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AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) – The defendant in a class action lawsuit over automobile insurance policies has filed a motion to dismiss in Texas federal court.
The motion to dismiss was filed April 3 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.
Plaintiffs Charles Grigson and Robert Vale filed a case against Farmer’s Group Inc. in February, claiming the company violated the Texas Insurance code’s unfair discrimination statute by offering less-expensive insurance policies to new customers. They also accused the company of not informing current customers about the new, less-expensive policy.
Past members held Farmer’s Auto 2.0 (FA2) policies that were phased out when Farmer’s Smart Auto Plan policies were developed. Thus the company stopped offering Farmer’s Auto 2.0 policies.
The lawsuit claims that the policies are basically the same but the Farmer’s Auto 2.0 policy costs more.
However, the company has requested that the court dismiss the case with prejudice.
It also stated that because the policy rates were submitted and approved by the Texas Department of Insurance, the case is baseless. According to the defense, the commission of the department has a responsibility to go over rates and ensure that they are fair.
It also pointed out in its motion that there is a grievance process with the department that individuals are able to access if they are concerned about the rate.
Farmer’s Group also stated the statute “only applies to discrimination without actuarial basis, in the amount of premium fees, or rates charged policyholders under a particular contract of insurance. It is focused on the fair and actuarially sound allocation of risk between policyholders with the same insurance contract.”
In addition, the motion claims that insurance policies are complex, which is why the law only considers discrimination between those holding the same policy.
“A seemingly minor change in coverage can have a large impact on potential loss payments and thus the rate paid,” the defendant stated in the motion to dismiss.
Farmer’s Group Inc. is represented by Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP in Austin and Los Angeles.
Law360, San Francisco (August 1, 2017, 10:10 PM EDT) — A California federal judge Tuesday conditionally certified a collective action brought by 300 Farmers Insurance claims investigators who say they’ve been misclassified as exempt from overtime, finding they’d met the “low standard” for sending out notices, even though it was a “close question” for those whose duties didn’t include going into the field.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte said she would allow the plaintiffs to send notice to three groups of employees — special investigators, senior special investigators and general special investigators — for the opt-in action, finding they’d met the lenient burden of showing the workers were “similarly situated,” since their duties were alike, they were classified as exempt and often worked overtime hours they weren’t compensated for.
While the judge agreed with Farmers Insurance Exchange’s skepticism that “desk investigators” who didn’t leave the office to interview witnesses or take pictures of the scene of an incident could qualify as nonexempt, she ended up including them.
“I think this is appropriate for conditional certification,” she said. “Though it’s a close question, it’s still a very low standard.”
The Fair Labor Standards Act suit, filed in January by David Deluca and Barry Francis, alleges investigators continue to be misclassified as exempt from overtime pay by Farmers, in spite of prior litigation over the practice.
The complaint alleges that while investigators look into insurance claims to see if they’re fraudulent and write reports based on their findings, they don’t render opinions or recommendations, suggesting they don’t have the “independent judgment” authority to trigger an administrative exemption under the FLSA. The investigators are salaried, but they regularly work more than 40 hours a week, the suit alleges.
Farmers, which offers insurance for homes, cars and commercial entities, has faced litigation for this practice before. A 2007 suit in Minnesota federal court ended with a summary judgment finding two years later that the company had misclassified its investigators as exempt, but the insurance company never changed its policy.
On Tuesday, Judge Laporte did trim “national investigators,” who handle complex fraud ring and organized crime investigations, from the action, finding their role hadn’t been sufficiently discussed in the complaint. Farmers attorney Andrew M. Paley of Seyfarth Shaw LLP also asked that she cut the language seeking to encompass “similar positions” from the case, arguing it was too vague.
“Even if Your Honor believes they’ve met a fairly low standard here, I would submit they have not met the standard with regard to anything but the three significant positions,” he said.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Daniel S. Brome of Nichols Kaster PLLP conceded on the national group, arguing “in general they do the same work, but we don’t have any evidence of that.” But he successfully fought to keep the desk investigators in the suit, saying the field work duties were “a distinction without a difference.”
Now email and mailed notifications will go out to the estimated 300 potential plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs are represented by Matthew C. Helland, Daniel S. Brome, Matthew H. Morgan and Reena I. Desai of Nichols Kaster PLLP.
