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Contract Breeched & Terminated - Hosed by Farmers

Posted by texasagent 
Contract Breeched & Terminated - Hosed by Farmers
January 31, 2008 06:46PM
This is a very, VERY long post I know, and as a disclaimer, the views expressed below are my own personal opinions based upon my own experience with this dinosaur of a company – but it is well worth the read. I normally do not post in blogs or forums, but as a former Farmers agent who knows the 'inside' of this company, I have such a severe distrust and deep lack of respect for this unethical company that I am compelled to put something in writing to hopefully help others avoid my mistake with Farmers. Based upon my experience, this must be the single worst insurance company in America – period – especially regarding its treatment of its agency force. While all insurance companies have customers with bad experiences, Farmers Insurance far and above exceeds the norm. Just look around on the internet at sites such as www.ripoffreport.com and others and you'll see that Farmers Insurance leads ALL other companies in all states in terms of complaints, ethical violations, claim fraud, and agent abuse. This is the worst of the worst.

First of all, I was a full-time real estate investor for many years prior to opening my agency, which means that I have numerous business contacts and others with which to do business (and this was one of my reasons for opening an agency). I wanted top open an insurance agency because I wanted to build a stable business with residual income and the opportunity for unlimited growth. I also wanted a business I could sell later on in the future. I chose to become a Farmers agent due to the fact that the District Manager (DM) was a likeable guy and the agents in the district liked working with him. This is the only bright spot in the story. Also, because the Farmers contract allows agents to write 'outside business', I liked the idea of being able to operate as a semi-independent agent for risks that did not fall within the Farmers underwriting parameters (only I didn’t know how narrow these underwriting guidelines were). Keep in mind, I am not a stupid man and I was very successful in my previous career and, since that time, I have been self-employed for many years. I have a great deal of professional sales and public speaking experience, a technical background, and familiarity with the legal system. I’m not the guy that went from selling shoes at the mall to owning an agency within a week.

I am now no longer one of Farmers minions due to its breech of contract, unethical treatment, and a general environment of intimidation. The company has terminated my contract due to ‘lack of performance’ for meeting my first-year’s career numbers of 160 P&C policies – EVEN THOUGH I DID MEET THEM (more on that later on in the post) Farmers refuses to write probably 60% of the commercial business I deal with so I have to go to other carriers. Farmers also has some of the highest premium rates in the country (and they know it yet refuse to become competitive), which makes it difficult to sell policies. That said, I also lose about 1 in every 4 customers within 3 to 4 months due to the incompetent billing system (what ‘system’?) and the fact that my customers get cancellation notices before they get their first bill and I spend 70% of my day dealing with FARMERS-GENERATED issues that require excessive administrative attention – which means that I am NOT selling and I am spending hundreds of dollars in manhours servicing a policy with only a $150 earned commission – which cancels later anyway because the customer gets fed up. You do the math.

HEAR ME NOW: DO NOT EVER OPEN A FARMERS AGENCY. EVER. The best way to make a million dollars as a Farmers agent is to start out with two million and work your way down. And that is not hyperbole. This is a very, very BAD company to represent and to have insurance through. I hope this company suffers another insurance crisis like the 'mold scare' in Texas a few years back.

Here are some bullet points to put my agency in perspective:

1. Elected ‘Class President’ of the Farmers University class that I attended in Los Angeles.

2. Recognized as one of the top Commercial agents in the state of Texas in 2007 (my FIRST year as a career agent!!!) To be a bit cheesy, I even have the commercial reps for Farmers tri-state area taking me to lunch because of the ‘good job’ I have done writing commercial.

3. Approached by my DM to consider becoming an RDM (Reserve District Manager) within my first 6 months as a career agent.

4. I send numerous ‘Appreciation and Feedback Emails’ (which very, very few agents do) to the supervisors of the service personnel who handle my issues competently at Service Point. The Service Point manager for Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico has even contacted me personally to thank me for the time I have taken to recognize employees who do good work and resolve <Farmers Generated> issues.

5. All of my auto policies (expect one) are either 100/300 or 250 / 500 limits. Very good limits.

6. Almost all of my customers are on EFT billing (which Farmers LOVES).

7. I have a ‘Policies per Household’ ratio of 2.81% - which is HUGE. This means that almost every single household in my book of business is a strong multi-lines customer. This is one of the best (if not the best) ratios in the district.

8. I have a beautiful, well designed and well-furnished office that my DM has asked other agents to come see as a ‘model’ for what an agency office should look like.

9. I understand technology very well and ALL of my business is done electronically. I have NO paper files of any type. Everything is done via electronic signature, PDF, scanning, etc. I am VERY efficient and organized in almost all regards.

10. I am well-known in Central Texas through my previous career and real estate dealings and most of my customers are commercial in nature.
11. I develop and teach classes for CEU / MCE credit to other licensed real estate professionals.

12. I have (had) qualified CSR staff as well as other producing agents - all within my FIRST year as a 'career' agent.

Sound good right?

