State Farm to Close 11 Offices, Displacing 4,200 Employees, After 2016 $7B Loss

By and | May 4, 2017

  • May 5, 2017 at 11:08 am
    SacFlood says:
    Hot debate. What do you think?
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    Enact Legislation that either denies claims, surcharges policies more than usual, or cancels policies if use of electronic devices is found to be the proximate cause of an accident. Have Insureds sign a binding statement where they accept one of the above outcomes if they are found to be at fault due to the use of an electronic device. Carrot and stick. Greed and fear. It’s not hard to influence human behavior. It is hard to find Legislators with courage and brains to enact & pass this kind of Legislation.

    • May 5, 2017 at 11:16 am
      Confused says:
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      If I’m using my electronic device solely for navigation and get into an accident — am I automatically at-fault because I was using my phone while driving, even if the only application that was running was a mapping program? How can I prove this to an insurance carrier?

      What if my wife is driving and she gives me her phone to text someone on her behalf, then she gets into an accident? What proof can we provide to prove it was me on her phone and not her so she isn’t automatically at-fault?

      • May 5, 2017 at 11:59 am
        Keith Laskey says:
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        Hello, I hope you are well. I’m an agent and not a claim rep but I have a pretty decent understanding of how claims work. You would only be considered at fault if you actually cause the accident. So, if you are rear ended, it won’t matter if you are using your mapping app. If you do cause the accident while using the app than you could have a problem.

        Same thing on the second question. If she causes the accident then she will be at fault. If it discovered that there was a text message being sent at the time of the accident then you may have a problem. You will have to find a way to prove that you were texting and not her.

      • May 5, 2017 at 2:41 pm
        Agent says:
        Hot debate. What do you think?
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        Confused, if you hear “Recalculating” three or more times, you are lost and should get off the road instead of being “Confused” about your navigation.

        • May 5, 2017 at 3:24 pm
          Confused says:
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          Agent – besides another chance to insult me out of the blue, does your post have ANYTHING to do with my comment?

          Thanks for your reply Keith. I appreciate you responding to the actual content of my questions.

          • May 5, 2017 at 4:16 pm
            Agent says:
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            You should get a ticket for using your cell while driving your car. You are just as distracted as the dude texting someone. Pull over, do your map and get off the phone. That is Common Sense 101 and this is not an insult.

          • May 5, 2017 at 4:32 pm
            Confused says:
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            I did not take that as an insult and have a sincere non-insulting question as my reply:

            Do you feel there is a difference between using your cell phone navigation and the one car manufacturers install during production?

            If you’re put your phone where your OEM navigation screen would be, should you still get cited for using your cell while driving …. or should you get cited for using your OEM SatNav system since it’s no different than using your phone for that purpose?

  • May 5, 2017 at 1:10 pm
    Einstein says:
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    I wonder how much longer SF will hold off in doing what Nationwide, Allstate and others did which is offering their products through the IA channel.

    • May 5, 2017 at 2:46 pm
      Agent says:
      Hot debate. What do you think?
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      Obviously, the geek modelers did not foresee the $7 Billion loss on Personal Auto. Underwriting standards on the brain dead cell addicts are not working. This problem is as out of control as the Federal Government deficit. I understand there are now classes available at community colleges to break the addiction. Maybe companies should give credits on rates for certification the course was taken and passed. Should lead to better experience.

    • May 5, 2017 at 5:33 pm
      Agent says:
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      Confused, if you are looking at your navigation screen while driving and not looking at the road, that qualifies as being distracted. Got it yet, or do you have more nonsense questions? Please acknowledge that you realize that distracted driving by use of cell for talking, texting, using navigation or playing Pokémon Go is causing accidents in this country and is out of control.

    • May 8, 2017 at 7:22 am
      Mid-Ohio Guy says:
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      In the last two years we have added Allstate and Nationwide to our Independent Agency. State Farm next? Is this Karma? State Farm Agents act as if independent Agents are “Bottom Feeders” BUT it looks like only selling one brand and banging square pegs into round holes is catching up with them. I would not want to be captive with any brand in todays market.

      • May 8, 2017 at 11:36 am
        CO_yeti says:
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        Well, this article is about an underwriting loss (which everyone is taking a bath in auto right now)not how healthy the agent channel is… that being said I would say based on experience SF needs to update its agency brand. The traditional agents had a long list of stable families that wrote many lines of business and were loyal over generations. However everything changes and SF hasn’t adapted their product as quickly as the world is changing. A lot of the established agents are retiring and the new ones are falling back on cold calling/telemarketing in order to meet their numbers. Needless to say the type of business you write that way is not of the same caliber as when you organically grow through local relationships.