Farmers is represented by Andrew M. Paley, Sheryl L. Skibbe and Ryan McCoy of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.
The case is David Deluca et al. v. Farmers Insurance Exchange et al., case number 3:17-cv-00034, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Complaint, after complaint, after complaint! This company is the WORST! Avoid Farmers Insurance Group! Seventy-nine percent of reviews submitted to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Farmers Insurance Group are NEGATIVE! Farmers Insurance had 213 complaints in the last year and 643 complaints in the last three years! Do you want to deal with a company with that many consistent complaints? Read some of the complaints below.
“I have been a customer with farmers for auto and home for 5 years. Overall thought it was pretty good until i filed my very first auto claim. Van in shopping area during a very windy day while i was indoor shopping. Upon returning noticed mild damages on bumper and both van doors. I am not sure as to cause possible carts, possible vandalism, don’t know and of course no witnesses. Claims agent came to look at the car and stated these are 3 separate claims and 3 deductibles. Even if same time can’t be on same claim. I was in shock and still am. Will pay for it cash and switch to another insurer who doesn’t play these games to save money. Heed the Warning! ”
“Hello to whom may this concern , FARMERS is the worst insurance to have , not only they charge you for fees that have no meaning to the business except for the fact that they just want to collect as much money out of you once you sign up with them but when it comes down to submit an accident they will NOT inform you properly on how to pursue the claim so it gets taken care of asap and more importantly properly . I was involved in a minor incident and the other party had State Farm and I’m in the process of switching insurance due to the fact that FARMERS is withholding my deductible with no legit reason on why they are holding my refund , they informed me that the deductible was going to be refunded . This has been going on for two weeks now I just got off the phone with STATE FARM and they informed me that everything was taken care of and paid to my insurance (FARMERS) with no complications . Now I try to get a hold of my agent and she is avoiding my calls . If you need ANY information please feel free to contact me .”
“I have 3 BMW’s covered with “storage insurance”…one vehicle was parked in my yard and a motorist drives into my yard and crashes into my vehicle (hit and run)..Farmers says they don’t cover that..PATHETIC..If you have Farmers and or are considering them, DO NOT! The best is that one Farmers representative said it”s covered but when the adjuster called, they informed me they do not. People need to band together and demand insurance scammers like Farmers change their rotten ways! ”
“this company practices what is called price optimization – they slowly raise rates hoping you wont notice … ok so i payed my bill without doing due diligence in terms of my premiums – lets this be a warning to ALL insurance customers – i have no excuse – their own web site gave me a cheaper quote than my bill was … the problem is the customer service here – in 3 years of having farmers insurance i never have been able to contact my agent … most of the time i would get frustrated and just call the 800 number – but this time i was told [ two times in fact because i tried again] that i had to talk to my agent – you cannot cancel from the 800 number … well i never could and still never have been able to contact my agent …. they called me when they thought i was overdue on my payment and wanted their money … a collection agency im not quite sure who it was [wasnt the agency] … but farmers billed me for the time – 49 dollars in fact – for 23 days over that i could not get a hold of them ….. so ok farmers you got a few extra bucks outta me – and in return gave me lousy customer service — im at least gonna let everyone know i can about my farmers experience – was it worth it ? ”
We have been in the same home for 15+ years. As a current farmers customer I now realize it’s the worst mistake of my life. We had a house fire. Due to the sot and ash still in the air, my father has now been in the er twice. Continuing to drag your feet with the “farmers suggested” restoration company is seriously taking a tole on my family. Not only have you proven to care nothing about your long term loyal customers, you have shown me that your company was the worst mistake of my life.”
“I have been paying for insurance for my rental home through Foremost/Farmers for 5 years. Never one late payment in that time. I had some renters who did significant damage to my rental home. I met with my agent and he initially said they would cover $8000 dollars for the damage. That $8000 turned into $2000 once I received a copy of his report. He then called me a week later and said that they reviewed the policy again and found a loophole to where they didn’t have to pay anything. They put a stop payment on the check and now refuse to return my phone calls. I had a $35000 policy and they are giving me nothing. Please do not do business with this company. They are frauds and thieves. The only good news is that after I contacted an attorney, he says that I have an extremely strong case. Hopefully I can get some of the money back that I have paid them for 5 years.
