Founded in 1928, Farmers Insurance got its start when partners John C. Tyler and Thomas E. Leavey began going door to door pitching insurance policies to rural farmers who they saw as a lower risk than other customers. From those humble beginnings, the company grew into the Farmers Insurance Group, based in Los Angeles. It’s a big group, made up of roughly 46 separate companies. Together, they offer a wide variety of products and services, including insurance policies for homes, vehicles, and businesses, along with life insurance and financial services in all 50 states.
When it comes to car insurance, Farmers offers many coverage options, including liability coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, plus other types of insurance like personal injury protection. Farmers also offers multipolicy discounts when you purchase both home and car insurance through them, as well as multicar discounts.
Perhaps best known for its distinctive jingle and humorous ads with low-key pitchman J.K. Simmons, Farmers Insurance Group now serves more than 10 million households holding around 19 million policies. It’s staffed by 48,000 agents and 21,000 employees. Farmers’ policies are available online and through local stores and independent agents.
Farmers Is the 5th Best Car Insurance Company
How We Created This Farmers Car Insurance Review
To determine where Farmers Car Insurance ranked among the top 10 car insurance companies, we surveyed 2,799 people who had filed a car insurance claim in the last five years. We asked participants to answer 10 questions based on their experience and give their car insurance company a score of one to five on each question – with one being the least satisfied and five being the most satisfied.
U.S. News also worked with Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies. The rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 17, 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2018 Honda Civic, 2018 Toyota RAV4, 2018 Ford-F-150, 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150, with annual mileage of 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records, and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only. Individual rates will differ.
Farmers Rating and Review
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Of the 10 auto insurance companies included in our survey, Farmers ranked fifth. Farmers earned top scores for customer service, ease of filing a claim, and how claims were resolved, with more than half of the respondents saying they were completely satisfied in those categories. Customers were more divided about the company’s follow up and status updates, as well as the time it took to settle a claim, with only 42 percent giving Farmers a top score on that measure. “Eleven months is just too long to settle a claim,” said one respondent.
But the biggest complaints came in response to our question about value, with only 30 percent of participants giving Farmers a top score. The mixed reviews on value pulled down Farmers’ overall score. Just 24 percent of respondents said they were very likely to recommend Farmers to someone looking for car insurance. The reason most often mentioned for this was cost, made worse by complaints of rate increases following a claim.
One survey participant summed up the feelings of many, with praise for customer service combined with a gripe about rates.
“My agent is the best you could ask for. But the rates seem to be higher than other companies, and magically, my rates went up after a hit and run.”
Despite the complaints, 70 percent of respondents said they were either likely or very likely to renew their car insurance with Farmers, citing reasons ranging from fear of even higher rates to the effort required to make a switch. One respondent summed it up like this:
“I’ve been with them 15+ years. It’s a pain to switch with a house and multiple cars.”
Curiously, despite generally high scores for customer service, respondents who planned to leave Farmers often cited poor customer service as the reason. Slow processing of a claim also came up.
“They do not have good customer service, and they don’t resolve the problem as quick as they should.”
Farmers Car Insurance Costs
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Despite customer complaints about rates, our Quadrant Information Services analysis found that the cost for car insurance through Farmers is basically midpack. With an average policy cost of $4,194, Farmers ranks as the fourth-most-expensive of the 10 largest auto insurance companies nationwide. Allstate, Travelers, and Liberty Mutual proved more expensive overall. Liberty Mutual earned the dubious distinction of being the costliest by far, at $6,073.45 for an average annual premium. That said, our analysis proves that it pays to shop around. We found a tremendous range in costs overall, with USAA coming in as the bargain of the bunch with an average policy cost of $2,537.
Not surprisingly, a 17-year-old male is likely to pay the most for car insurance with Farmers, with a whopping $9,144 annual premium on average. Females of the same age don’t do much better at $8,521. At the other end of the spectrum, our Quadrant Information Services study found the auto insurance cost for a married 60-year-old female or male to be just $2,337 and $2,448, respectively with Farmers. The study found that rates for younger drivers come down quickly as they age, with the average cost for a single 25-year-old male or female coming in at around $3,000. That drops to just over $2,500 by the time they’re 35 – if they’re married.
|Single 17-year old female||$8,521.97|
|Single 17-year old male||$9,144.04|
|Single 25-year old female||$2,946.80|
|Single 25-year old male||$3,041.44|
|Married 35-year old female||$2,556.98|
|Married 35-year old male||$2,557.75|
|Married 60-year old female||$2,336.80|
|Married 60-year old male||$2,448.39|
The number of miles you drive doesn’t make a lot of difference with Farmers, with an average rate of $4,209 for drivers averaging 12,000 miles per year. That’s only about $30 more than the rate for those who drive half as many miles.
A bigger difference in rates comes from whether you choose basic, mid, or high coverage levels. Opting for high coverage with Farmers raises annual rates by almost $600 on average when compared with basic coverage. Consider your needs carefully when deciding how much coverage you need.
|Coverage Type||Average Rate|
Your credit history can have an even larger impact on rates. Our study found that drivers with a good credit rating paid $3,677 annually on average with Farmers, while those with poor credit paid about $1,200 more, or $4,864.
|Credit History||Average Rate|
A clean driving record also makes a big difference in what you’ll pay for auto insurance. Our Quadrant Information Services study found an average rate of $3,461 for drivers with a blemish-free history, while just one speeding violation raised that rate by more than $600, to $4,079. An accident raised the average to $4,519, and one DUI offense brought it to $4,719 – roughly $1,300 more than the average for a driver with a clean record.
|Driving Record||Average Rate|
|With 1 speeding violation||$4,079.01|
|With 1 accident||$4,518.73|
|With 1 DUI||$4,718.75|
Regardless of age or gender, shoppers looking for the lowest car insurance rates should shop around because rates vary widely. Our study found that especially true for younger drivers, who are subject to much higher rates with some companies than with others. For a 17-year-old male, the savings can amount to as much as $8,333 per year. For females of the same age, the difference can be as much as $6,813.