All of this said, Farmers did NOT like the fact that I refuse to get my series 6 and 63 licensing for Farmers FFS. I told all parties right up front that I would not obtain a securities license because it would interfere with my own private investing in real estate, private loans, real estate training etc, and that I could not, in good conscious, sell an annuity earning 3% to a customer when I know that with one single phone call I can invest their money in private (collateralized) ventures earning 10% to 12% starting day one. Most people will earn more money putting it in a savings account than they will investing in Farmers UBER-CONSERVATIVE low-return financial investments.

Farmers is GREEDY and they did NOT like this at all. The general mindset seems to be ‘Screw the Customer, Praise the Company. All Hail Farmers’

The reason that Farmers cancelled my contract (per their story) is because I only turned in 158 P&C policies instead of the required 160 for my first 12 months as a career agent – and they claim ‘lack of performance’. But here’s the fly in the ointment:

1. I DID meet my numbers. I even have the official 'OV19' report (the official report) that shows I meet my numbers with at least 168 policies issued and paid at least one month prior to mt anniversary date, but somehow 10 policies magically disappeared so the company is claiming I only have 158 policies - not 168. I submitted two commercial policies prior to the cutoff date, one on November 6 and one of November 8 (which I can prove). These were submitted PRIOR TO Farmer’s own cutoff date for that period (November 9), BUT they refuse to count the policies towards my numbers because they were submitted ‘too close’ to the cutoff date and ‘could not be processed’ to show up on the Dec. 1 folio in on time. "Too close?" What does THAT mean? That's like being 'kind of' pregnant. They are either in on time or they're not. What’s the point of having a cutoff date then??????? The thing is, NO WHERE IN WRITING IN ANY PLACE does it say policies submitted ‘close to’ the cutoff date won’t count. What does ‘close to’ mean if they are submitted on time? One day? Three days? A week? Basically, Farmers established a cutoff date for policy submission, I met it, and because of their own internal (an regular) incompetence they did not process the policies in time (given that they only had three full weeks to get them on my folio) and the policies did not show up on the folio. Basic contract law stipulates that ‘one party’s failure to act or perform shall not constitute a breech of contract on the other party.’ Farmers themselves breached their contract by their failure to follow their own guidelines and they are putting it off on me.

2. Prior to my receiving notice, Farmers pre-emptively removed some of my Dashboard (our processing system) access so that I cannot apply payments. They did this without providing the required legal notice – which constitutes and ‘anticipatory breech’. This means that took an action in anticipation of breeching the contract without having first met the requirements for legal notice.

3. I had spoken with our DM’s business partner (assistant DM) on at least three occasions leading up to this and we went over my numbers in slow, painful detail. I had at least 8 ‘extra’ policies which made everything fine, but only in mid-December (after my December 1 anniversary date) did I get a call stating that things did not add up. None of these idiots can explain where the other 10 policies I had on the books went.

4. The Farmers Agent Appointment Agreement / Addendum states (and I quote directly) “Agent shall issue a minimum of 160 P&C and 24 Life policies by the end of the twelfth month of the career program.” Common understanding is that if I was appointed on December 1, 2006, then the ‘end of the twelfth month’ (calendar months) is December 1, 2007; although Farmers is claiming that my cutoff ended November 9 and that the required numbers were required to show up on my December 1st FOLIO (again, policies were submitted but not processed by Farmers.) No where in the contract does it say the words ‘shall show up on the agent’s folio’. It says ‘end of twelfth month’ which reads as calendar months. Again, another misinterpretation (IMO) and breech of contract on the part of Farmers as there were several P&C policies issued after November 9 and prior to December 1.

5. I have been told by my ex-DM that he did get a previous exception for a similar situation for another agent (of course she was a cute female) just a year back. I was told by the DMM (my DM’s boss) that no exceptions were EVER given (an absolute bald-faced lie since he signed off on the exception just mentioned). The agent for which the previous exception was made (again, a female – go figure) was cute and turned out to be a promiscuous cocaine-head that left / was forced to leave Farmers shortly after the exception. Nice corporate ethics huh?

6. Farmers is willing to terminate the contract of a great agent who has achieved several accolades from the company within his first year, who has been asked to be a RDM, who is recognized a s a great commercial agent, and who has done good things on the basis of being TWO policies short – even though the policies were actually submitted on time, just not property processed by the company.

Here are some things to know about this company based on my experience. These are in no particular order other than what comes to mind. Although I am very knowledgeable with real estate and contract law, I obviously wasn’t an expert in the field of insurance when I first began, but no worries I was told, Farmers had training in place….

1. TRAINING: The training (if it can be called that) was ABYSMAL. USELESS. The FEW (VERY FEW) training sessions that were held by the district were unorganized, incompetently taught, uninformative, and an utter and complete waste of time. Most agents will not even attend (as I have now learned) because of how pathetic this training is. I would have learned more sitting at home hitting myself in the face with a rock. Our DM's assistant (known affectionately in the District as 'Stifler' from the American Pie series because he drinks and does nothing tangible) is absolutely worthless at anything but sitting on his butt.

2. LIFE INSURANCE: Like other ex-agents have posted before, ALL this company cares about is selling their very over-priced and outdated life insurance through Farmers New World Life. You can be a complete screw-up so long as you sell the ‘oh-so-precious’ life products. The DM’s job and bonuses are based in large part on selling life products in the district. This is a cash-cow for Farmers. ‘Screw the Customer, Praise the Company. All Hail Farmers’ These policies are way too expensive and 10-years out of date.