“I called my agent about my car being broken into. They informed me that I had $1000.00 deductible (OK that was my choice) but then said I might want to think about not filing a claim because I would lose my “no claim discount.” Now that is “not the same as penalizing you for using your insurance, it is just losing your discount. Really? It is EXACTLY the same thing. Nothing like getting ripped off twice. This company is just as much a thief as the guy who broke into my car. We’ve paid tens of thousands of dollars over the last 20-something years without making a claim. The first time we have one? We are told not to submit and penalized.”
“The rates as quoted did not match the premium charged at times. The cancellation process is an Unfair Trade Practice in that when they are notified in writing and through customer service of a cancellation of insurance coverage, they do not follow instructions and seek to further delay the cancellation causing additional charges to consumers.”
“I was only 2 weeks with this company then canceled my auto insurance they did not return my money at all then when I call them they start to argue with me that I still have to pay $14 more because they have a cancellation fees. It’s ridiculous I’m not recommend this company be careful read first everything then sign paper . This company it’s just taking advantage from people . Stay a way far from this company . I’m from Arizona.when I call here the agency than pay for auto insurance but the statement shows 3 diferant address one in Mesa.Az other at Pasadena.CA and the tired address shows at Hollywood.FL. Foremost insurance.coast national insurance .bristol west insurance .stay Farr from this company’s ..I’m not recommend”
“I’m not one to complain about a company, but this experience from start to finish has been awful. When my Fiance and I Went to farmers we had a great experience with the local agent he was nice and helpful. That’s where the good ends. To get a hold of said agent you had to call and leave a message and wait for a call back. Most the time it was quicker just to drop into his office. When we started our auto insurance policy, it took almost 3 months before the payments started getting pulled from my account, even though we set up direct deposit. That was the first nightmare, the second nightmare was when we tried to cancel the auto policy. We put my Fiance’s name on the auto policy since he had homeowners insurance through them as well. Well he was out of state working, when we found a new company with the same policy, but half the price. So when I called to cancel the girl I talked to didn’t say anything to me about the main policy holder needed to be the one to cancel not me. She only told me to fill out the email they were going to send me and to send it back and it’d be canceled. I did that and checked a few days later to find the policy wasn’t canceled. No one sent me an email to explain that it had to be my fiance who sent the email. So when I called to find out what was going on they worked really hard to help me, which was great. Unfortunately since they didn’t tell me the first time about the cancellation terms I was too late to get a stop payment on my account so I wouldn’t have the bill taken out. So I waited a week and half to call to check and see when I was going to get my money back from them. Only to find out that they are mailing me the check instead of just returning the money to my account. And the catch to getting the check was that they didn’t schedule my refund to be sent out till 2 weeks after I finally got the account canceled. I got sent to billing via the customer service and was told that they could cancel my check and have my money back to me in 3-5 business days and then it’d be a few days after that to get the bank to process the deposit. She also told me to call back in 5 to 6 days to make sure they had processed everything for me. I called back 5 days later to get an answer of there is nothing on your account about cancelling the check and sending the money directly to your account. And when the girl tried to figure out why they didn’t do what the said they would, she found out that they can’t just cancel to check. And that it would take 7-10 days to cancel it and another 5-10 to get me the direct deposit, plus however long it took my bank to process the deposit. So almost 4 weeks later from my policy cancellation, I’m still without my refund. Which wouldn’t be a huge problem if I wasn’t going to be on vacation out of town for a whole week with a friend, and now have barely any money to pay for the trip. ”
“I had a policy for 27 years with foremost insurance company part of farmers insurance. they insured my mobile home. I made a claim for water damage, first claim in 27 years. It was turned down, they claim it was old age rot when you can plainly see it is water damage and you can feel the water in the floor. do not do business with a company that lies ”
February 9, 2017
Auto insurance company Farmers faces a putative class action lawsuit alleging it discriminates against longtime customers by offering preferential pricing to new customers while raising rates on its current customers.
Lead plaintiffs Charles Grigson and Robert Vale allege in their class action lawsuit that Farmers Texas County Mutual Insurance Company “betrayed” their policy holders through “illegal and discriminatory” policy regimes in early 2016.
The plaintiffs claim that when Farmers rolled out its policy pricing, it unfairly offered new customers lower rates and did not inform current customers about them. Further, argue the plaintiffs, Farmers raised rates on current policy holders.
