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Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?

Posted by Erskine 
While investigating career opportunities with this company I found this message board and was shocked at the stories. Farmers enjoys ready name identification but little seems to be known about such poor service and especially extremely low rating assigned by Consumers Report as mentioned here and other places.

How is it that their agents stay in business if they treat their customer base so badly? How do they explain it all to irate customers when they are low-balled or denied service altogether?

Is there anyone out there with hands-on knowledge of what it is like to actually own and operate an agency for this company? I beginning to feel very uneasy about Farmers.

Thanks for any responses....just want to learn from the knowledge and experience of others who have had contact with this company.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/04/2008 04:38AM by administrator.

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Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
October 10, 2006 03:41AM
Becoming a Farmers Insurance Agent could be the biggest mistake of your life. With that said you may consider becoming an Independent Agent.

From what I have read and am told, a lot of Farmers Insurance Agents are pressured by the DARG and continually feel threatened by management. Who would want a career under these circumstances
It seems a lot of the agents who quit Farmers Insurance and went independent are happier, are making more money and probably feel confident the insurance company will actually take care of their policyholder when they file a claim.

Just a few examples.
"When you only have one company,you have to force people to fit a particular plan. It's like making a round peg fit in a square hole."..."Now,their company will have licensures with more than 30 companies"..."It's much more customer friendly, " he said.

"I felt betrayed by Farmers, and I lost all respect for them. Prior to this claim, I thought I would be with Farmers until I retired, but I became so disgusted with them, that I ended up quitting the Company"
See [www.farmersinsurancegroupsucks.com]

"A major difference between Farmers captive agents and independent agents is that Farmers agents are being reminded on a constant basis until the end of Farmers career that he may be violating the contract. This reminder is complete with the built in threat of termination. Everything you do, Farmers interest comes first and your interest is only secondary, or else".

"You will be pressured and threatened to write an inferior policy with Farmers and there is no way to solve this problem other than to resign and go independent, which is exactly what I did after 31 years.
Farmers does not provide the options to agents to properly protect all of their clients. Farmers wants the premium regardless of what it means to your clients.
My decision was to change my abilities to provide for my clients and give them the coverages that they expected me to provide for them. I am an independent agent and I protect my clients like they are all my family.
I experienced many negative things with Farmers in 31 years. I even had a total theft in my agency in 1992 and Farmers would not pay my loss on my own office policy. Why? I don't have a clue. I was threatened and I had two kids in college at the time so I paid the $9000 loss out of my pocket.
I had a folio error in 1998 and was shorted $7000 in commissions. It was a bookkeeping error but it took me 2 years to get my money back from the company.
You think it can't happen to you?"

Also read (contact these people if you wish)

Also read everything on this page

And while you are on a roll read:

My advice...Don't do it!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2015 05:17AM by administrator.

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Thanks so very much for the insight and advice regarding my strong determination to get into the insurance industry. Who do I contact at the independent agency site regarding signing up for independent training etc. I like what you had to say about this opportunity! Please respond when you have the time.

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I am currently a Farmers agent, looking at my options to get out. After spending a year with this company I don't even want to buy insurance at all. They treat their agents like crap. My training involved them giving me a binder and a password to their website. A series of training meetings were scheduled, in which I showed up to two or three to find out that the meetings were cancelled (I'm sorry but you didn't get that email was what I was told). You have a year to progress from a reserve agent to a career agent. However, I was made to believe that if I did not meet my quotas after 3 months I would be looking for a new job. My belief is that Farmers tries to bring in as many new agents as they can so they can take 30-40 policies from these people (their friends and family). Then Farmers essentially makes life as difficult as possible for these new agents, hoping they will leave. The new agent's policies are then transferred to agents who have been around for a long time. This is how Farmers gets new business. 8 out of every 10 of my clients tells me to go to a new company. They receive rude phone calls, most haven't been sent an accurate bill, policies get cancelled because of a horrible computer system (Farmers says it will be fixed in 2010 and I am going to make so much money because I deal with these hassles). All I have been told as far as life insurance is sell it because you make the most money off of it. STAY AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Exfarmers agent
Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
January 12, 2007 10:30PM
I was a Career agent for 10 months and figured out that I could not make the money they said you could make. It would take 10 yrs to get there if you were luckly enough. Don't believe anything Ric Winters has to say, he is the biggest BS around and will do anything to make a dollar and doesn't care who he steps or or how much you lose as long as he makes a few dollors and get a few more policies. Stay away from him.