3. LIFE INSURANCE: The life products (I know because I have compared them) are 30% HIGHER than almost ANYONE else in the market (which is a LOT of additional premium over 30 years), they have very few riders that people want (ie: return of premium, disability, etc), and the underwriting is SOOOOO conservative and strict that 50% of applications get declined. Farmers DEMANDS that you sell life insurance but then the company itself prevents this by offering only OLD OUTDATED products with few features, extremely high premiums, low interest rates (3% at best), and impossible underwriting. It’s like telling you to catch fish but then taking away your fishing pole and bait and then penalizing you later for not having a boat full of bass. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

4. STAFFING: IMPORTANT: READ THIS >>>> Farmers strongly pushes new agents to hire staff, claiming that your business will increase dramatically when you have someone else quoting and processing policies and you can spend more time selling and marketing. THE REAL REASON: As a Farmers agent, you HAVE to hire staff for one reason and one reason only: To have a FULL-TIME person doing nothing but managing the hundreds and hundreds of Farmers-Initiated foul-ups and mistakes regarding billing, underwriting, losing policies, false cancellations, documentation, etc. You have to hire staff just to manage Farmers - NOT YOUR OTHER OUTSIDE LINES! Any business I write through other companies (such as general liability, health, excess lines, etc) requires very little babysitting or follow-up. They actually work correctly the first time!!!!! JUST NOT FARMERS. This means that if you are paying someone $24,000 per year salary just to manage Farmers issues (which is what 90% of their time will be spent doing, trust me), then the company itself is actually COSTING YOU $24,000 to $30,000 is lost personal income / commissions because you are having to pay a third-party to manage THE COMPANY’S issues. Put this in perspective. You sell a homeowner’s policy and make a $150 commission, BUT, some CSR you are paying $12 per hour has to spend 8 hours (yes, this is real) over a period of three weeks reapplying discounts (which the Farmers system ‘magically’ drops off), gathering signatures on the MULTITUDE of forms (which no other company uses), going back two weeks later to get pictures of breaker boxes, P-traps, etc., rebilling the mortgagee because Farmers messed up the billing, etc, you have just paid that employee $96 to manage FARMERS (NOT AGENCY”S) problems, which means you made a net-commission of only $54. That’s assuming you don’t get a charge back because the customer cancels and goes with another carrier because they get fed up. Sound like a winning plan? I joined farmers to make money - instead they cost me money.

5. COMMISSION: True story. My BEST month with Farmers in TWO YEARS (one as a 'Reserve' agent and the second year as a 'career' agent), given the large amount if commercial I write and all of the accolades that I have mentioned above with the company, was a commission folio of less than $4,000 – for 60 hours of work a week for a MONTH. Out of that I have to pay overhead of $3,800. I made $200 for a MONTH with Farmers – IN MY BEST MONTH. This is due to chargeback, errant billing screw-ups, overcharge E&O insurance, etc. As a comparison, I make $5,000 in less than one week writing outside lines business (which Farmers does not offer – so there is no conflict). I make 20% more money in a week (with no staff needed) outside of Farmers than I do in a month WITH Farmers. See the problem? Because of Farmers screwy way of paying, the chargebacks, billing errors (countless errors), etc. as much money gets deducted as what is earned. You can’t spend time on things that MAKE MONEY / INCOME because 80% of your time is spent dealing with Farmers screw-ups and errors so that you don’t get in trouble and/or have even more chargebacks. You basically have to ‘sell’ (figuratively speaking) the same policy five times to the same customer to keep them from leaving. Funny thing, but I have already had TWO billing calls this morning (it’s 9:22 am) as I type this information.

6. "VALUE NOT PRICE": If I hear this one more time I’m going to throw up. Farmers preaches ‘Sell Value, Not Price’. Why? BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEY ARE OVERPRICED AND NOT COMPETIVE and they have to keep saying this to brainwash the agents. I understand the concept, believe me I do, but let’s face facts and get away from the ‘Company Line’ for a minute. 90% of customers are looking directly at the bottom line (cost) and they couldn’t care less who their insurance is with (Farmers, Geico, Travelers, etc) so long as the price is reasonable. No one is his right mind is going to pay an extra 30% just because it’s with Farmers and they think their agent is a nice guy. That’s a fact, regardless of what line of junk the pencil-necks at Farmers preach. You know it and I know it. I know SEVERAL AGENTS who don’t even write their own homes and cars through Farmers – the very company that they represent! What does alone this say? Why can’t you sell value COMBINED with price? Is Farmers the best and only insurance carrier? No, faaaaar from it…

In fact, if you quote a Farmers auto policy against almost anyone else on an apples-to-apples comparison, Farmers is ALMOST ALWAYS 20% to 40% more expensive. ALWAYS. Now, once you add in ten different discounts (EFT, multi-car, auto home, advance purchase, etc) the price becomes competitive, but here’s the point: Farmers has to add in numerous discounts (assuming the customer even qualifies for them) which also causes a great deal of documentation and MORE BILLING PROBLEMS just to meet the initial base rate of it’s competitors!