Grigson alleges that he has been a Farmers Texas auto policyholder since 1981. He says that in January of 2016 he was insured by two Farmers auto policies, but was never informed about the available lower premium rates.
In early May, Grigson says became aware of the lower rates and attempted to apply, but was told he was ineligible because he was not a new customer.
Similarly, Vale alleges in the class action that he’s held a Farmers auto policy since 1997. He says his policy expired in May of 2016, but he was not made aware of the preferential pricing policy at the time of renewal and paid a higher rate.
Both plaintiffs were eventually allowed to apply for the lower policy rates, according to the complaint.
“In nearly all cases,” allege the plaintiffs in the class action, “the premium rate that an existing [Farmers] policyholder pays is higher than the premium rate a new customer would pay under FSPA for identical or virtually identical coverage.”
“The rate difference between FSPA and FA2 can be as high as 20-40%, or even higher,” continue the plaintiffs. “In some cases, individuals and/or families may save more than $1,000 for every six (6) month policy period by switching to FSPA.”
According to the class action lawsuit, the pricing regime that favors new customers violates Texas State Law. Additionally, the plaintiffs allege that there was no “actuarial basis” for the preferential pricing for new customers.
The plaintiffs say that they, and other existing Farmers policy holders, have suffered “significant economic damages” as a result of the pricing regime. “Existing [Farmers] policyholders have paid, and continue to pay, higher premiums than they should. Through its unfair discrimination, FGI is forcing Farmers Texas’s most loyal, existing FA2 policyholders to effectively subsidize the lower FSPA rates offered only to new Farmers Texas customers.”
According to the class action lawsuit, Farmers intimidated its insurance agents into concealing the better rates from existing policy holders. This will erode the trust between the policy holders and their agents, say the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction against Farmers to stop the preferential pricing regime. Additionally, they are seeking damages and/or restitution, pre- and post- judgment interest and attorney’s fees and costs.
The plaintiffs seek to represent a Class of Texas Farmers auto policy holders affected by the preferential policy regime initiated on Jan. 4, 2016.
The plaintiffs are represented by Michael L. Slack, John R. Davis, and Paula Knippa of Slack & Davis LLP, Joe K. Longley of the Law Offices of Joe K. Longley, and Roger N. Heller and Jonathan D. Selbin of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP.
The Farmers Preferential Auto Insurance Pricing Class Action Lawsuit is Grigson, et al. v. Farmers Group Inc., Case No. 1:17-cv-00088-LY, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division.
This is an open letter to all Farmers Insurance Agents from the widow of a recently deceased Farmers Insurance Agent.
My husband became a Farmers Agent 35 years ago in 1980. He was one of the top producing agents for his Regional
Office for the next 17 years with a stellar record of making all the achievement clubs every single year including Life and
Commercial Masters, Life and Commercial Round Table, Toppers club and Championship. He was even chosen as a
Presidents Council member twice.
In the late 1990s he was diagnosed with stage IV cancer of the colon and liver with a chance of survival that was less
than 15%. After undergoing semi-experimental, aggressive and extensive surgeries, a year of topical and systemic
chemotherapy and 5 weeks of grueling radiation, he managed to become cancer free and continue living, albeit with
somewhat impaired health and with less energy than before. He also had to learn to live with some of the side effects
of aggressive treatments stemming from impaired liver functions. The disease was an eye opener in many ways. The
first thing my husband realized was that the life insurance policies that he so good at selling did not really contribute to
agency building. One needed property and casualty policies for continued for renewal revenue. Being in the Los Angeles
metropolitan area he also knew that auto and home policies would come and go as Farmers Insurance did not really
provide a competitively priced product. He always liked the commercial side of insurance so he started building on that
side of the business. Of course as most agents know, the Farmers appetite in this area is very limiting, and therefore a
substantial amount of business had to be placed outside of the Farmers Group of companies.
