Farmers Insurance Group

Not to be confused with State Farm Insurance.
Farmers Insurance Group
Industry Financial services
Founded 1928 (1928) (Los Angeles)[1]
Founder Thomas E. Leavey
Headquarters 4680 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, California
, United States
Area served
United States
Key people
Jeff Dailey (CEO)
Services Insurance, other financial services
Divisions Farmers Insurance
Foremost Insurance
Bristol West Insurance
21st Century Insurance
Farmers Life

Farmers Insurance Group (informally Farmers) is an American insurer group of automobiles, homes and small businesses and also provides other insurance and financial services products. Farmers Insurance has more than 50,000 exclusive and independent agents and approximately 22,000 employees.


1922 to 2000


Farmers' future co-founders John C. Tyler and Thomas E. Leavey first met after Tyler moved to California.[2] Tyler and Leavey had both grown up with rural backgrounds and believed that farmers and ranchers, who had better driving rates than urbanites, deserved lower insurance premiums.[2][3][4] During the 1920s, farmers across the United States were establishing their own mutual insurance firms and cooperatives in order to have less expensive policies. Tyler, the son of South Dakotan insurance salesman, and Leavey, who had formerly worked for the Federal Farm Loan Bureau and the National Farm Loan Association, recognized that these farmers, ranchers, and other rural drivers were an overlooked market and wished to create their own auto insurance firm.[2][3]


Tyler and Leavey received a loan from the founder of Bank of America, enabling them to start their company.[2]


Tyler and Leavey opened the doors to their newly founded company, Farmers Automobile Inter-Insurance Exchange, in downtown Los Angeles, California.[2] Tyler served as president with Leavey as vice president. A sales manager and secretary completed the four-employee team.

On March 28, 1928, the first meeting of the board of governors was convened.[3] Two days later, Charles Brisco insures his 1925 Cadillac Phaeton and becomes the first Farmers customer.[5]


Truck Insurance Exchange, a new reciprocal insurer, was launched to specialize in truck insurance.[3]


Farmers Insurance Exchange was named the leading reciprocal in earned premiums for auto insurance by National Underwriter.[3]


Fire Insurance Exchange, the third reciprocal insurer, was launched, specializing in home insurance.[3]


Mid-Century Insurance Company became a subsidiary of the Farmers Insurance Exchange. Aside from the insurance coverage provided by the original three exchanges, Mid-Century offered insurance coverage for Inland Marine, robbery, burglary, personal lines, plate glass, selected bonds, and floaters.[3]


Seattle-based New World Life Insurance Company was acquired by Farmers.[3]


Farmers began annual participation in the Pasadena Rose Parade, launching its involvement in parades and community events nationwide.[3]


John C. Tyler died at the age of 86.[3] Thomas E. Leavey, the remaining co-founder, took the CEO position.[3]


Thomas E. Leavey retired.[3]


After an eight-month takeover battle, BATUS Inc., the American subsidiary of British conglomerate B.A.T. Industries Plc, acquired Farmers Group, Inc. for $5.2 billion and becomes the sole stockholder of the company's 68 million shares of common stock.[2][6]

1989, 1991, and 1994

Multiple, large-scale disasters posed financial challenges to Farmers Insurance. The 1989 San Francisco earthquake, 1991 Oakland fire, and 1994 Northridge, California, earthquake were the three most significant disasters.[3] It was estimated that the losses from the Northridge earthquake alone were $1.3 billion.[3]


In September 1998, the Zurich Financial Services Group was created from the merger with the financial services business of B.A.T. Industries through a dual holding structure.[7]

2000 to present


In March 2000, the Farmers Exchanges acquired Foremost Corporation of America (Foremost Insurance Group),[8] a leading writer of manufactured homes and a prominent insurer of recreational vehicles, boats and other specialty lines.

In August 2000, Farmers Financial Solutions registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a broker-dealer. Through it, Farmers began offering mutual fund and variable insurance products.[9]

In October 2000, the Zurich structure was simplified and unified under a single Swiss holding company. Allied Zurich and Zurich Allied shares were replaced by shares of the newly incorporated Zurich Financial Services with a primary listing on SWX Swiss Exchange (ticker symbol: ZURN) and a secondary listing in London. Zurich Financial Services American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) are traded on the American Stock Exchange.


In 2005, after Hurricane Rita hit Beaumont, Texas, leaving it without power, Farmers Insurance brought in almost 300 insurance adjusters to assess exterior property damage in order to expedite the reconstruction effort, provided $100,000 for the emergency operations center, and two badly needed megawatt electric generators.[10]


In July 2007, the Farmers Exchanges acquired Bristol West Holdings, Inc., the parent of a group of insurers specializing in non-standard auto insurance, which provides insurance coverage for drivers whose driving records or other problems make obtaining insurance difficult.[11]

During the October 2007 California wildfires, Farmers was one of only a few companies[12] to set up facilities to aid their customers. In addition to writing checks for evacuation costs, damage claims, lodging and meals, the company ran commercials urging their customers to take advantage of these facilities.[13] The company now also has 2 buses serving as Mobile Command Centers,[12][14] This mobile claim center arrived at the Qualcomm Stadium only two days after the fires started.[15]


In April 2009, Farmers announced that it would acquire 21st Century Insurance from AIG for $1.9 billion. The acquisition made Farmers the joint third-largest personal lines insurer in the U.S.[16] The acquired assets included AIG Hawaii.[17]


A Farmers Agency in Northville, Michigan

Products and services

Farmers' products and services include:


Farmers Field

On February 2011, Farmers announced that it had agreed to sponsor a football stadium in the city of Los Angeles. This stadium would have been located downtown, close to the Staples Center. The contract was signed for 30 years, and its estimated cost is $700 million. This deal starts with $20 million for the first year, and then eventually increases. This stadium was planned to be named as "Farmers Field". Even though Los Angeles does not officially own a football team yet, the NFL has given their approval to build the stadium.