7. E&O INSURANCE: Here’s a nice one. Farmers E&O insurance costs agent $256 per month ($3,072 per year). For those of you who don’t know, THAT’S EXPENSIVE considering Allstate agents pay about $132 a month. This is my own opinion, but it looks as though Farmers is adding their own fee on top of the policy to make a nickel off of their agent force. Nice huh? Farmers claims to have a great E&O policy that covers your outside business as well. DON’T BELIEVE IT. I understand professional liability insurance (because I write it) and I have actually read the policy. A $1,000 deductible for Farmers-related business but a $5,000 deductible for non-Farmers related (outside) business. Defense costs included IN the policy limits (which you do not want). Also, the policy has been written in such a manner that Farmers will probably never pay a dime because it’s ENTIRELY in their favor. ‘Screw the Agent, Praise the Company. All Hail Farmers’ I recently got my own E&O policy, with higher limits, a flat $1,000 deductible for ALL business (including prior acts), legal defense OUTSIDE of the policy limits, etc. for just $188 per month. I’m saving $68 per month (or $816 per year) but NOT using Farmers own E&O policy with their special ‘negotiated rates’. Screw the Agent, Praise the Company. All Hail Farmers’

8. TOO MANY AGENTS: Here’s another nice bonus of being a Farmers agent… EXTREME OVER-POPULATION OF MORE FARMERS AGENTS SO THE D.M. CAN KEEP HIS JOB. The DM's job is dependent upon the number of 'reserve agents' he recruits each year and then the number of those agents that go 'career'. Currently my EX-DM is required to recruit AT LEAST 16 reserve agents and make 3 of them (as a minimum) career each year or else he is out of a job. I live in a rather affluent and booming area, and I have SEVENTEEN or more OTHER FARMERS AGENTS within a 5 or 6 mile radius of my office. SEVENTEEN AGENTS (maybe more) in a six mile radius. Did you read that? SEVENTEEN OTHER FARMERS AGENTS. Not one, not five, not 9; SEVENTEEN. I can’t throw a rock without hitting another Farmers agent. You go to a networking meeting or event and there are three other Farmers agents present - each one proudly touting the company's logo and competing with each other until their agencies fail. Compare this to a company such as Nationwide Insurance (a good A-Rated company). They have a total of 175 agents IN THE ENTIRE STATE OF TEXAS! I know this because I have met the state Agent manager. Farmers has over 400 agents (and four districts) just IN THE CITY I LIVE IN!!!!

9. BAD BRANDING: Don’t be lied to, in most places Farmers DOES NOT have a good reputation with the general public. In fact, I have had more than one person tell me that if I quote them Farmers insurance that they are going to go elsewhere – and this is not a random occurrence. Commercial and Personal. I do not even use the Farmers logo any longer because it was actually costing me business and turning people away. Farmers may pat themselves on the back and tell their own agents how great they are, but the general public doesn't like Farmers. They're expensive, they're often difficult with claim settlements, and their billing is the worst in the industry - bar none.

Summary:

In my opinion and based upon my own experiences, Farmers is a very unethical corporate dinosaur with an antiquated management system, outdated products which are NOT priced to be competitive with other companies, poor internal systems (which NEVER get fixed, more erroneous ‘features’ just get added to complicate it even more), and a lack of concern for their customers. Anything Farmers says or does is simply ‘lipstick on a pig’ and I recommend that anyone looking at becoming a Farmers agent run as fast as you can. Bad Company + Bad Systems + Bad Contract + Bad Management + Poor Ethics = a VERY BAD EXPERIENCE.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/31/2008 07:05PM by administrator.

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WOW!

Thanks a million for taking the time to document this! I recently attended a recruiting meeting for Farmer's, and have been seriously considering signing up with them. NOT NOW!! We were told how competitive they were on rates, but I have not checked them out yet. They certainly did not mention "Value not Price" in a recruitment meeting.

THANKS!

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My husband is currently in the reserve program and wondering if he should go independent. Any suggestions on how to do that????????
we are also in Texas

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I am new career agent, please give me some information to be a broker and want to leave this hell.

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Re: Contract Breeched & Terminated - Hosed by Farmers
June 11, 2008 02:29AM
holly crap, I am in Texas also and an adjuster. Do you mind telling me what district you were in, I wonder if I know you. I have been with the company 10 + years. email me if you wish. good luck.
Yes, I also have heard numerous other agents quit for the same reasons as listed above. It is in my humble opinion just a pyramid scheme. Once you get your friends and family with farmers, there done with you.

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As much as I am disappointed to hear about your experience with Farmer's, I'm glad that you took the time to share it. I just wish I had an opportunity to read about it before I became an insurance agent at all. I was recently recruited for another insurance company, whose logo claims to provide "all your protection under one roof" and after reading this page, it sounds to me that they have modeled the company's work ethics after farmer's. I, too, was a captive agent and was recruited with absolutely no prior insurance experience. The monthly goals that were set for me, in my opinion, were entirely too high and after only seven months of working like a dog for 11 hours, six days a week, my dm decided to close my agency. Of course, he was not at all concerned with the fact that I signed a 3 year office lease (that he himself looked over and gave his stamp of approval)before I made the commitment. I spent so much time trying to 'service' my existing clients while dealing with company errors that including way too many billing problems, underwriting issues and other time consuming setbacks. Not to mention that in addition to all of my overhead expenses and paying for the staff person that I was 'strongly encouraged' to have that I barely made enough to live on. After I was canned, I have received numerous post card solicitations from farmers about joining their 'winning team of agents' here in the buckeye state. My experience has left a really bad taste in my mouth with regard to ever working for another insurance company again. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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Wow! After reading that post I feel even better that I left that place. I was a reserve agent for 3 months and had a very similar experience. I was recruited with no prior insurance experience and was provided with really no "official" training. The little training that was provided was chaotic and started two and a half months after I had started with the company. To make matters worse, most of the time I knew more than the person doing the training because I had taken the time to read the manual (which by no means is all inclusive or makes much sense at all).