        • May 8, 2017 at 12:00 pm
          Eddie Hall says:
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          CO_yeti, you are right. Several years ago SF started losing market share. When they finally realized it they threw underwriting out the window and started writing anything. We had non standard business with minimum liability only and the gobbled it up with a rate of $240 per six months. The standard companies will tell you minimum liability is their biggest loser. The new agents are the most unethical I have seen. They are so desperate they will fight you over a minimum liability policy. I’ve had several cases were they cut the insured’s liability in half to have a lower rate. Recently a SF agent called me and said he was writing my insured and was saving him $1,800 per year. I told the agent there wasn’t enough premium to save $1,800 per. He compare our 12 month policy to SF six month policy. State Farm deserves what they are getting.

  • May 5, 2017 at 1:55 pm
    Doug Spencer says:
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    Being a “career” agent is an excellent phase to learn business and develop skill sets. There may be more long term security in being an independent agent. Mature agents that enjoy the business can offer more client choices and have diversity of income with the IA routine.

    • May 5, 2017 at 2:49 pm
      Agent says:
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      Doug, spoken like a good agent. I am in the same boat as you. I do see a lot of captives that are really struggling with their model since they don’t have anywhere to go if they can’t write or service their business.

      • May 7, 2017 at 7:58 pm
        okt0ber says:
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        You see struggle whether or not someone is actually struggling based on the incorrect information you constantly post on this website. I don’t know if you are aware of this but aside from State Farm the vast majority of “captive” agents actually DO have other companies they can use if their captive carrier does not want the business. Just trying to help you stop spreading false information. As an example: Allstate agents in Florida have over 15 homeowners carriers they can write through. So tell me again who is struggling?

        • May 8, 2017 at 3:26 pm
          Bill says:
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          I can guarantee you that State Farm does not allow their agents to write business anywhere else. Allstate has always been a bit more liberal in what they allow their agents to write. If a State Farm agent were to get appointed with anyone else they would be immediately terminated. Not all captive agents are alike, but from my experience most do not allow their agents to place business elsewhere. If you can’t write it then too bad. I get lots of referrals from captives.

          • May 15, 2017 at 1:59 am
            Brad says:
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            Bill, I was a State Farm agent for over 30 years. In that time I had a contract with Rain and hail for all my crop insurance. I placed commercial business through several carrier’s that State Farm had approved. We placed high risk worker’s comp in the pool. I insured air craft though a company out of Kansas that State Farm Approved. You are correct that the majority of business is placed with State Farm and that is also where the agent makes the most money. That being said there were always extra channels that State approved. I can also tell you that most IA have certain companies that they prefer using and in the IA model some companies will only stay in an agency if a certain amount of business is placed with them. There is no perfect system. As for sales you can only sell what you know. If you want to grow and become successful know your product and the competitor’s. Anyone who doesn’t have integrity will not be around long it will catch up to them. All the best to everyone on here. I was able to help a lot of people in 30 years it was very rewarding career.

        • May 18, 2017 at 11:03 am
          Fisher says:
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          State Farm is a truly captive company. Those “Allstate” agencies you speak of with 15 other homeowners markets are IAs. They may have an Allstate sign on their building. True captive Allstate agents have very little outside options other than a few brokers that are approved by Allstate.

  • May 5, 2017 at 3:30 pm
    Eddie Hall says:
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    The CEO of state farm is smarter than me but I predicted this would happen 2 years ago. State Farm threw underwriting out the window and would write non standard business and minimum liability only policies at preferred rates. My standard companies will not write a liability only policy with minimum coverage. The companies will tell you this is the worst business you can write and the premium is so low you don’t even cover your expenses for putting the business on the books. You cannot do this without getting burned. It may take a year or two but it will kill you sooner or later. State Farm deserves what it gets.

    • May 5, 2017 at 4:18 pm
      Agent says:
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      So if they are laying off or re-assigning people while closing 11 offices, will they be using robots to answer the phone at 3:00 AM? That guy in the Khaki’s is out of there.

    • May 5, 2017 at 5:35 pm
      Agent says:
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      Eddie, you should see them trying to write Commercial vehicles. They do it on a Personal Auto policy and often will write several policies on a small fleet and often at minimum limits. Good way toe get the policy count up, right?

      • May 6, 2017 at 12:02 am
        George Lee says:
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        Also, a good way for you to lose your commercial business to State Farm.