Any agent who has been with Farmers long enough knows the carrot and stick approach the company uses to keep their
agents productive. Although my husband’s contract was the original 1980’s version with no requirement for production,
and freedom to place business outside if it does not fit the Farmers appetite, the insurance company started putting the
pressure on for my husband to be more productive. They had no consideration for the fact that my husband no longer
had the ability to work the 16 hours days he used to put in before he became sick. They threatened him with a multitude
of consequences, once with taking away the 500 and 700 accounts he had been given to service as other agents had
left or been terminated. Other times management walked in and randomly audited files for “misplaced” business (lucky
for us we extensively documented each file for declinations before placing it outside of Farmers). Another time a District
Agency Manager came into our office and very rudely tried to make my husband “retire” or resign, with no evidence
of any wrongdoing on my husband’s side. My husband, always the gentleman, allowed this representative of Farmers
Insurance rant and rave, with his district manager right there and unable to say anything. Eventually I interrupted the tirade
and pointed out to this man all that my husband had been through and all the side effects he lived with. That ended this
meeting, obviously with the realization that if any unreasonable steps were taken by Farmers, my husband would have an
airtight reason to sue for wrongful termination.
In February of this year my husband passed away after a rapid deterioration in health and multiple organ failure.
Throughout his somewhat lengthy hospitalization our son and I maintained his office, kept full office hours, and provided
full service to our Farmers Insurance policyholders. I had always been a part of my husband’s office, managing the office
and providing service support to his clients. I am fully licensed so everything was done properly and professionally. My
son is also a licensed producer and therefore we had a fully licensed staff in place even though the agent was unable to
be in the office. After my husband’s passing we tried to maintain reasonable office hours in order to service the clients.
The District Manager was full of sympathy and attended the funeral. The regional management wrote a glowing letter of
support and condolences and donated generously to the school my husband had always supported.
However, at the same time while I was in deep shock and full of grief, the District Manager started asking me what my
intentions were as far as the Farmers book of business was concerned. He advised me anything I worked on from the
date of his death we would not be paid for. About ten days after his passing, I came into the office, turned on the agency
Dashboard and found I had no access. Still clueless, I called the helpdesk and was informed there was no such agent
in their system! I still had the Farmers files but I was unable to provide service to anyone. With no warning of any sort,
the management at Farmers had disconnected my husband’s agency. I still had not advised them as to what my family’s
intentions were. For all they knew, one of my sons or I could have wanted to continue on as a Farmers Agent.
However, my sons and I already knew the true nature of what it meant to be a Farmers agent. We knew there was more
stick than carrot in the way agents were treated. The 35 years my husband had been their agent had taught us both sides
of the Face of Farmers.
Soon after this, I received a letter from Farmers Insurance advising me that although I had promptly and diligently turned
in all of the files connected to my husband’s book of business to the District Manager, and also given them our dedicated
Farmers Insurance telephone number, I would not be paid the contract value for the next 90 days. My understanding is
that although I will not be paid for any policies I put in force after the day my husband died, they would have the right to
not pay me for any policies that lapsed or cancelled for the next 3 months. So as far as they are concerned my husband’s
contract stopped on the day he died, but the value of the agency could still decrease even though he was no longer an
agent. I wish someone could tell me how this can be legal! Even the district manager does not really know. He told me I
would probably be paid in 30 days. It has now been 45 days and I have not seen any checks from Farmers.
Therefore when an agent dies, his family is left high and dry with no income to even pay their bills if they rely solely on the
agent’s income from Farmers. Chances are a young agent’s family would be left in very dire straits if such an event were
to befall him. The intent of this letter is one of a cautionary tale. Who is going to pay your family’s or office bills if something
were to happen to you today? The new contract you might have signed really reins in your ability to have any form of
income outside of the Farmers agency. The Farmers Insurance Agents group life policy will not pay your family for at least
another 45 days and neither will the FNWL life insurance policy you might have purchased on yourself.
I am not an attorney, but I learned the hard way that when a sole proprietor dies his business dies with him. I am guessing
most Farmers agents might well be sole proprietors. Even as a corporation, the agent is always an individual. Agents need
to make sure they understand the ramifications of this in case something does happen to them. We sell life insurance to
protect families, and yet we do not really understand what can happen to our own families if suddenly we are no longer
Mrs Vartan Karlubian
Source: UFAA The Voice
Farmers Insurance gets worst rating (1 star out of 5) by many ConsumerAffairs.com users! Here are some of their comments:
“Our 2nd bad experience with Farmers. This time we were hit by a Farmers insured driver. Damage to our car and back injuries. The claims process has been a colossal joke. The claims agent is lazy, disrespectful and untrustworthy. They are trying to cheap their way out. It’s been five weeks with no resolution. However, they did offer us a rental car… which we don’t want or need! Helps me understand why insurance rates are through the roof because they try to take advantage of people which forces consulting with an attorney. Had they just settled fairly, it would have cost them $5,000. Now, we will demand much, much more. Farmers – yeah, they’ve seen a thing or two, but don’t know jack squat.”