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Dee Smith
Re: Don't work for Farmer's Insurance
January 18, 2007 06:09PM
I would advise against working for Farmer's Insurance. I worked for that company 10 years ago. It is an abusive place to work. In fact, most Insurance companies are abusive toward employees. This includes State Farm, Pacific Life, and Safeco among the worst. Agents are treated similar to multi-level marketing schemes. You spend your money up front. Most Agents will leave after 5 years. Most new hires won't make it past the first year.

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I own a mortgage company and Farmers contacted me about starting a insurance company with them. My wife became a Farmers agent hoping to write home owners polices. After spending several thousands of dollars Farmer told my wife they did not want the mortgage business and she should sell life polices. We close 40 to 50 home loans a month and could only write 1 to 3 polices a month. Farmers called our office and spoke with one of our employees that they were going to take my wife's contract away. That was the last straw, we left Farmers last week.

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I stumbled across this site kind of by accident. To make a really long story short, I started working for Aflac after not finding a job for nearly a year. They said that I'd earn at least $40,000 a year and that I'd be trained. Of course, only about 10% of their agents made that much and about half of the other agents left, probably after they realized that they had been lied to. As for the training, they basically hand you a book and some policies and expect you to do everything on your own. Also, they were hiring about one-to-two agents a month in an area of about 80,000 people and advertising heavily for it, when any person with a brain would realize that they're hiring way too many people.

After about a month, Farmers called me and told me every single thing that they wanted me to hear. They'd actually train me. They'd pay me for my in-office work until I got on my feet. They'd give me a telemarketing service. They'd introduce me to mortgage lenders and other people to help me gain clients. They wouldn't hire a lot of agents like Aflac. Well, you can see where this is going.

Their training was essentially the same as Aflac's. The pay only lasted for two months, which I was only informed about two weeks before it ended. The telemarketing service would have to be paid out of what little money they had paid me. They wouldn't introduce me to anyone until I "became more polished" as an agent.

As for not hiring a bunch of agents. My district manager said he would hire two other people for the year, which I was willing to live with. He hired one at the same time that I was brought in and was looking for another one while I was there. A month into me working for him, he brought in three, all of whom looked completely lost.

He then had the ignorance to sit me down after two months and tell me that I should go home for a couple of weeks to "reflect on whether this is the right job for me or not." I wonder why, considering most of this happened about the same time, at a point where my boss said that I looked like I had given up.

He also encouraged me to look for another job, which I did. I sent my resume to every accounting place in my area (I have a Bachelor's in Accounting) and had a job within the week.

When he didn't reply to me after two weeks, I sent him a lengthy e-mail, detailing everything that I mentioned here and other events that happened. I also was not happy that two days afer he sent me home, he advertised a job opening, probably mine, on the Net.

Sure enough, they took away my access to their Web site, so I'd have to write another e-mail to find out exactly what he thinks of me, but I honestly don't care.

I found this place while trying to find anoher way to access their site and think that it's great. More people should know how terrible they are.

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Don't do it! I started with Farmers as a reserve agent in late November of 2006. I converted to career on March 1st of 2007. My training consisted of one 2 hour session on how to run quotes on the website. I was told that after I convert I will go to the "University" for some really great training. I spend the better part of my day doing quotes for leads I purchase from the internet or generate on my own. I have quickly learned that unless your client is over 30 years of age, claim free and fits into the "a-g" score model the premium is not even in the ballpark in most cases. When you are able to write a policy you better hope the client can pay in full. If they can't, they can go on the "easy-pay" system. I have never in my life seen such a screwed up billing system. Common sense would dictate that if a 6 month premium is $650 and I collect $150 up front, that the client would have 5 payments of $100 per month left. Not with "easy-pay". One month it will $125 next month $83, the next month $114, etc. When I asked about why it is this way and how do I make it to even out, I was told all insurers work this way. Well, I hav had home and/or auto coverage for over 20 years with various carriers and have never seen anything like this. If not for the "servicepoint" help line with all the billing issues and one particular lady in the district office I woul dhave left before now. As it stands I am suppose to go to the "University" in the next couple of weeks, but have fortunately found an indpendent agency who will let me keep my office and sell will his appointed carriers. I ran almost all of my existing clients scenarios through the new agency and every single one comes back with better coverage at a lower premium. Do yourself a favor, if you want to get in the insurance business find a reputable independent agent who represents multiple carriers and work out a deal to work for them and learn the business. I can't speak for how Allstate or State Farm handles things with new hires, but I would guess it is not much different.

