because of me and my service. All are sad to see me leave. When I signed my contract in 1982 I was told that I would never have a production requirement and that I am an independant contractor and not an employee. That is as long as I do not do any of the deadly sins such as misprepesentation, fraud and such. Other than those crimes I would never be terminated nor would I ever have a production requirement.
    The Farmers agent association sent me an affidavit to sign which layed out all the lies Farmers district manager told me when I signed up. I had that affidavit notorized and mailed back to the association. If any person out there has any old sales material from a district managers office form the 70,80 and 90′s please let me or someone else know so we can prove the words and sales pitch that those managers used to aquire a new agent. We were all told the same lines and the affidavit is so right on with what it stated that I know there must be some video or written material given to district managers from Farmers head office. It surely had pitch lines that told them how to get a new agent to sign up.
    Send me any response if you have any of this material and let’s see if it will nail Farmers to the wall on their many lies.

    Patty Allinson

    • December 31, 2012 at 12:57 pm
      MeIsEinstein says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 21
      Thumb down 0

      Patty, one word of support; go independent. I come from the captive world and my one and only regret is why I didn’t do it sooner. Have no one to tell me what I can and can’t do, I can place my client’s business wherever I choose to and if I don’t like the way a carrier does business I fire them instead of them firing me because after all the client is mine, not theirs. Wish you luck!

    • December 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm
      Mr. Solvent says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 17
      Thumb down 0

      Patty, I have to agree with MelsEinstein. Go independent and don’t look back. Your customers will follow. Just remember on a side note that you’ll now be dealing with multiple companies all trying to keep their bottom line intact.

    • January 1, 2013 at 10:36 pm
      Lonestar says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 9
      Thumb down 0

      Patty, I wish you luck. However, since a Farmers DM is not an employee of Farmers, FIG can wash their hands of anything a DM promised to a prospective agent, in my opinion. FIG knows this and this is why they have had DM’s that are not employees. Plausible Deniability.

    • January 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm
      Allan says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 2
      Thumb down 0

      Patty,

      Where you located? I was with a captive for 10 yrs., until I watched them terminate my Dad, who had 30 years, to get his book. I started an IA 16 yrs. ago & have never been happier. Contact an IA in a town close by. Personally, I would love the chance to partner with an agency in your situation. You sound like an “Old-School” type agency, built on relationships and would probably capture 80+% of your book, as we did, & at a much higher commission (how does 100% on life sound?). My 1st year as an IA I earned a trip to London with life sales, w/ my prior co. I would’ve won a trip to unemployment. Email me if I can help

  • December 29, 2012 at 10:11 am
    John says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 10
    Thumb down 1

    Criminals including the DM’s….which are the worst.

  • December 29, 2012 at 10:14 am
    John says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 24
    Thumb down 1

    Entire company is dangerously treating the “Conractors” as employees. Get rid of the over paid worthless low life DM’s

  • December 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm
    John says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 11
    Thumb down 2

    Not much of a difference than what Allstate has in Esurance.
    A company can do what they want and if agents don’t agree, they are free to go.

  • December 31, 2012 at 10:26 am
    John K says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 6
    Thumb down 3

    The big, old companies are evolving, to meet the new market reality, that younger people like buying direct. The changing demographic in the US is causing the change, and exclusive agents will have to compete on service, if they want to be viable, into the future.

  • December 31, 2012 at 11:14 am
    X FIGDM says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 17
    Thumb down 0

    This used to be a great company,they have lost sight of what made them so great.

    • January 4, 2013 at 10:14 am
      FFA says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 1
      Thumb down 0

      Thanks Mr Hopkins.

  • December 31, 2012 at 11:30 am
    Rob says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 8
    Thumb down 0

    @John- true, an agent can move on. Farmer’s agent contract specifically states that an agent does not own the client info or book of business and, upon termination of the contract by either party, the agent cannot solicit or accept business from any Farmers client for one year. You can fight it, but who has more money and a building full of attorneys on retainer? Not the average Farmers agent.
    The big difference between what Farmers has done with 21st Century and what Allstate is doing with Esurance is Allstate hasn’t forwarded Allstate agents’ client info to Esurance for direct marketing.