      • May 7, 2017 at 8:01 pm
        okt0ber says:
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        State Farm writes sole proprietors who own 4 vehicles or less that are also less than 10,000 GVW on personal policies with a business rating class. You may not be aware but they do have a traditional commercial auto policy available to actual businesses – corporations, LLCs, fleets, etc.

        • May 8, 2017 at 12:31 pm
          Rosenblatt says:
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          I know livery services are normally excluded under the PAP, but do you know if State Farm further defines sole proprietors to specifically exclude independant contractors, such as those who are using their vehicle for livery services (Uber drivers), or would they consider their insured to be a sole proprietor and provide coverage if a loss occurred while their insured was acting as an Uber driver?

          Just asking out of curiosity – not going to rely on your response as legal advice or a regulatory interpretation :)

          • May 8, 2017 at 5:58 pm
            Agent says:
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            If they are writing Uber drivers under a PAP, that is yet another underwriting mistake they will have to rectify or see their results continue to deteriorate.

          • May 9, 2017 at 8:15 am
            Rosenblatt says:
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            If State Farm placed a business rating class on their insured’s who are also Uber drivers, that would not be an underwriting mistake.

            This is why I asked okt0ber if he knew how the carrier rated this group of people or how “sole proprietors” are defined in State Farm’s PAP.

          • May 18, 2017 at 12:45 am
            okt0ber says:
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            Most carriers write Uber drivers on a personal policy with an endorsement. Uber carriers a master non-owned operator policy to cover their drivers while they are carrying someone in their vehicle, and the rideshare endorsements generate an additional premium to cover them while the app is turned on between a fare. This is how Farmers and Allstate’s policies are designed.

      • May 8, 2017 at 2:39 pm
        FFA says:
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        They have a utility vech rating for the PL auto. Its class Code 1L. When you run into that, its a contractor that has the Vech titled to them personally and its being used by the company.

  • May 5, 2017 at 11:14 pm
    Rob says:
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    Back in 1995, I worked at a large State Farm regional office that employed about 1500 people. We asked upper-management if SF was planning to move all of us to Bakersfield, CA. Upper-management said “no”. Three months later, we were told that our office was moving to Bakersfield. In brief, we were lied to. Soon, more than 1500 employees, from multiple offices in CA, moved to Bakersfield so that they could keep their jobs. Very few of us enjoyed living there. Bakersfield has some of the worst air pollution in the U.S.A. And it’s a boring place to live. Now, after all those people moved and made a commitment to SF, SF has decided to shut the office down. Like a good neighbor….????

    • May 7, 2017 at 8:04 pm
      okt0ber says:
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      That happened in 1995? That’s 23 years ago. Did you expect them to keep that office open in perpetuity? I’d imagine a significant number of those 1500 people don’t work there anymore. I’m not seeing the problem here.

  • May 8, 2017 at 10:07 am
    Charles Ford says:
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    State Farm is the new Sears of the insurance industry They have not a clue

    • May 8, 2017 at 10:55 am
      Agent says:
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      They have been into Financial Services more than insurance for the past several years. Hey State Farm, keep running off your core business and we will be glad to take them.

      • May 18, 2017 at 11:09 am
        Fisher says:
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        I worked for State Farm until a few months ago. SF seemed to want to write more AUTO loans and, of course, Life than Home and Auto. If you don’t have top notch credit SF Home and Auto premiums are very unaffordable. There systems and underwriting practices are also behind the time. Other companies I have worked for process basic changes within a day or two. It can take a month for simple AUTO changes to process with SF. This trend will most likely only get worse. I feel for my SF friends in the upcoming years. They earn industry lows on Home/Auto commissions already.

  • May 8, 2017 at 12:01 pm
    albert mikities says:
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    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • May 9, 2017 at 3:22 pm
      CarrierGuy says:
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      I’m sorry, are you suggesting that political leaders can and should direct private enterprise who, how many, and where to employ? That’s not the country I grew up in.

  • May 9, 2017 at 1:11 pm
    Bill says:
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    If insurance companies would fairly settle cases, they’d stop getting popped with large verdicts.

    • May 10, 2017 at 3:58 am
      Adam says:
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      Bill you have no idea what you’re talking about – settling claims for less than stupid amounts of money is a constant struggle. Oh you hurt your neck? Oh yeah? you were struck at 2 miles per hour. Your $5000 settlement is complete BS that now jacks up the bottom line for everyone else.