I also kept seeing the people that would go in for interviews and would think to myself, 'they don't look professional at all'. Most of the time I would later find out that these people coming in for interviews were in the process of obtaining their license because Farmers had given them the opportunity to "own their book of business", a phrase that they love using. I soon noticed that they would recruit anyone and everyone. If a monkey in a suit walked in and wanted to be an agent with Farmers, he would probably get the opportunity. Okay, that may be extreme, but you get the idea.

I also saw a lot of current career agents who were struggling to get by. I myself, lost thousands of dollars trying to start up "my own business". Whatever amount of money I made selling their products I would end up losing because of their ridiculous fees. I did not even realize that they have campaigns where they send out mailings to people and charge you, the agent, 30 cents for each mailing. They take it right out of your folio. This happened to me and I did not even realize that my "campaigns" were turned on. I turned them off, but to my surprise these mailings continued, and to make matters worst, most of them were being returned to my inbox because of invalid addresses. At the end of the month I was left with less than $50 in my folio.

I finally got fed up with the inadequate training, ridiculous fees, and pressure to sell a product that no one wants to buy, so I quit before they forced me to sign the contract. Yes, I say forced because they pressure you so much into signing the contract that if you even mention anything about not wanting to sign it right away, they turn on their high pressure sales techniques and even get mad at you.

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Last week with two days notice I was ordered to attend a meeting with my DM and his DMM at the district office. I am a 30+ year agent and from various previous meetings with my DM over the last few years I could feel that the tide was turning against senior agents who are not meeting "business expectations". As a background,I have above average retention, profit, household density and am not losing pif. I entered the meeting with a high degree of anxiety as I was immediately surrounded by men I did not trust. The DMM immediately offered a 10% bonus of the basic contract value if I would resign which I declined and then he proceeded to inform me that agents who do not meet current "growth expectations" are being terminated regardless of profit, retention and time with the Company. I was given a 90 day notice at which time if I have acceptable business results I will be given another 90 days and if I survive that I will be off the hook. I asked what production levels I would have to meet and the DMM said he could not answer that because of our contract. He would only state that I had to meet acceptable business results whatever that is. I found out that several other agents in my district where required to attend the same kind of meeting. The DM would not give me their names but I found out that others are senior agents. At this point being in my sixties and having done this since my late twenties I am in a state of shock! Emotionally I feel betrayed and it really hurts that my own company, which told me I would own my business when I started is attempting to cast me off as a "junk" agent. Keep in mind that I pay all my own expenses and that I brought all the customers to Farmers. All that Farmers pays me is my commission. If I am terminated, my policies are transferred to a new agent and they pay only 50% of the commission. I call that robbery. Previous posts talk about ethics and I must caution those who are considering a career with Farmers. Keep in mind that people doing policy service, underwriting and claims service as a whole are wonderful people. The problem with this company lies in the greed and lack of ethics of sales managers starting with DM's and going all the way up to the CEO of the Company. Being an insurance agent/broker is truly an honorable profession but my advise to people considering this as a new career become an independent agent. Being a captive agent will always leave you at the mercies of future generations of sales managers who seldom have your interests at heart. If you can't move your policies to any company at any time you will find yourself under the thumb of someone who can destroy you financialy when you can least afford it.

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hb
Re: Contract Breeched & Terminated - Hosed by Farmers
July 21, 2008 11:41PM
Old Guy, Please go to forum on UFAA website and tell your story , so other agents know this. Seems Darg program started again

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I'm currently being recruited by a Farmers District Office. When they were putting on their dog and pony show, I told my wife everything seemed fake and the numbers were unreal. They mentioned a 5 year 82% agent rentention rate versus an industry rate of around 25%. I also mentioned the number of agents already competing in my small town, as there seems to be a Farmers agent on every third corner. Thanks for posting this as I have not moved forward with the process yet.

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I too am a 30+ year agent with FIG.
texasagent: You "nailed" it! Could not have said it better myself.
Old Guy: I feel for you and understand completely where you're at. In fact, I am expecting to be called to a similar "meeting" at any time.
Fortunately, I opened a business (non-insurance & non-financial) last year and in the first year grossed more than I have at ANY point in my 30+ year Farmers' career!
Go figure, I had to open another business at age 59!!! Just to protect myself from a company I have been loyal to for over 30 years!!! Of course, the Farmers I started with is long GONE!
In regard to the unethical behavior of the "new" FIG - has anyone actually READ the new Next Gen H/O policy? How can I, with a clear conscience, sell this policy to my friends and clients? YES, this company has been taken over by liars and unethical frauds.
During the last year I have remained an agent merely for the benefit of my office staff (they need a job) and service my existing policyholders the very best I can. I have written hardly any new business. Ergo, my limited time remaining in this business.
In any case, "OLd Guy" - I wish you the very BEST and pray everything will work out for you.
To ANYONE considering a career with Farmers - Turn around quickly and RUN as fast as you can!!! As an "old timer", this is the BEST advice I can give you!