    • December 31, 2012 at 1:48 pm
      Mr. Solvent says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 10
      Thumb down 0

      What’s 12 months in the grand scheme of things?

      You have to go into new business mode just like a new agent and then after your 12 months, pillage that book of business that you had before. I’ve spoken with several former captives with better than a 50% conversion rate.

  • December 31, 2012 at 12:26 pm
    Suze says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 5
    Thumb down 0

    We are an independent agency and were able to sell Farmers until they merged with Foremost. Then they discontinued Farmers old system, but still serviced the policies. Things were great for a few months with Foremost Distinct Choice Auto and Home. The auto was pricey, but the home made up for it in most cases. Then they get rid of the Foremost Home and make the Foremost Auto non-standard. Wow, how did that really helps me sell??
    Now for the icing on the cake… they are petitioning the state to cancel the Foremost homeowner policies we have with them, they lowered the commissions on the old Farmers business to near nothing, they drastically increased premiums on Foremost mobile home, specialty dwelling and motorcycle — after 85 years in business, they should’ve learned something about relationships. I have about had enough with the whole company.

  • December 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm
    FFA says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 19
    Thumb down 2

    A word of Advice for all Farmers Agents, Join togeather and resign all at the same time. Take you biz with them. A mass exedous of agents at the same time claiming the same thing would be a PR nightmare for them and wat too much to go after for No Compete all at once.

  • January 1, 2013 at 10:38 pm
    Matthew Burbank says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 14
    Thumb down 0

    Farmers is a Hellhole for new Reserve Agents as well. Nobody has even piped up about what it’s like to enter their bilge-wash revolving door dungeon-cesshole as a new agent. Luckily I saw the writing on the wall as I was going in so I did get some good training but then when my sales manager demanded I make 700 calls a day to businesses, I said enough is enough. Even THEIR leads sucked! IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE EXTENDED FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO MERCY BLOOD-SUCK FOR POLICIES, there is NO way you can create an agency. Farmers runs 10,000 job listings a month on CraigsList, think that’s enough? It should be called FarmersList. They should just BUY CraigsList and close their excuse for an insurance company! What a joke.

  • January 1, 2013 at 10:53 pm
    Lonestar says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 17
    Thumb down 2

    Any person looking to be an agent for Farmers would be an idiot if they still signed up after all of this being brought into light. I spent over 10 years with FIG, and went IA a little over 2 years ago. My only regret is that I did not do this sooner!

  • January 3, 2013 at 11:50 am
    newBagent says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 15
    Thumb down 0

    Thanks all for your comments in FIG. I’ve got my 3rd interview with a FIGDM on tues. After my recent research and forum readings…I think I’ll cancel it.

    • January 3, 2013 at 7:06 pm
      Lonestar says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 8
      Thumb down 0

      newBagent, you would be smart to rethink signing with Farmers. Trust my 13 years of experience on this. If you need more insight from current / former agents of Farmers, you may visit a board that is visited often by current and ex Farmers agents. http://myinsuranceworld.proboards.com/index.cgi

      Best of luck.

    • January 8, 2013 at 3:48 pm
      Independent MN says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 3
      Thumb down 0

      A very wise move!

  • January 4, 2013 at 3:16 pm
    SWFL Agent says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 8
    Thumb down 0

    The Sr. Management at Farmers/Foremost has no appetite for “successfully” managing a group of captive agents. And providing these agents with a consistent product offering is becoming more difficult. Unfortunately their agents are finding this out.

    • January 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm
      Independent Agency Owner says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 8
      Thumb down 0

      You hit the nail right on the head. Their senior management all came from IA channel. Bet Zurich planned it that way.

