Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 26, 2020

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Farmers Insurance Company was ranked one of the ten worst insurance companies in America by the American Association for Justice (AAJ) for its claim handling practices in the auto and homeowners insurance industry. To learn more about the AAJ report which names the ten worst insurance companies in America, click here.

Farmer’s bad faith insurance practices

According to the AAJ report, Farmers, which is owned by the Swiss company Zurich Financial Services, has been accused of bad faith insurance practices, such as:

  • Engaging in unfair business practices. Farmers has been accused of providing its employees with incentives such as gift certificates and pizza parties for keeping claim payments low and dissuading angry policyholders from contacting attorneys.
  • Refusing to pay claims in full. The insurer has been sued for failing to pay policyholder claims in full and has been investigated by the insurance departments in several states. It was discovered that Farmers was using the claims software, Colossus, to calculate payments instead of looking at the individual claim.
  • Increasing premiums. In 2007, California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner fined Farmers $3.4 million for increasing policyholders’ premiums after they made claims for their intended purpose.

FreeAdvice.com survey: 41% of Farmers customers very unsatisfied

According to customer satisfaction ratings on FreeAdvice.com, 41% of Farmers customers are very unsatisfied with the insurer. Here’s how survey respondents rated the insurer:

Extremely Satisfied: 26%
Very Satisfied: 9%
Somewhat Satisfied: 12%
Unsatisfied: 13%
Very Unsatisfied: 41%

Customers posted the following comments about Farmers on the website:

  • [Our] agent did not turn in policy protection increase and address change to [the] underwriters, but cashed my check and sent me a declaration of insurance. Now, after [my] business suffered 80% loss due to water damage from frozen water pipes, insurance company will not honor policy.
  • We have been Farmer’s clients for over 20 years. Earlier this year we had water damage due to a leak in our roof caused by a blown-off shingle. The repairs came to less than $2000. Our policy just went up 35%! 20+ years without a SINGLE claim and we’re penalized $500 a year for 3 years. Plus, our agent is not very helpful and has the personality of a rock. I am currently getting quotes from other insurers. I’ve had enough.
  • [They] low balled everything and misled me when I made the initial claim. Hard to reach contacts, no help from agent.
  • The worst service ever. Trying to get answers to questions is like pulling teeth. Requests for information, other issues go answered. One needs to call several times regarding the same issues… enough! We are moving on to another company.
  • They cannot be trusted. They make up the rules as they go along and it is impossible for them to tell the truth. They pay these people to keep from paying you what you are owed for your loss. Shop around and stay far away from Farmers.

If Farmers has denied or delayed your valid claim, they may have acted in bad faith. Contact an attorney whose practice focuses in this area of the law. Consultations are free, without obligation and strictly confidential.