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I am looking for good lawyer in state of Ohio. All what was said above just happened to me and some other agents, and we are totaly broke. We spend all of our savings to invest in Farmers agency, plus now we owe subsidy loan to pay back. Can we do class action law suit for unethical conduct? Please let me know via e-mail or call me at 330-321-5895.
Let's get together and make Farmers to pay us back all what we lost investing in that company!

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Re: Contract Breeched & Terminated - Hosed by Farmers
October 30, 2008 09:07PM
My DM just left with all of the Farmers materials I could box up. Texas agent speaks the truth. My life sales terminated me after 10 months. It is impossible to sell overpriced products (I could not violate my own ethics in this area) I did find a few round pegs to fit the Farmers round hole for term life - young, healthy and a home oh my! The final expenses policy is a joke - you can go do your pre-need (pick it out and pay monthly with no interest) and if you are old and unhealthy pay for it upfront to spend your assets down legally. It is just wrong to jump in there and sell life products without some knowledge of the "death taxes" and medicaid - try getting help from your Farmers Life rep on these issues! Life is a money maker for Farmers - they are suffering in other areas. They say push the juvi-life. You can't sell a Farmers juvi-life if the parent has no life insurance! (I have found an excellent company with an affordable child life product that I am now proud to talk about)
I could not put enough time together to study for the 6 and 63 (paid FFS well over $800 to be investigated, registered, etc-what a rip) No one has any business buying an annuity if they are not maxing out their IRA every year (how many do you know doing that in todays economy?) Texas agent is right about low yield - look at what you pay in fees for the annuity too.(I sat in on one of those seminars directed at retired folks with my Dad, the guy just lied and a good bit of what he told my Dad was not even legal for my Dad's situation) My heart was not into gearing up to rip people off. I also have spent many years in real estate investing and have many contacts as well as many properties. Fortunately, I have pretty much broken even on the cash out of pocket(I had my own office space)-just spent 10 months selling policies to build up another agency. I just feel used-my money, my time(first time I have ever been fired in my life)-the DM even had the nerve to offer me an agency producer position with an agent about 30 miles away that has his FFS (the other agent in my town has been with Farmers for several years, quit his FFS and doesn't draw new business)I'm "good" enough to keep working for them but not good enough to keep what I have started. First time shame on you - second time shame on me. Saving grace-after 10 months of throwing my name out there it is starting to stick.I have a good start on a residual health insurance sales income (I will have time to increase those sales-Farmers took all of my time and it was working against my own health) I am just trying to decide what I really want to do because I don't have to work (guess that explains my low tolerance for nonsense)
Farmers dashboard and billing system must be held together with duct tape and baling wire, because I spent an inordinate amount of time chasing incorrectly applied payments, discounts (proving affinity affliations, prior coverage, etc-driving your customer crazy accumuating paper documentation) I had to spend way too much time on this - it took all of the profit out of the sale and time away from prospecting. Farmers lead center sold me more deceased, moved, disconnected totally useless leads. My E & O was also a rediculous price. Could this all be a conspiracy to prevent success?
I strongly suggest the following to anyone considering a career in insurance:
1) take the state required insurance classes first - see if you even like what you are learning and have a knack for understanding it.
2) look into selling health and life insurance part-time in addition to your day job there are plenty of companies out there that you can get appointed with. Get your feet wet without committing yourself as a "captive" This can provide income if you decide to go full time.
3) look into jobs with an independent if you want to sell P & C, you probably get more commercial experience/exposure .
4) watch what kind of non-compete agreements you sign.
5) it is a world full of corruption and greed - associate with ethical people
6) if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
7) if your potential boss stands on a stump and preaches the following: Faith 1st, Family 2nd, Business 3rd - run the other direction, because he really means "it is all about the numbers and the money" because that is where he puts his "faith" and that is what his "family" is praying for
Gee, I feel much better and I truly hope this helps prevent someone else from wasting time and money with a system that promotes failure.

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to texasagent, you should be glad you are done with FIG.

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I can agree with the original post on most points. However, all these standard companies have changed (not for the better) and you were somewhat green coming into the business. All that is just a part of what is expected with Farmers, State Farm, etc.... Remember, there was a reason for this happening. Better things will come along. :-)

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Man, your experience is almost the same as mine in to many ways.

I also was a Farmers agent and sold Farmers true & blue until my 12 month time period. I had some make up to meet my 160 p&c policies so I too was contacting my DM and DMM regularly. When it came down to the end they checked reports and said "no worries made it by one" then the 20th of the next month came around and my contracted was canceled (after working hard for 20 days to sell policies for my next quarter, DM and DMM said I was good right). Both my DM and DMM didn’t understand until I did all the leg work to figure out what was going on.

