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Farmers Insurance Complaints and Problems
One man's bad experience with Farmers Insurance turns out to be the experience of many

By Ken Kreps
2010, 2011, 2012

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Like most of us, you probably see your automobile Insurance rates rise yearly. You pay more and more, but you tell yourself, this is the price you must pay for quality auto insurance. The key word here is quality. In this article I will detail the shabby way Farmers Insurance treated one of their long time clients, and more importantly, the many reported instances of sub-par treatment they have given a number of their other clients, as well as those who have claims and judgments against their clients.

First, my own experience: I was involved in a collision with another automobile, while making a left turn on a green light in front of two lanes of stopped traffic. Cars on the other side of the street were backed up to the intersection and. therefore, the cars I turned in front of were stopped as they had no place to go. I made a safe, proper and legal turn.

However, in the middle of that turn, the auto, which had been stopped in the curbside lane, suddenly sped forward at a high rate of speed striking the rear of my automobile before I could complete the turn. I can only surmise that an opening presented itself across the intersection, and the driver of the car that hit me gunned their engine to take advantage of the opening and either didn’t see me, or thought they would miss me. Seeing them coming right at me in the middle of my turn, I sped up, but their car still struck the rear of mine.

After they struck my car they fled from the scene of the accident, even though there was a service station some one hundred feet past the accident, into which they could have turned and stopped.. I pulled to the curb to examine my car, took several minutes to survey the damage, and then walked seventy five to a hundred feet back to the intersection to pick up an automobile headlight which had fallen into the street. This all took around five minutes. As I was preparing to leave (thinking I was the victim of a hit and run), another car pulled up in front of me. It was the car which had struck mine. It had been five minutes since the accident occured. They offered no explanation as to where they had been since their automobile struck my car. Whether they returned out of fear of being charged with a criminal act (which is what fleeing from the scene of an accident is), or some other reason, I have no idea. I returned their headlight, exchanged insurance information, and drove away, thinking that Farmers Insurance, would sort it all out and see that I was in a collision in which I was in no way at fault. There were no injuries, no police were called, and no citations were given. Since my Farmers Insurance agent was nearby, I drove immediately to their office and filled out a complete written report concerning the accident.

My biggest problem wasn’t that I was in a collision, but was the fact that my automobile was insured with Farmers Insurance. It took me a full week to make contact with the Farmers representative assigned to investigate my accident. Having a busy schedule, I gave him a window of time (via phone messages), each day, when I would be available. He never called me once during the available times I gave him, but instead, always called during the times I had specifically told him I would be unavailable. Finally, we made contact, and after giving him the above details of the accident I was immediately told that I was one hundred percent at fault. He took no time to weigh the information I had just given him, as his response came within seconds after my description of the accident. It seems it was simply less expensive for them to pay the other driver for a claim of a few thousand dollars, than to take the time and money to investigate the accident further, and determine the real cause. They hung me out to dry and, in an act that defies all conventional logic, paid auto repair damages to the very person who caused the accident. The fact that the other driver fled the scene of the accident and was gone for five minutes, or that they hit my car after accelerating from a dead stop, was completely ignored in their decision. It was obvious to me that they had already made up their mind before I gave my statement. I might as well have been talking to a brick wall. I appealed to Farmers, but the end result was the same.

You might think this was an isolated incident, and I might have thought so myself until I did a little research. There are companies in the United States that rate the customer satisfaction, rates, service, and other factors of the major insurance companies, which provide both auto and home insurance. These companies include JD Powers, Kiplinger, Consumer Reports, FBIC and The Better Business Bureau. Farmers Insurance is consistently ranked near or at the bottom of reports issued by these companies. Consumer complaints are also plentiful from other sources (see reference links, below).

Apparently, Farmers bad treatment of both their insured and others reaches far past my one bad experience with them.

The shame of it all is that at one time Farmers was a long time front running example, which other companies tried to emulate. Then, they were sold to foriegn investors and in the process fell from the top to the bottom of their field. I have been a Farmers client for decades, but of course now I am canceling my two automobile policies, and our homeowners insurance with them. I simply cannot afford another bout of the slipshod service they gave me when I needed them. I will look elsewhere for our insurance needs.

If you are considering Farmers to insure your auto or home, I would think twice before doing so. If you are currently a Farmers Insurance client, I would think even harder, and ask yourself if you can afford to keep your insurance needs in their hands. Will they be there when you need them, or as they did with me, will they simply abandon you, without any real investigation of the facts and circumstances of your accident or claim?

Those are questions you will have to ask yourself. For me, those questions has been asked and answered. My long association with Farmers Insurance is over, forever.



AUTHORS NOTE: Thanks to all the many who have contacted me about this article. I'm glad it has helped you in choosing an insurance company. As one of you said in an email to me, "Knowing which insurance companies not to trust with your business, is just as important as knowing which ones to trust." How True. Thanks, again, to all of you.

REFERENCE LINKS

"Customer Service Scoreboard - Farmers Insurance"

"Farmers Insurance Groups Sucks" home page

"Farmers Insurance Groups Sucks" Insurance company ratings

Complaints Board (Farmers Insurance Complaints)

insurance.freeadvice (Farmers Insurance Review)

Consumer Affairs (Farmers Insurance)

eHow (Problems With Farmers Insurance)

Farmers Insurance Reviews

Farmers Insurance Libel For 80 Million

Farmers Insurance Wants To Silence Two Ex Employees


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ken Kreps is an actor and writer, and has recently returned to the Pacific Northwest, after having lived in Los Angeles.  He now lives with his wife in a suburb of Seattle.  He has appeared in two episodes of a popular network television series, in a television pilot, in a number of independent films, television commercials (both local and national), corporate-industrial films, two docudramas on Japanese network television, and various types of voice-over work. He has written a number of published articles, essays and short stories, as well as numerous consumer pieces.  Ken has written scripts for Imagination Theater, an award winning audio drama series heard on over 120 commercial radio stations across the nation, as well as on XM Satellite Radio.  He has also written a number of short film screenplays.  For the past seventeen years, Ken has concentrated on acting, studying and acting in Los Angeles, Seattle and Dallas.


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