  • January 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm
    RICHARD VOLK says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 6
    Thumb down 0

    WHEN ZURICH PURCHASED FARMERS YEARS AGO, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAPPENED RIGHT AWAY WAS FOR FARMERS (TIE) TO QUIT WRITING GARAGE POLICIES AND NON RENEW ANY ON THE BOOKS. AGENTS WERE NOT COMPENSATED IN ANY WAY FOR THE HIT TO THEIR CONTRACT VALUE OR LOSS OF INCOME. STRANGELY, ALL THE POLICY INFO ABOUT ALL THOSE POLICIES WAS DISEMINATED TO ZURICH AGENTS WHO WENT IN WITH GOOD RATES AND THAT BUSINESS WAS GONE.– I HAVE SINCE WENT INDEPENDENT AND ONE THING I WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENT IS TO DECLINE THE CONTRACT VALUE, START AS AN IA FROM DAY ONE. EVEN WITH THE NO-COMPETE, WE RETAINED OVER 90% AND IN ABOUT 10 YEARS HAVE TRIPLED OUR AGENCY.GOOD LUCK.

  • January 8, 2013 at 11:47 am
    Devin Ambrose says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 12
    Thumb down 0

    Here in VA many agents have resigned before being terminated. We were pressured with validation concerns and of coure our subsity was a loan. Yes I am aware of the contract but it appears it was not a contract entered in “good faith’

    At end of the day I am so disappointed that FIG would create such a model that really was a template for failure and deception just to secure our BOB. I hope this suit becomes a class action so ther agents can join in on the suit or at least FIG will not pursue the subsity funds.

    Keeping hope alive while I remain an unemployed post industrial slud in the new world order.

    • January 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm
      Steve says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 5
      Thumb down 0

      Same boat in Ohio. FIG raised rates so high in Nov.’12 that I had to close my office, now FIG is asking for subsidy repayment! It was the second rate increase last year in 6 months! In my local area so far I am aware of 6 agents who had to close and many more barely getting by with renewals and about to close!

      I pray this suit does include all of us forced out with subsity balances! My local Chamber of Commerce advised me to retain a lawyer myself after reviewing the FIG actions!

  • January 8, 2013 at 3:41 pm
    Independent MN says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 18
    Thumb down 0

    Farmers has only a fraction of the agents it had 10 years ago and that begs the question why? The purge of knowledgeable quality agents from this once great company is appalling.

  • January 9, 2013 at 3:38 pm
    Jason says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 26
    Thumb down 0

    As a high level manager I have a hard time honestly telling people to become Farmers agents. The program is designed for 80% of the agents to fail so we can take those policies and reassigned them for other agents and pay less commission. We’re in the process of trying to eliminate any agents with less then 1000pif by putting them back on subsidy and giving them unreadable goals to stay on the program, they fail we can terminate based on the new contracts then reassign the policies. Go someplace else your better off working at a Walmart. At least they pay you.

  • January 10, 2013 at 9:59 pm
    Tony says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 16
    Thumb down 0

    Farmers new agency point platform preys off the down economy to convince people that haven no business even working in insurance that they can be business owners. Every market has uncompetitive rates and homeowners that they don’t want to write. There’s also a rumor they’re about to purchase a national IA and go back into the independent market meaning there will be no reason to be captive.

  • April 4, 2013 at 7:59 pm
    steve vitola says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 2
    Thumb down 0

    I was asked to resign after 26 years. I was profitable and had a 99% retention rate. The State Executive complimented the day before I was forced to resign. My contract allowed me to place business outside of Farmers for 26 years, but when my production slowed because of excessive rate increases I was forced out. Contacted
    UFAA, but they turned their back.

  • December 17, 2014 at 11:07 am
    steve vitola says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 1
    Thumb down 0

    I should have hired an attorney. After 26 years of managing a Farmers Agency, which required 45% for overhead, I was forced out because my production of new business was not good for District Manager, who made unanouned visits to my office, and took pictures of my production board of substandard homes I was writing outside of Farmers. I hope I can be part of the lawsuit!!!



Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

More News
More News Features