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I am so glad that I stumbled into this forum. I had interviewed with Farmer's a few months ago where they told me once I complete all my licensing I could begin working. So I have been studing diligently and anticipating on the day when I can begin my career in the insurance industry. Now I feel a little more informed as to researching becoming an independent agent or selecting a company that not only me but my clients would feel confident about the products that I am selling

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I am actually a farmers agent now, I have been with them since May 05. I agree that their billing system is completely screwed up and VERY hard to understand and explain to a customer why their bills are never the same. But as far as being an agent with Farmers and what my DM promised me, I do extremely well. Yes my DM told me, of course, only the good things about Farmers and what to expect. And as long as you make or exceed your goals that farmers has set for you ( which by the way are no where near as stringent as Allstate's or State Farms) then you can make a decent buck. I agree with everyone on the training, it's horrible, and the "university" was pointless for the most part. Except for going out with the other classmates after class. Just a word of advice to anyone thinking of becomming a Farmers agent, make sure you get other company appointments to fall back on. Just in case Farmers does something screwy and you need to place your clients elsewhere. You never know.

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My wife is an agent of 4 years now. When she started her District Manager and a Regional manager came to our home and explained the Farmers program to us. First of all, the District managers for Farmers are all well to do past agents that have seen the good times. They paint this rosey picture of an Agent helping people by selling them Insurance while all the time making all this money. My wife is in an office with another agent and both are struggling to make ends meet. Farmers rates are some of the worst in the Nation and all of my wifes clients are "jumping ship" to cheaper carriers. My advice to any one starting out as an agent is to have a substantial bankroll to fall back on and to research your areas Farmers agents to see how they are doing. Here's a clue. If you drive by an agency and the agent is driving a 1986 Chevy, then this person is probably struggling to make ends meet. Also remember. It is your business, not Farmers and if you make it good, if not, no skin off their nose.

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Run like you life depends on it from farmers.

My wife has been in insurance for awhile and I have a business degree. We thought, "Heck would could open our own agency." So we got ahold of the DM in our area(SW Oklahoma) He told us that an agent left an agency because he was selling Allstate on the side. We were also promised tons of money because we would be taking over an existing agency. We worked six days a week most weeks and spent a lot of time on the phone due to farmers system messing up policies, the magic billing, and policies just falling out of the system.

About a month after we we up and running, people starting comming in and asking when the next agent will be here. We found out we were the fourth agent in about 3 years. All agents before us was terminated due to not meeting quota. Well now it has been 14 months for us, and an empty bank accout later, my wife is being terminated due to sales. We sold 3 times the P & C they wanted, but we were short 2 life policies being issued and paid. We wrote them, but farmers just happen to be slow on the last two and that is all it took. We called corporate and Mark O'Donnell said it was our fault and the termination was final. We asked would'nt they like to take care of the customers they had and what about the P&C we wrote. We were told that life was the only thing that counted. They want life. They do not really care about the rest. Our DM was always offering bribes for life sales, like money, trips, and fine food. We also found out the last agent was back to work at a farmers agency 45 min. away and he was getting our customers to transfer to him. Our A-hole DM knew and said nothing.

The only good thing is my wife is the agent. Not me. I did not sign a do not compete. When things started to look bad, I formed an independant agency and I started to write those who were dissatified with farmers. It will take some time, but we are virtually starting over.

Another reason to run like hell. We made about $13,000 the first year not $50,000. Unfortunately the $13,000 was a lot less than what we spent on the agency.

Don't make your family and friends mad by writing everybody you know, just to be terminated and having to tell them that you can not be their agent unless you rewite them again.

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Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
September 26, 2007 08:19PM
I am from England and have just moved to America permanently.