Like all car insurance companies we looked at, Farmers charges higher rates on average for young motorists, and those rates decline as drivers get older and more experienced. When it comes to teen drivers, Farmers comes in about midpack, charging a 17-year-old male $9,144 annually on average. Females of the same age paid $8,522 on average. Both rates are several thousand dollars less than you’ll pay with Liberty Mutual –$13,719 and $11,621, respectively – but much more than the $5,386 and $4,808 charged by USAA for teen car insurance.
As drivers age, the difference in rates between insurers is less dramatic. But the $2,337 and $2,448 average paid to Farmers by 60-year-old women and men, respectively, is still about $1,000 more than they’d pay with USAA. It’s also about $1,100 to $1,200 less than they’d pay with Liberty Mutual, which has the highest rates across all age groups in our survey.
Farmers Auto Insurance vs. State Farm Auto Insurance
Landing fifth in our survey, Farmers is slightly behind third-ranked State Farm for overall satisfaction, though the scores were very close. State Farm customers paid substantially less for their coverage overall across all demographic groups, particularly among younger drivers. A 17-year-old female paid about $2,500 less annually on average with State Farm than Farmers. The gap narrows for older drivers but still amounts to about $500 annually for a 60-year-old married female. Across all other categories, including customer service, value, and how claims were resolved, Farmers car insurance and State Farm car insurance had very similar scores.
Farmers Auto Insurance vs. Geico Auto Insurance
Like State Farm, fourth-place Geico had very similar overall scores compared to Farmers, but it ranked higher with respondents in the important categories of how likely you are to renew and recommend to others shopping for insurance. Among the three, Geico also had the lowest rates on average for both male and female drivers in the 17-year-old and 25-year-old age groups. For older drivers, Geico’s rates were higher than State Farm’s but slightly lower than Farmers’.
Farmers Auto Insurance vs. Allstate Auto Insurance
Ranking near the bottom of our survey at eighth overall, Allstate lagged behind Farmers, Geico, and State Farm in overall satisfaction. Allstate lost points for everything from customer service to status updates to the time it took to process a claim. Allstate also ranked among the most expensive insurers, second only to Liberty Mutual across multiple demographic categories.
Types of Coverage From Farmers Car Insurance
Farmers offers a wide variety of auto insurance packages, from basic coverage to comprehensive and collision policies. It also provides insurance for antique and collector vehicles. Farmers’ website offers lists of approved mechanics and service facilities, as well as information on windshield repairs and car rental discounts.
Farmers also offers roadside emergency coverage that includes jump starting, an emergency tire change, and towing reimbursement of up to $150. If you’re stuck in the mud, coverage even includes winching as long as the vehicle is within 10 feet of a paved road. Other Farmers’ benefits include a free app that lets you view your insurance cards, pay your bill, contact an agent, and make a claim from the road.
Farmers Car Insurance Complaints
Slightly more than 18 percent of Farmers’ customers responding to our survey were unhappy to the point of saying they were either unlikely or very unlikely to renew their policy when it came due. Most of the complaints centered around the cost of coverage. Only 30 percent of respondents gave Farmers the highest score for value.
“The rates are more expensive for the same coverage as other companies,” said one unhappy customer.
Others were less wordy in their complaints, saying only, “Too expensive” or “Rates are too high.”
Despite earning solid scores for customer service overall, not all Farmers’ customers were happy with the company. Some said they stayed in spite of their experience, rather than because of it.
“We have been with them a long time, but they drop the ball a lot.”
Farmers Car Insurance Discounts
Discounts vary by state, but Farmers offers the same perks typically found with competing insurers, including lower rates for older drivers, those with clean driving records, and customers who bundle homeowners and other policies with their auto insurance. Reduced rates may also be available for good students, cars with the latest safety equipment, and parents whose children are away at school and not driving their vehicles. A complete list of discounts by state is available at www.farmers.com/discounts/.
Other Types of Policies From Farmers
In addition to insurance policies for automobiles and trucks, Farmers offers specialized coverage for motorcycles, boats, personal watercraft, ATVs, motor homes, camping trailers, recreational vehicles, and even golf carts.
Collectible car insurance coverage is also available, with specialized benefits including coverage for unattended vehicles at auto shows or for overseas travel if the owner is participating in a rally abroad. Collectible car policies can also specify that only original parts be used for repairs in the event of damage.
Farmers Financial Fitness
With a 4 percent market share, Farmers is far from the largest provider of car insurance. That still translates to more than 19 million policies. Farmers is owned by policyholders, not shareholders.
Other Insurance Brands Related to Farmers
The Farmers Group is made up of 46 different companies, including brands such as Foremost Insurance and Far West. A complete list of its companies can be found here: www.farmers.com/companies/state/
More information about Farmers Auto Insurance can be found at www.farmers.com/auto/.
The company can also be reached by telephone at 888-327-6335.