“We trusted our agent by telling him we bought a new Mercedes S550 and needed to add it to our coverage. 2 years later a rock crashed the windshield and the agent we trusted saved us a couple of dollars by making our comprehensive coverage deductible $1,250.00. WOW! Then on top of that they tell us if we don’t take it to an aftermarket repair shop they select they may not pay the complete cost after we pay our deductible. They take incompetence and greed to a whole new level. Too bad there is not a 0 Star rating.”
“I will never ever get an insurance through Farmers or recommend it to any one else for that matter. What a lousy business. I got in an car accident earlier this year, car was total loss and I sold it to a junk yard. I notified the agent but somehow she didn’t cancel my insurance and I was paying it for months. When I noticed it I contacted the agent and to get my money reimbursed. After months of asking me for all kind of evidence that I really don’t own the vehicle anymore (they saw the pictures and knew that the car was total loss) now they simply refuse to refund. I provided them the name of the junk yard AND more importantly hard evidence: the notice of transfer and reliability of the DMV (that states I don’t own the car any more and from which date). That’s not enough for Farmers. What a despicable way of doing business and customer service!”
“Recently totaled my 2003 Z71 Tahoe. The mileage on my vehicle with just 190K, it was in immaculate condition with no issues. Insurance came back and told me they were willing to give me $4500 for it. This is absolutely ludicrous as of this particular vehicle will cost about $9500. For what they are offering me, I cannot even replace my vehicle with the same exact vehicle in the same condition. Their offer will not even cover half of what they’re going for. They say they are going based off blue book value but would consider upping it if I can show them proof that these vehicles go for more in this area.
I have sent them countless examples of what they go for in this area but they will not consider them because they are either one your new were one year older. Apparently 2003 Z71 Tahoes are rare in this area. I guess it doesn’t matter that 2002 models just like it are going for well over what they are even offering me for mine and those are in bad condition. This is absolutely ridiculous. I pay to be covered and I get nothing in return.”
“I had someone rear end my 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee over a year ago. Farmers paid for the repair with no problem. However, under Oregon law you are also entitled to receive compensation for “Diminished Value”. An accident will lower the resale value of your vehicle no matter how beautifully the repair was made. That’s diminished value (or DV) and you are entitled to compensation for that additional loss. I had two DV estimates done by reputable companies and they both estimated that loss at over $5,000. You pay these companies to do this estimate and you have no idea what they value your loss at until you pay them and see the report. They get paid the same either way so there is no incentive for them to lie or inflate the value of the loss. It’s an honest assessment. Farmers came back and said their expert valued the same loss at no more than $2,000. I refused the $2,000 and they came back with $2,250.
I complained that my vehicle suffered structural damage and that $2,250 is ridiculous. They came back with $2,500. This has been dragging on for over a year now and their offer is still less than half of the estimated loss. I chose Farmers because I believed they were a reputable company. This is not what I would have expected from them at all. Their adjuster even had the audacity to tell me my accident wasn’t showing on CarFax and suggested I not mention the accident during a sale. I’m required by law to tell the buyer about this accident, especially since it involved structural damage! In fact, if I sold it to a dealership, I’d be required to sign a document of disclosure. Are these the actions of a reputable company? Is this the kind of service you would want to experience? Be your own judge. What good is paying for insurance if they treat you like this when you need them? Do yourself a favor and steer clear off Farmers.”
“Farmers Insurance has been the worst experience of my life. I was sideswiped by one of their client who was ticketed for the accident. I was traveling eastbound in the curb lane at the posted speed limit. The Farmers client made an illegal left turn into the center lane of the same street as me and then abruptly made a lane change into my rear driver’s side door. The Farmer’s customer raced through an expired left turn arrow and lost control of his vehicle due to excessive speed. Farmers lied and said I turned right on red which is patently false. What happened was their client made an illegal left turn AFTER the left turn arrow expired and then about 5-6 car lengths down the road struck my vehicle. Suffice it to say, Farmers Insurance are liars, cheats and swindlers.