I had figured out that 2 policies showed up in my Renewal folio coded as NB. Those don't count, that is where the DM and DMM went wrong, opps their mistake right. Well, I had 3 policies that were submitted almost a full month before my one year date but had errored out several times locking them up in underwriting. It was all documented (who the underwriter was and conversations we had) and brought to the DM and DMM but no dice. Right before my passwords are cancelled I print all my folio’s including the last one showing I had 3 Foremost policies that were issued 4 months prior to my 1 year date.

The Fight...so next I need some legal advice. And I did as instructed by an attorney and went back and forth with the State Exec with Farmers for 4 months after cancellation. After 4 months she (yes her) finally said sorry lets get your agency back to you.....BUT. In order to follow contract we still need to have you set up an Termination Review Board to go over your status (thus meaning I had to find a this and that and drive here to meet this person and drive there to talk to them) and also once I was back on the program I had to make-up for my lost 4 months to follow contract guidelines. WHAT...WHAT follow contract? I’m confused on the whole follow/unfollow contract stuff?

O.K. to late to get the agency back let alone who knows how many PIF I still had. I'll just sue them for lost wages and damages blablabla right. Now another three months and they had a lawyer so drowned it was going to cost me $75,000 before I would know if they were going to try a retrial or not. Farmers would rather dump money into a trial then just pay off the agent or let alone make things right.

I don't know what to do about it next. They have stolen too much of my time already. But man it burns on you when you know someone or something is entirely too wrong and nothing to do about it.

Conclusion: Farmers Agents are the only thing that “makes them”. Once inside the company you have some great individuals but unfortunately no one has any “____”. It is a weird ladder in which the State Exec could call the office lady in Kansas and have little weight….hmmm weird. Meaning that the DM, DMM and even State Exec have little power, so when if you’re a Farmers Reserve/Career Agent make sure you’re in contact with Kansas too. Once “they say” it may be hard to have anyone go to bat for you.

And also why hasn’t someone started a class action against Farmers from the Reserve/Career side. I’m ready but know I cant afford to do it alone.

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Wish I found this site earlier, I just send in my termination letter.

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Wow! I just read up on this forum and cant say enough about this topic. I'm currently a Farmers career agent and have had the same issues as texasagent. As a matter of fact as I read his forum it kinda reminded me of what I did my first year. I was also a commerical top producer in '07. Exceeded my p&c #'s by far and just met my life goals. I completely agree with this guy about how much time gets invested in correcting Farmers screw ups. That billing system is got to be the worst I've seen in my 12 year career as an insurance agent with several other carriers. I remember how Farmers kept me going by saying they would fix it soon. Three years later... "I'm still waiting a#$%*%s. Sorry had to let it out. Anyhow I wont make this a long forum but if you would ask me what I think about Farmers, we would be here all day long. And like texasagent said unfortunately been a Farmers agent doesnt allow you to enjoy other things. I would had loved to known this before I have invested so much of my time and energy to this dump. But having 500+ policies I'm in it for the long haul now. If any of you are considering such a career move I have this to say... DON'T! Especially to those who are new to the insurance business. You will only have a good chance if you have some type of previous experience. Especially because like you read with texasagent, there is no good training here at Farmers. I guarentee it!!! If anyone out there is interested in emailing me for further insight into the world of " The Farmers Way " as we say now or to discuss some legal rights we might have or other, feel free to email me at dave0123@live.com

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MY ADVISE TO ALL OF YOU... KEEP ALL YOUR RECORDS IN WRITTING!!! IN CA IS REQUIRED BY LAW
FARMERS LAWYERS HAD LAID THE NEW ERA FOR "SLAVES" UNDER CONTRACT!

WHAT TO DO? IS YOUR RIGHT TO:
REPORT THEM TO DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
FILE A LAWSUIT (ANA HADDAD VS FARMERS INSURANCE CASE BC379468 L.A CA)
REPORT THEM TO DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE
WRITE ON THIS POST YOUR E-MAIL IF YOU INTERESTED IN A CLASS ACCION LAWSUIT

SPEAK OUT!!!
THIS UNJUSTICE IS DEVASTATING PEOPLE LIVES,AND MUST BE STOP THE ASSAULT AGAINST THE PUBLIC AND THE EXTORSION AGAINST THE AGENTS

PRAY...TO HAVE COURAGE AND STAND UP NOW, BEFORE IS TOO LATE...

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I too was duped by farmers. Thank You for your post. I am glad I am not the only one who felt that my training was a binder and internet training. My DM told me he would be there every step of the way, and I don't believe he was there for even a baby step. It's no wonder that this company is hiring 24/7. People are figuring them out and quitting. My DM deactived me with out even telling me. He saw my resume online an figured I was done. I guess he thought I would take it off when I hired with farmers. I was right in the miidle of doing my best friends auto/home when all of a sudden my password wouldn't work anymore. I called home office and they said he had deactivted me. Even home office asked "didn't he tell you first"? Anyway, please be warned and do your homework before starting with this company.

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Hello,

I am not an agent however I am an attorney who is in current retention by an agent who had similar experiences. In reviewing the facts of the case I wholly understand the situation and the worst part is that the Companies over the years make you dependent upon their product and then strand you in a bad economy with no alternatives and a do not complete clause that outlives their termination by 12 months.