The Farmers Insurance Open

Farmers became the title sponsor of the Farmers Insurance Open PGA tournament in Torrey Pines, CA in 2010. The event raises millions for local San Diego charities each year.


Farmers is the sponsor of the No. 5 Chevrolet SS driven by Kasey Kahne for Hendrick Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series since the 2012 season. Farmers was the first to introduce a #hashtag on a racecar. Kahne's first victory in the No. 5 was at the 2012 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Farmers promotes its motor-sport relationship through the Farmers Racing website.[19]


Complaints to state insurance departments

In 2006, Farmers Insurance received the highest number of complaints to state insurance departments in Washington[20][21] and Oregon.[22]


Financial ratings

Customer service record


  1. "About Farmers". Farmers Insurance Group. Retrieved 2008-11-20.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Bronstad, Amanda (2005-08-22). "Farmers became industry giant with roots planted deep in L.A.". Los Angeles Business Journal. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Whiteley, Laura (1999). International Directory of Company Histories, Volume 25. Chicago: St. James Press. ISBN 1-55862-367-1.
  4. "Where Are We Going?". 2003. Archived from the original on 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
  5. Davies, Jerry (2008-06-19). "Farmers Insurance Dedicates Heritage Center: 80 Years of History in Los Angeles". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
  6. Adelson, Andrea (1988-08-25). "B.A.T. Bid Is Accepted By Farmers". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
  7. "Zurich to Pay BAT $18.6 Billion for Finance Units". Los Angeles Times. October 17, 1997.
  8. "Foremost Corporation of America Announces Completion of Merger". Business Wire. 2000-03-07. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
  9. "BrokerCheck Report". Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
  10. "Social Responsibility: The Right Thing to Do" (PDF). Leaders Magazine. Vol. 29 no. 3. July 2006. pp. 83–84.
  11. "Farmers Insurance Group Completes Acquisition of Bristol West Holdings, Inc.". Business Wire. 2007-07-05. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
  12. 1 2 Lifsher, Marc (2007-10-24). "Insurers roll even before smoke clears". Los Angeles Times.
  13. Howard, John W. (2007-10-26). "The California Wildfires: A Dispatch from the Front". Retrieved 2007-11-01.
  14. "Inside Farmers Mobile Claims Center". Retrieved 2008-03-25.
  15. Allen, Mike (2007-10-29). "Most Homeowner Policies Cover Cost to Rebuild, Not Property's Market Value". San Diego Business Journal. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
  16. "Topic Galleries". Chicago Tribune.
  17. "AIG Hawaii part of $2B sale". Pacific Business News. April 16, 2009.
  18. Kandyba, Slav (2004-12-27). "Securities brokerage firms: ranked by number of registered, licensed securities brokers in greater San Fernando Valley". San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
  20. 1 2 McGann, Chris (2007-10-12). "Big insurers dig deep to fight R-67". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  21. 1 2 "2006 Private Passenger Auto Insurance Company Complaints". Retrieved 2007-10-22.
  22. "Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services: Oregon State Auto Complaint Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-10-22.
  23. Westneat, Danny (October 14, 2005). "Crash victim's insurer should have a heart". The Seattle Times.
  24. Westneat, Danny (October 20, 2005). "State tells insurer to pay". The Seattle Times.
  25. Bruss, Robert (October 3, 2007). "Farmers Insurance learns hard lesson in homeowner lawsuit". Inman News.
  26. Sebok, Anthony (March 11, 2008). "The Oregon Supreme Court's Recent Decision on Punitive Damages: Why It Took the Wrong Approach". Findlaw.
  27. Goddard v. Farmers Insurance
  28. "$48.5 Million Settlement Approved in Diminished Value Class Action Lawsuit Against Farmers Insurance Company of Washington". Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein website. February 4, 2014.
  29. "Farmers Hit With Class Action Saying Wage Abuses Continue". Law360. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  30. Robin Abcarian (June 24, 2016). "Farmers Insurance will pay a high price for discriminating against its female attorneys". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  31. DeLeon, Frederick; Gary Davis (2008-04-28). "A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Farmers Insurance Group and Farmers Group Inc". Business Wire. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
  32. Berg, Jeffrey; Robert Riegel (2008-12-01). "Moody's upgrades Farmers Insurance's insurance financial strength to A2". Moody's Investor Service. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
  33. "Insurance – Credit Ratings List". Standard and Poor's. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
  34. "American Customer Satisfaction Index: Property & Casualty Insurance". Retrieved 2007-10-22.
  35. "Shop Smart: Ensuring you get the best auto insurance". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 12, 2006.: Editors of Consumer Reports considered Farmers Insurance one of the "poorest performers".
  36. "2007 Collision Repair Satisfaction Study". Retrieved 2007-10-22.
  37. "Farmers Insurance Recognized for Call Center Customer Satisfaction Excellence for a Second Consecutive Year" (Press release). J.D. Power and Associates. 2006-11-08. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
  39. "Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services: Oregon State Auto Complaint Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-10-22. – Farmers Insurance had the most number of auto complaints in 2006 (p.13)
  40. "Oregon Publishes Annual Insurance Complaint Statistics". Retrieved 2008-06-24. – Farmers Insurance had the most number of auto and homeowners complaints in 2007
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