I would NEVER recommend Farmers Insurance to anyone. Lies lead to more lies. Small lies become big lies. If Farmers is so willing to tell lies then they will lie to their victims and ultimately their customers. Farmers Insurance company cannot be trusted and pray that you never have to deal with them. They are crooked and some of the most dishonest and untrustworthy people on earth. BUYER BEWARE!!”
“I have had auto/home insurance with Farmers for 15 years. With few if any claims I have been responsible for. In all auto related issues concerning disputes my Farmers agent in Santa Rosa consistently took the side of the company. The customer service has gone downhill over the 15 years. Recently my agent informed me I would be paying a increased premium for my Subaru WRX 5door hatchback. He said it was in a “performance/sports car” category. When I requested Farmers policy documentation details indicating a list of “performance/sports car” data it was not provided. When I contacted the Farmers District Manager he also refused to provide the information. I have an outstanding driving record. Assigning an extra insurance premium on my Subaru has nothing to do with my record. Cars do not break the law! People do! The “performance/sports car” category has nothing to do with my driving record.
Farmers Auto Insurance created that category for the purpose of increasing profits for the company. I requested documentation that Farmers would have to provide to the California Department of Insurance in approval of the “performance/sports car” category. Farmers failed to respond or provide information. I now have a formal complaint filed with the Ca. Dept. of Insurance against Farmers for non-disclosure and being in violation of corporate law related to lack of transparency. I would suggest that people never do business with Farmers Auto Insurance company. The complaints against them are substantial.”
“I’ve been working with Michael ** from Farmers Insurance for the last 2 weeks and HE’S THE ABSOLUTE WORST. 2 weeks ago one of their insured hit me when he ran a stop sign at an intersection, doing significant damage to my car. The front passenger side was completely bent in, leaving a big gap with an air bubble. I called them and asked them to send someone over to do an estimate and Michael told me they don’t usually do that unless the car isn’t driveable, that I’d have to go to a shop and have them do it. I tried to explain to him that the car ISN’T driveable, that I just don’t feel safe driving it in its current state but he just didn’t care and insisted I had to bring it to a shop to get an estimate.
I finally found a shop that could accommodate my schedule and location and they took a look at my car and told me I need to call Farmers and tell them to give me a rental, because this car isn’t driveable. Only then did Michael set me up with a rental. After I got my rental from Enterprise, they told me that Farmers refused to cover my damage waiver on the rental because my insurance already covers a lot of that. I called Michael and asked that Farmers cover my damage waiver and surprise surprise, he said they don’t usually do that. I pointed out that the accident was 100% their driver’s fault and he said OK, they’ll cover my damage waiver but first I have to get my insurance company to fax them a copy of my declaration.
I spent the next 2 days running around making sure all the appropriate documents were sent over (with Michael giving me the runaround repeatedly), and finally he called me and informed me that they won’t be covering my damage waiver because my own insurance company already covers a lot of that. I’m so appalled at the way Farmers has treated me. They’ve just made everything as difficult for me as possible, and Michael is all smiles and politeness on the surface but really has no sense of decency whatsoever. He’s not even professional by auto-insurance standards. (And that’s saying a lot!) If I incur any financial damages from this experience I fully plan to sue them.”
“Had a house fire. 2 days later I still have not heard from my insurance adjuster. I have called the claims # to start a claim, I was told the ins. adjuster would contact me asap… This never happened, so I call again and get the same runaround. Call a 3rd time and they give me more runaround and tell me I have to call the adjuster myself, so I did, no answer and no callback!!! I have no power in my home. I’m living wherever I can, even staying in my house with all the bad smoke fumes etc… I cannot believe that Farmers ins. has put this off like they have, for goodness sakes!!! It is my home. I have insurance and cannot get an adjuster to come here and do what is needed to get my home back in order!!! For shame on this company.”
“Farmers ins keeps jacking up your rates. Had no claims. Save over 100$ per month on car ins by switching away for them. If you’re with Farmers I’d shop around now. If thinking about Farmers ins they will double your payments in a matter of year or two. I have been driving over 30 yrs. Never had a company take advantage of me so bad.”