I have worked in the insurance industry before, but for English companies. Never have I heard of this kind of "scam" which seems to be so so prevelant here in the states.

I thank everyone who has written on these types of sites because it has stopped me from wasting my time even attending interviews with these shmucks.

My brief story......

I posted my resume online and within a week I had 5/6 insurance companies call me/email me inviting me to interview. My initial thought was fantastic. But, i'm no fool and I sensed their was something not quite right, too good to be true etc etc, so I decided to do my homework and investigate every company who approached me...

...NOT to my surprise I was right. These companies are scum. Here are the things to look out for...

1) They will ask you to pay up-front for training and licences wtc. This fee varies from $100 - $500 depending on how lucky the guy who calls you feels. One guy ended a call with me by saying "so at interview tomorrow, please DO remember to bring the $299 and we'll get you on our books". I mean come on, this guy must have read my resume...i'm no idiot. NOBODY SHOULD HAVE TO PAY FOR A JOB.

2) You will pay for your own leads. 9 times out of 10. If you are given leads, they will have been worked on 8 million times already.

3) All the training programmes suck.

4) No base salary. Commission only. So you get duff leads, can't sell anything, can't therefore pay your bills. I'm no Einstein, but do the Maths.

5) Expect to be selling a product that NO-ONE who sells will even have.

I hope this has highlighted the serious problems you are likely to encounter by taking the step onto insurance sales with some of these fly-by-night companies.

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Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
September 28, 2007 05:01PM
Thank you for this incredibly informative website. During my job search I received an email from Farmers Insurance Group (pasted in below) and thought that this could be a very lucrative career. Luckily, this site described an incredible number of absolute scams and multi-level marketing ripoffs.

So, I gave my buddy a call, who happens to be a CPCU (Certified Property & Casualty Underwriter) and CLU (Certified Life Underwriter), he essentially echoed concerns expressed on [www.farmersinsurancegroupsucks.com].

If you get an email similar to the one below, turn around and RUN!!!

Dear Charles,

I am a District Manager for Farmers Insurance Group looking for a successful, business-minded individual with a strong desire for personal growth, career fulfillment, and financial success. Based on my initial review of your resume, I believe you may be an excellent fit for our Career Opportunity in sales with Farmers Insurance and Financial Services. We are currently developing new agencies in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas.

Whether starting a career or searching for a new opportunity, Farmers will help you capitalize on your strengths in a highly supportive and consultative environment.
Allow me to share with you some history of this exceptional team and answer some of the questions you may have:

Income Potential:
Currently, each of our team members owns his or her own business and is very successful. The top team member earns over $300,000 and the average income for the team of 30 agents is over $100,000. You control your own destiny with Farmers Insurance. Your earning potential is unlimited!

Training and Growth:
When working with Farmers you receive extensive sales training, product training, and support from your district office throughout your career. Our proven systems will teach you an integrated approach designed to provide real value to your prospects and clients. This will help you create more business and exceed the expectations of your clients.

Getting Started:
Our flexible training program allows you to begin your career on a part time or full time basis. Through the first two years, Farmers provides an excellent subsidy program of more than $60,000. This program is in addition to your commissions.

Growth Opportunities:
There has never been a better time to be with Farmers. Our expanding markets and innovative products create the opportunity for dynamic and rapid growth.

We require highly motivated individuals willing to invest their time and energy into creating a profitable and rewarding business. You must have a desire to succeed, have an independent spirit and strong work ethic. Candidates must also have a clean credit and criminal history.

If you are interested in being in business for yourself but not by yourself, while providing Insurance and Financial Service products, apply today by e-mailing me at xxxxxx. Please be sure to attach the most current copy of your resume.

Best regards,

Hugh McGovern
District Manager
Farmers Insurance Group

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/05/2007 02:38PM by administrator.

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I have just started looking into a career into becoming a licensed insurance agent after 13 years in the automotive sales and finance industry. I have interviewed with MetLife and Farmers. I have been invited to a second interview with both. However, the Farmers DM painted a pretty lovely picture of how my career as an agent for Farmers would be. Now I see this and I am thankful my wife had the smarts (she usually does) to look into the companies practices, good and bad. However, its looking like the bad is exceeding the good here.