      Think that x THOUSANDS of claims

      • May 12, 2017 at 7:59 pm
        Tracey says:
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        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

        • May 18, 2017 at 12:51 am
          okt0ber says:
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          First of all if they had been insured by State Farm for a long time they may have had guaranteed renewal so they could not cancel them after those accidents, period. Some state government laws even prevent cancellations due to claims in some instances. Having 3 accidents in 3 years just means they pay a higher premium. People are required to have insurance. If you want people off the road for good when they have accidents you need to complain to your state lawmakers, not the insurance company of the person who hit you. So, misplaced anger there.

          Second of all you’re either lying about them not insuring you or there is more to the story that you’re not telling here. They can’t decline a policy to someone who sued them 20 years ago. So, I honestly just flat out don’t believe that for one minute.

        • May 18, 2017 at 11:13 am
          Fisher says:
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          SF does not track who has sued them in the past and reject their business. You may have been ineligible for a quote due to your credit or driving history. You are making this story up. You must be bored

    • May 10, 2017 at 9:01 am
      Chris says:
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      Bill, fair to whom? And who decides what is fair? What about judges and juries that give unfair verdicts/rulings? After almost 37 years in claims, I can tell you that the number of unreasonable expectations of insureds and claimants that are solicited and reinforced by attorneys is a much more significant cause of high insurance rates than are “unfair” settlements offered by adjusters.

  • May 11, 2017 at 10:17 am
    Matt says:
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    who would want to write a bunch of auto in this market place?

    The companies making the most $$ are E&S carriers and carriers writing low limits on tough classes.

    What Bill is saying about settling fairly.. I agree.. just write a 10/20 limit policy and settle fairly.

    vermin lawyers don’t target minimum limit policies.. to much work for the money they get.

    • May 18, 2017 at 11:18 am
      Fisher says:
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      You putting your clients in bad situations writing min limits. For example, if they are struck by an uninsured motorists they will have min limits there as well. You probably sell strictly on price and have horrible retention.

  • May 12, 2017 at 9:48 am
    Jimmy R. says:
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    Not sure where all of the anti-State Farm vitriol originates from but, as a tenured SF agent, I network with multiple IAs to find places for customers who don’t fit well here. I have always found the IAs I deal with to be very friendly and complimentary of SF and the way I personally do business.

    Sure, there are agents who write business in a way that I wouldn’t. Yet, in my experience, for every SF agent that writes bare-bones coverage to win on price, there are ten who do it the right way. My guess is that is very similar to other captives and even independents.

    Regarding the shuttering of op centers, SF has been doing that for years and will continue to do so in an effort to improve efficiencies. With current technologies, 50 op centers makes no sense. Those jobs are not going away–they are being relocated to regional hubs, in many cases several years down the road.
    The linking of the 2016 UW loss to the announcement of the op centers closing is, at the least, uninformed, at most, purposefully misleading.

    Just my two cents. Have a great day.

    • May 15, 2017 at 11:49 am
      Agent says:
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      So Jimmy, do any of the IA’s you network with pay you a finders fee or commission on any of the accounts placed with them? Does that violate your captive contract? Personally, I have never had a State Farm agent ever call me to help with an account they couldn’t write or was too high on. Allstate yes, Farmers, yes, State Farm, no.

    • May 18, 2017 at 12:56 am
      okt0ber says:
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      Jimmy R – Are you one of those tenured SF agents that lies to your customers about the coverage other carriers offer to scare them into remaining with you for more money? Because that’s endemic of SF agents. Is that someone you all are trained to do? Like telling your customer that Allstate policies don’t cover theft or hail damage? Maybe if more State Farm agents were honest to their customers there would be less anti-State Farm vitriol.

  • May 13, 2017 at 10:18 am
    toolbelt says:
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    I love how all the MLM’ers point out these closures as a sign they’re winning when actually its all about the trend to internet shopping of insurance, a system MLM’s are least equipped to adjust to.

  • May 15, 2017 at 10:53 am
    BWHSFAgent says:
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    It is misleading to connect the announcement of regional office closings with the underwriting loss for one year. The closings are part of a plan that started over four years ago. Companies who fail to adapt to market changes will not survive. The Farm is adapting.

    • May 28, 2019 at 10:15 pm
      Joe says:
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      The Hubs are a Joke. SF pays less than all the other call centers and Insurance companies in each of their Hub cities. Therefor they get what is leftover.

  • May 15, 2017 at 11:06 am
    Terry says:
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    The Federal government needs to get auto manufacturers to build cars that disable cell phones if the car is moving… Don’t try to catch them texting, just make it impossible unless you pull over. What is so important that a driver could not do that?