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I've been a disgruntled Reserve Agent for the last few months. I've held-up my end of the deal with them quite well, so it comes as a big surprise that I get my termination notice today just out of the blue.

I've only been with them for 7 of the contracted 12 months, and in that time I've written all 4 life policies and 32 out of 40 property policies. I was so close to Career status. I got my P&C license and did all that hard work for nothing!

Now I have to wait for my manager to contact me so I can return my materials. Knowing him he'll wait a long time so I can be further up the creek. I'm tempted to just go up there next week and drop it all off and cut the line for good.

Warning to those looking for work in the insurance industry: If you get a phone call from a Farmer's Recruiter, by all means stall them with an excuse and decline the offer. I usually wouldn't tell anyone that, but sometimes the best move is to not make a move at all. It'll save you alot of pain.

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Dont do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Hi, Everyone!
Sadly to say, but all of the above it's one hundred percent true! Now days, It is hard to find a trusted website helping consumers. I can see that truly this website was created by people who deeply care about others. My only hope is to join to the effort to pledge to people to find out more about what Farmers is all about. Please, educate yourself and ask others before you commit yourself to become another failure in business...

I "owned" a Farmers agency for almost ten years. Luckily for me, I only owed five thousands on my "subsidy” back to the Company. I saw my agency grow to became an over a million agency in seven years. However, the true fact is that only took two years to see all my work reduced to only few thousands dollars in contract value.

My advised to everyone is to do what all these wonderful people have said before me: Do not sign the contract. If you can, search other companies before it’s too late!!!

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I have been fired as an agent for writing outside business and am wondering if I should take the money or keep the records? I have been rewriting as many as I can before the termination date and fear they will come after me. If I keep the records it seems like they would have less of a leg to stand on? Also anyone know of an Attorney that is familiar with FIE and the agents contract in case I need one?

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This is HORRIBLE what Farmers Insurance is doing to it's own Agent!!
Read about it here: [www.farmersinsurancegroupsucks.com]


[www.courts.mo.gov] search case number: 09sd-cc00090 Mark E Rinehart v. Farmers



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/28/2010 10:08PM by administrator.

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OMG! I have an interview next week with the DM to start my new career... I always want to have my own business. Thinking insurance is something everyone needs, I was very excited when DM from Farmers called me for an interview. MY GOD ! What am I going to do? Does anyone know if there still is a good insurance company out there?

Thanks ! My email is mdai_xyu@yahoo.com

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This is good information to have...
I have an interview with the DM of my area. I'm thinking now, I don't think I want to do this now. I have thought of this for years, but I have heard before that this is not a good company, and I have have heard from two long time Agents that they would not do Farmers again.

Thank you all for this information.

Any further information would be welcome. gmac_nic@yahoo.com

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run run run run RUN RUN RUN RUN stop looking back RUN!!! far far away from Farmers.

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Re: Contract Breeched & Terminated - Hosed by Farmers
April 10, 2010 02:31PM
I never worked for Farmers but I found out very quickly after an auto accident why Consumer Report's ratings of overall satisfaction with auto insurance companies, Farmers Insurance was one of the Worst!
In 2004, I purchased a private passenger automobile policy from Farmers Insurance Exchange of Texas. The policy was for a beautiful 1998 Gold Convertible Z-28. This special edition automobile had a LT 8 cylinder engine which was a factory installed corvette motor and front end. The Farmers Insurance agent recommended and I purchased a policy with $50,000 payout in collision insurance.
On May 17, 2004, I was involved in a collision while driving my Z-28. I immediately notified Farmers and submitted a first party claim. Within less than 24 hours they sent an appraiser who, without my consent, had my car removed from the automobile repair shop I to which had my car towed to get their evaluation of the damage and cost estimate for them to repair. The appraiser immediately declared my automobile a total loss and undervalued the worth of my Z-28 by several thousand dollars. His appraisal report was submitted to the claims office before he even ran the Farmers’ CCC “Market Valuation Report” that appraisers used to decide the replacement value of the automobile. This report was to find vehicles with comparable engines and features available in the local market area. The CCC “Market Valuation Report used to substantiate his appraisal for less than $9,000 used three vehicles that were not special editions Z-28s, had only 6 cylinders engines, were not convertibles and lacked several other features that my Z-28 had. In the documentation provided to me by Farmers, I discovered that Farmers had actually found three replacements vehicles of the same type and condition of the Z-28. The average selling price for these those three vehicles was $28,000. Farmers never made me aware of the replacement vehicles they had located. I learned of these three vehicles a two years later while reviewing the documents Farmers turned over to us during the discovery phase of my lawsuit.
My lawyer and I would like to talk to anyone that used to be a Farmers Insurance Auto Appraiser and/or Adjuster. We would like to know if the practices used by the Farmers Insurance Appraisers and the Adjusters to “low ball” the evaluation of “total loss vehicle” is a standard practice encouraged by Farmers management and then possible testify about their knowledge and experience of the illegal settlement practices used and promoted by Farmers Insurance at our trial. A trial date has been set to take place in Austin, Texas the summer of 2010.
If you or you know of anyone who would be interested in possibly testifying for us in our lawsuit against Farmers Insurance, please respond as soon as possible to me at the following email address: miningjohn@yahoo.com

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