In the area I live, the big companies are Allstate, State Farm, Farmers, and Geico along with MetLife who no longer does Property and Casualty in California. So, what are some good companies to go with and learn the business? I hear Geico is good and have not been able to find any negative media on MetLife. However this is a big step and career change for me. However, after reading the posts listed here I may just have to stay in the auto finance arena.

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I just recently took a job with Farmers administratively...big mistake. I have actually given my two day notice as I do not feel that this place is worth even a courtesy two weeks. Essentially, I was hired on the premise that I would assist with the training of new agents. I was given some fancy title DMTAA (District manager Teaching administrative assistant) and an office.
I have been sitting here for the past 5 weeks, watching interviewees revolve through the door, no one to train, and a DM (District manager) that has nothing nice to say about his existing agents.
I find most of the management completely out of touch with clients, agents, and insurance goings-on in general. Currently, an agent in this district has been reprimanded for low profitability for the 3rd quarter....nevermind that one of his largest clients just suffered a house fire. Instead of rallying around the client and agent, management has asked that he really pound those sales to overcome such a loss.
I am not naive enough to think that we all working just for the pleasure of our clients....I know that we are working for money. However, it is very disheartening to see that this company, selling a product so vital, is so cavalier about their paying clients. I, personally, want nothing to do with that.
I could go on and on about the disappointment I feel, and I am glad that I have discovered this quickly. To those of you seeking work with Farmers, not matter what the capacity, really research the company. Talk to working and new agents, not just the management. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

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Re: Amber
November 28, 2007 11:59PM
I found your post very insightful. Are you in CA where the fires ran rampant?, or was the house fire an isolated fire? Nice DM, and probably pretty unfortunately typical. Reprimanded means what? Agents are supposed to be self-employed, not employees. Hope they did not sign anything that could alter their contract!!!!!!! Glad you learned rapidly.

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I started in late November as a Reserve and was baited with talk of great fortune!! I have been in sales my whole life so I was not fooled- this will be difficult. But what I have found the 'worst' thing to handle is the lack of support. I was promised all of this great support and it is spotty and inconsistent at best. The DM is MIA and the girls are catty, dishonest, and insincere. And all of this talk of system failures--- everyday! I am seriously thinking of jumping ship and going to a brokers office where I can at least make some money and stop spending my own. Be very careful...

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Re: Thank God
January 12, 2008 05:21PM
I just got an email today inviting me to apply to become an agent with Farmers. I went online and started doing some research. Thank God I found this website before it was too late!!

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My name is Matthew Dudash and I am the hiring manager for Farmers Insurance - Cleveland Center. I recently found your resume on CareerBuilder and wanted to contact you regarding setting an appointment to interview for several open positions we have in our office for Sales Agents within the greater Cleveland Metropolitan Area.

I am seeking to talk with individuals with sales experience, entrepreneurial spirit, and positive attitude that enjoys building relationships within the community and being their own boss.

We have just finished construction on our new state of the art office complex located in Independence , Ohio that provides unmatched training and support to those individuals whom we select for this opportunity. Additionally, those individuals we select in the first year will be offered a base subsidy of $52,500 plus commissions on all business generated and full benefits are available.

Farmers Insurance Group has truly become a multi-faceted financial services company. Our extensive product portfolio includes: Auto and Homeowners Insurance, Mutual Funds and Annuities, Variable Products, Business Insurance, Worker's Compensation, Life, and Disability Insurance as well as our exclusive Value Added Products and Services: Home Warranty, Auto Buying Services, Real Estate and Mortgage Assistance, in addition to Education Loans.

Please feel to contact me directly, email of ***@farmersagent.com or my office number of *** *** **** if you would like to schedule an initial interview to learn more about the opportunity.


Matthew Dudash
Farmers Insurance - Cleveland Center

I received a call from his assistant she asked me to set up a phone interview then he asked me to come down asap.. after reading this I won't be headed there.

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I cannot post that message enought to the operators of this website. I, like most of you are looking to get into the insurance business. I was given the email that offered a rosy picture. I must admit that I thought I found my new career after my initial interview. I was shown lucrative numbers from the top-selling agents. I thought to myself, if others are doing it, I can do it. WRONG!!!!