    • May 18, 2017 at 2:25 pm
      mrbob says:
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      Although I do not feel that anyone should do anything else while driving, the last thing I want is the feds sticking their noses into anything else. Terry who pray tell do you think will pay for yet another stupid federal mandate?

  • May 15, 2017 at 11:49 am
    martin says:
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    @Confused…

    I’m still trying to figure out why people use the texts and phones so much.. Call me old fashioned, but unless there is money behind those useless texts and selfies I don’t get it… I may be old fashioned but I see a lot of struggling people out there every day trying to make ends meet.. Maybe using the phone like a nasty habit is the reason…

    • May 18, 2017 at 12:58 am
      okt0ber says:
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      I’d much rather communicate in writing with people. That is actually an older fashioned way of doing business than talking on the phone if you think about it. Before the phone it was by mail in writing. Only thing different is the speed of the message getting to you. Phone is inefficient.

  • May 30, 2017 at 2:18 pm
    Michael says:
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    Well after this month it might be time to defect from this company, my premium has jumped over $20.00 a month. No tickets, no accidents, nothing on my driving record for the past 8 years. Before that a minor traffic ticket. It seems to me that the President still get a salary way over my head, just maybe if he took a pay cut my premiums would go down. It might be time to go to Geico.

  • July 14, 2017 at 11:10 am
    James Read says:
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    I had wind/hail damage straight line wind 100+ mph on 4/3/17 in Mansfield GA 30055 to my property. I’m still fighting state farm to have my property fixed correct. They inspected the house, they approved damage to my detached garage on right side of house, damage to a trampoline on the left side, basketball goal on right, damage to the back wall 2 stories high and 80 foot long, damage to a beam under the house 80 foot long and think it can all be repaired for $27,000. I have had multiple contractors look at the house and all say it needs to come down. They all said the repair can not be made the way state farm would like and if it could would be atleast $150k to do so.

    They approved all that damage but did not address the broken rafters in roof, facial board on the house, damage to porch or several other things that were caused by the storm. They also said their was no roof damage to shingles from storm but several contractors have said it is 100% storm damage. We purchased the house in 2014 and everything passed inspection, house was in great condition. The damage was all caused by this storm and i’m having to fight my own insurance company.

    Engineer hired by State Farm said house was safe to live in with damage to my face yet the report I was sent said the back wall of my house is unsafe.

    Feel free to google the storm that hit us. It was April 3rd Mansfield GA 30055 . Same storm did major damage to surrounding properties and businesses.

    My experience is they should be $7,000,000,000.00 to the good unless everyone is like me and NOT going to take their low ball estimate and run. They will fix my property correct in the end, its just sad that I’m having to fight them.

  • September 7, 2018 at 10:43 am
    Aaron Dees says:
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    F State Farm. It’s not because of more claims. WHAT A LIE ! Its because they don’t settle valid claims and force injured people to proceed to verdict and obtain higher results.

    State Farm has never fairly paid claims.

    Good riddance to every laid off employee and lying lawyer that accuses a Plaintiff with a valid claim of fraud

    I hope your lives are as negatively impacted as every single person you false accused of fraudulent claims

    • November 11, 2020 at 7:51 pm
      Timothy Jay says:
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      Not sure where you received your info. I worked there in the 90’s on the front line and we threw money around like crazy. Seemed onlt the truly greedy people were unhappy with settlement offers.

  • October 13, 2018 at 5:08 pm
    fred rolfs says:
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    DISPLACED? A LIE!! Get a clue journalists, these employees are being TERMINATED. LET GO. Even when they try to obtain other jobs in the organization they are turned down, screened out by HR software that eliminates current employees in closing locations, especially those over age 45.

    • May 28, 2019 at 10:23 pm
      Joe says:
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      The business model for State Farm used to be a small town with a good work ethic and a great post office. Then the dumbasses that wanted to be politically correct decided to diversify. What you see today is the direct result of that decision. I worked there for 40 years and saw the whole show go down the drain.

  • November 19, 2018 at 4:56 am
    David L Sebright says:
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    I LEFT STATE FARM FIFTY YEARS AGO. THEIR ATTITUDE CONCERNING THEIR
    EMPLOYEES DOESN’T APPEAR TO HAVE CHANGED.

  • August 6, 2020 at 12:56 pm
    Patti says:
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    My friend just got his office closed yesterday , just told him that was it been with them for
    8 years or more. State Farm told him they are closing 200 offices. in Dallas and other area in Tex.



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