Reviews from: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/insurance/farmers_auto.html
I have the worst experience ever with Farmers Insurance. I wanted to cancel my insurance because I sold my car. I purposely told my insurance agent the day before my next insurance cycle that I wanted to cancel. She told me that the system might not be able to recognize my cancellation by midnight and thus I might still be charged for the next month. But she will let the company know and get me a refund ASAP if that happens. Turns out, I got charged the next day. Then my agent sent me this unclear statement saying I owe the policy 54 dollars (I did not owe anything or been in any accident). I was confused so I called and she told me she will ask the company and get back to me because apparently she doesn’t know what is going on either. I waited for more than a week, didn’t get a penny back. And so I called again and she said it is from another department and she will have to get back to me next week. Luckily this time she got back to me early saying there’s a cancellation fee of 54 dollars being charged. so I will be getting a refund of my monthly payment that was accidentally charged after the cancellation 105 – the cancellation fee 54 dollars. First of all, I have never heard something like a cancellation fee when you want to cancel your car insurance. It is a competitive market and all the insurance company try to keep their customers satisfied to build up the reputation. But Farmers is almost like since “the system” has already charged you for an extra month, we might as well come up with something and let you suck it up. And ha there is the cancellation fee. Throughout the whole time, the charges and refund were so unclear. Even when I ask for a clear statement of how they came up with the number they charged me, they never provided that. And each time they tell me different excuses. I would never use/recommend Farmers Insurance to anyone. Avoid it as much as you can –
I had a terrible experience with Farmers. I purchased a homeowners policy and, a month after paying the annual premium in full, Farmers sent a vaguely worded letter stating that my premium would be increasing in the middle of the coverage period because they made a mistake when they calculated it. At that point, I decided to cancel my policy because I didn’t want to do business with an insurance company that would do such a thing in the middle of the contract period. For the next two months, I battled Farmers and its inept customer service representatives trying to get a refund of the premium that I had already paid. Every step of the way, Farmers was a nightmare to deal with. Their customer service “systems” are extremely outdated and disorganized, and their customer service representatives are incompetent and unpleasant. After a lot of stress and wasted time, I finally got my refund. If it was that difficult getting my money back after they made a mistake, I can imagine how frustrating it would be getting Farmers to pay a claim when I needed them. There are better options out there. Avoid this company. –
By Brandon Lowrey
A Los Angeles homeowner hit a Farmers Insurance Co. unit with a proposed class action in California state court on Wednesday alleging the insurers illegally limited coverage of wildfire smoke damage by changing policies without adequate notice and saying it was “not actual fire damage.”
Plaintiff Ismael Frias, a resident of the Los Angeles suburb of Sylmar, said that Mid-Century Insurance Co. applied a $5,000 “Wildfire Smoke Sublimit” to his claim under his homeowner’s insurance policy. Mid-Century allegedly added the sublimit to the policy when Frias renewed in March, but didn’t clearly notify him. Frias also contends that the sublimit violates California a insurance law standardizing fire damage policies.
“The purported $5,000.00 Wildfire Smoke Sublimit violates Insurance Code section 2071, is not reflected on the declarations Page, is not plain, clear and conspicuous, and is unenforceable,” Frias argued.
Frias made a claim for damages he suffered during a wildfire on July 23. On that date, the massive Sand Canyon Fire was raging through the mountains north of Sylmar. The fire ultimately scorched nearly 65 square miles before it was contained in August, according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.
In September, Frias received a letter from Mid-Century saying the damage to his home wasn’t “actual fire damage” and thus was subject to the $5,000 sublimit, according to the complaint.
Frias alleges claims of breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and violation of California’s Unfair Competition Act.
Frias seeks to establish a class of California homeowners who had policies containing the wildfire smoke sublimit and who had submitted claims for wildfire odor, soot, smoke, char or ash damage. He also seeks compensatory and punitive damages, along with attorney’s fees, according to the complaint.
“As a result of defendants’ conduct, plaintiff and members of the class and subclass have been damaged, including but not limited to, paying insurance premiums for coverage rendered illusory by the unlawful Wildfire Smoke Sublimit,” the complaint said.
Representatives for Farmers did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.
Frias is represented by Joshua H. Haffner and Levi M. Plesset of Haffner Law PC.
Counsel information for the defendants was not immediately available.
The case is Ismael Frias et al. v. Farmers Group Inc. et al., case number BC638626, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.
—Editing by Joe Phalon.