I am now about to be hired by a competing agency and I spoke to a guy that previously sold Farmer's Insurance. He told me the same that all of your are telling me. RUN!! He worked hard, but the bottom line was that he was short of meeting the "attainable" quota that is given to new hires. Training was a one week joke and I could go on and on. Bottom line, do NOT believe what they tell you and if you insist on learning more, ask A LOT OF QUESTIONS BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!!!!

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Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
January 23, 2008 07:00AM
I was a Farmers agent for 2 years in Ventura County and let's say that it turned out to be a true nightmare. It was the hardest job I have ever had and one in which I worked the hardest I ever have only to find myself severely in debt and on the verge of losing my house. actually I did lose my house due to the Farmers Insurance opportunity. I'm not going to go into extreme detail into everything that happened to me, but one thing I will say is that it is kind of like a multi level marketing scam with only a VERY small few benefiting from your blood, sweat and tears. Whatever they can get out of you in terms of policies they will squeeze out of you with almost no regard as to what happens to you if you don't make it. I had seen at least sixty agents come and go in the two years I was there. The chances of you making it, I mean really making it where you can "NET" a six figure income like they tell you is maybe 1% of the agents that start out. Also your DM will parade around those very few agents that do make high six figure incomes and they will brainwash you into believing that this is what most agents make. It's not - it couldn't be any further from the truth. My goal for this posting is not to just bash Farmers because God knows they deserve it, but my hope is to truly prevent anyone from making the mistake I did. I don't wish what happened to me on my worst enemy. Famers is not the route to go - start your own agency on your own and you will do far better than any insurance company offering you a business opportunity. I would like to know what I can do to prevent anyone from jumping on board with Farmers as an agent. If anyone out there knows of other avenues to expose this Farmers scam then please let me know. Thanks!

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Farmer's Car Insurance Nightmare
February 13, 2008 03:13AM
I have bad experience with Farmer's also. When I fisrt moved to TN, I received a quote from one of their agents and paid it in full. I never received a policy that equaled the quote I received. Toward the end of the period I was receiving statements showing that I owed money. I left my agent several messages and sent him emails to correct this. I couldn't get my agent to fix the problem.

Due to the poor customer service and lack of communication from my agent, I cancelled my policy. About three weeks ago a debt collection company sent me a collection notice for $123.32. I responded showing I cancelled my insurance and I had insurance coverage since. The collection company responded back today with "According to our client's records, the balance shown above is correctly stated and the full balance is due."

Farmer's Insurance has proven to be be severely lacking in the following areas: communication; customer service and record keeping. These are the reasons why I will NEVER use or recommend Farmer's to anyone.

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Another Reserve agent told me about this website, I am so THANKFULL. I was also a reserve agent until yesterday. If it hadn't been for this website I would have invested a lot more of my time, money, and energy into a business with such low commissions, complicated systems, etc.

I walked into my DM's office and I told him that this business wasn't for me. He tried to convince me to stay. He even suggested that it would be a good time for me to buy life insurance for my wife and myself, since I would get 50% of the commission. What an idoit!

All the things that I read on the website reflects the things that were happening at the District Office, where I was at. The DM really pushed life insurance, people being hired every week, trips, the rosie picture, and the promise of big money.

And there were only 5 agents that were there for more that a year, but it didn't seem it was paying off, because they are all cramped up in a corner, while the DM has a huge ass office all to himself.

My advice to anyone who is interested in joining Farmers: RUN,RUN,RUN

G, California

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Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
April 11, 2008 02:26AM
I am absolutely stunned....I was laid off when we had site closures by a major company after 7 years, took some time to figure out what I wanted to do; was approached by Farmers and thought this was a fabulous opportunity until I accidentally came across this website today. I have gotton my license for Property & Casualty, Life and Health. Just received the go ahead to do the test for my Series 6 license....I have been a reserve agent for just over a month and have been trying to figure out how to rearrange my assets to make it financially for the "rough period" as my DM put it; for the first 6 months....the scary thing is that what I am reading; I see in the DM's office; the lack of training, Only a few have been there two years or more, the constant interviewing; the push for life policies, the contests offered...I am just sick after reading all of this...

so.... what companies will hire new agents as independents? I'm pretty committed right now with all of the time and money I have invested in changing careers...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2008 03:19AM by administrator.

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Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
April 11, 2008 04:00AM
Consider yourself lucky that you found out what Farmers Insurance is really about this early in the game! There are people who have spent many years and tens of thousands of dollars to be an agent only to found out what you now know. Don't dig yourself too deep into the hole to the point you can't get out (financially), chalk it up to a learning experience and move on. Sorry they suckered you in...


Good luck in whatever you do.

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Still Awaiting Contract Value
Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
April 16, 2008 05:14AM
Don't do it. It's just a bad decision. I actually made it through the reserve and career periods, and became a "full-time" agent (I laugh at the term, because even as a reserve agent, I was working 60 hours a week). I was struggling, in part because of the premium pressures that others have mentioned. You need someone 30-55, a homeowner, multiple cars, perfect driving record, excellent credit, and interested in life insurance, or Farmers rates are anywhere from 25-100% more expensive. In Washington, there have been five rate increases in 14 months.

I will say that I did receive excellent training from my DM, and none of the harassment others have mentioned, but who needs it with the system they have set up. In a way, it's a blessing that it was so hard to sell their crappy auto policies. I only walked away owing around $7k. My contract value is twice that, and hopefully, March 1, 2009, I'll see that other $7k, but somehow, I doubt it.

I definitely want to back up the idea that they have you sell to friends and family, expand and build up a business, and then wait for you to fail, fail, fail. That happened to me as soon as the Career phase was over. 25% of every folio was being deducted. The rates were going up so fast that the cancellations came within a day of a client receiving a renewal notice. Even perfect clients were receiving hikes of 14%.

I went into the District Office to talk to the DM, and said I wanted out. He gave me a pep talk and convinced me to stay for another two months. I walked into a colleague's office and found out that nearly every other agent in the district who had been there for less than 10 years was holding a second job. I knew then that the pie in the sky lure of $100,000/year was an utter lie. Every policy I sold helped my DM make three times that, but aside from a handful of agents who had been in business for decades or inherited their agencies from parents, everyone else was struggling.

I think insurance is great. I've even applied at other companies, where I'll be a W-2 employee, paid hourly plus commission. It's a truly meaningful career, and I really did save some of my clients by selling them quality policies. But don't do it through Farmers.

"It's the best small business opportunity in America!" is code for, "You pay for an office, you work 80 hours a week, unless you pay for staff, you pay for all your leads, you pay for underwriting, you pay for phones, you pay for all the gas, and in the end, you owe us, you can't afford it, and we pay 3 or 5% commission to the agents we reassign your policies to after you leave."

If you really want to be an agency owner, go independent. I highly recommend Austin Mutual, the Hartford, and Progressive as your go to companies for P&C, and West Coast Life for your life insurance. Otherwise, go work for someone established.

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Rock Paper Scissors
April 16, 2008 02:56PM
Farmers Insurance and the majority of other insurance providers are guilty of corporate terrorism and until drastic events take place, the consumer will continue to get screwed. Laws mandate that we have to have automobile insurance if we are going to drive or homeowners insurance if we have a mortgage. When the government fails to protect us against the insurance industry, they are guilty of coercion and are obviously being compensated to turn the other cheek while these stories of insurance abuse continue to escalate. What do we do? Farmers Insurance seems to enjoy playing the game of rock, paper, scissors except they are pretty much limited to playing with paper. That means the consumer must grab all the rocks and scissors and start playing some hardball. What does that mean? Consumer terrorism!!! What do you think would happen if armies of disgruntled consumers who have been abused by their insurance carriers whom they have faithfully paid premiums to for years marched in with their rocks and scissors and destroyed the paper trail left by their insurance providers. I can see the headlines now, “Farmers Insurance corporate headquarters destroyed by bomb blast” or “Farmers Insurance employees are being randomly murdered”. Sometimes the pendulum swings too far to the right or too far to the left. This phenomenon generally escalates into a revolutionary event and leads to change. In no way do I encourage this type of behavior but it is pretty much part of the cultural process and has lead to some significant changes in our world.

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Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
April 16, 2008 11:25PM
I would encourage you to watch what you say when it come to acts of violence. You may not be encouraging it, but you are promoting it by saying such inmature things.

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