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Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?

Posted by Erskine 
Did anyone else fill out the " BIG" background check and pay for it with a credit card? I feel like an iddiott. They have my personal info., and my credit card and social. Gzzzz. Glad I landed on this site. If they are crooks they can do a lot with personal info.
David

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Matt
Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
April 19, 2014 12:41AM
So glad I decided to research before paying for the background check. Sent my resume through craigslist and got a call from Farmers the very next day. I have been solely employed by pizza places and grocery stores for my 23 years of life, and thought this must have been a God send. I walk into the interview nervous, definitely not expecting to even be considered for the job. After a few simple questions and friendly BS, she had come to the conclusion that I was right for the job and she claimed that after 15 other interviews with other applicants I was the only one even offered the background check. Really? Me? A previous stoner with no money, a very part time job and no sales experience in the slightest. Well shit! Of course I’ll take the job. After coming home for the weekend to decide if it was a good career path, I find website after website of justifiably pissed off people who have been screwed over by this company. Sounded too good to be true. It was a nice confidence builder though…while it lasted.

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I had an interview with farmers today.
Anything good to be said from Farmers group?

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I was going to meet with a Farmers rep,,,, I will not being doing so... I get that every company is going to have bad reviews.. it happens... but NEVER should it get to this extent,, thank you everyone

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I know this is an old post but PLEASE, DO NOT GO WITH FARMER'S. Sorry to scream in caps but don't do it. Save yourself the hassle. Fortunately my experience isn't near what some others went through, losing money and going into debt. When I first met with my DM he sold me on $$$. I was in desperate need of a job so I consented to background checks. Paid for my first class (because my DM said farmer's no longer pays for agent insurance classes) and passed the P&C exam. I really wanted to start working but couldn't afford the second class and told my DM this and every other day he would email and say "do you have the money yet, do you have the money yet." I politely told him that I won't have the money any time soon so I will have to look for another job in the mean time until I can pay.

The next day he emailed me a link saying here is an online class Farmer's has signed you up for. He didn't ask if I wanted to take the class and at the end of the email told me he would be checking the class to make sure I am completing the courses and to be accountable. He also said After you take it you can't take the state test right away, you have to go to a library and take a pre-test so they will know that you were indeed the one taking the online class and THEN you can take the actual test BUT you have to pay for the test at the library and the state test and the 125 for the license. My husband was already frustrated with me because I did my first interview with Farmer's in July and still wasn't working so he told me to look for another company, and I did. I ended up receiving emails from Prudential, Allstate, Geico, etc etc. I eventually chose a different company.

I wrote my DM from Farmer's and told him thanks for the opportunity but I took a job with another insurance company that better fit my family needs. Within 5 mintues he emailed me back wanting to know who, what and why. I didn't respond and he emailed me again saying to let him know when I get the money to take the test. Anyways, enough of my rambling. If anyone else reads this save yourself or a friend the trouble.

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Suspicious
Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
December 18, 2014 11:23PM
Received an email... sent in my resume and filled out some kind of questionnaire 2 weeks ago. Just received a call today to set up an interview. After my interview was set up, I was asked if I had any bankruptcies, judgements against me or anything in collections. I was told that there will be funding involved. When I initially read the information regarding the financial aspect, they stated they will provide that...not that we pretty much would have to obtain a loan of some sort.

I am so thankful that I decided to do some research. I will not be going to this interview. Thank you all so much!!!!!!!!

signed,

Suspicious

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Wow. I was just made aware of the site and this afoul post. I truly apologize if we came across that way it wasn't our intention . AJL

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I was a Farmers agent for 20 years ending in 2011. They were screwing their clients with astronomical rate increases. This meant angry clients on the phone. It was nerve wracking. I couldn't be a part of it any longer. Farmers has the largest agency force in the industry. Their always recruiting. If every new agent can sell their family and friends, the company makes a bunch of money before the new agent washes out. It's kind of like chasing the Amway dream. If you join todays Famers Insurance, you'll be sorry.

James Holley

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shit...I just got a job as a Farmers Agent. I'm currently in training, studying for the licensing exam.
Been here for 2 weeks now.
What should I do.
Should I get my license and then leave right after?
I don't want to burn any bridges with my manager.
I'm only 19

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Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
March 19, 2015 06:09PM
This all sounds pretty intense.

How much money do they ask you to provide when you start an agency, is that $50,000 quote someone mentioned accurate?! That doesn't seem worth it to me.

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I have had two interviews with Farmers to become an agent. I was told to do back ground check up online , the cost will be $62.00 I am glad I found this belong so I don't have to waste my money which I really don't have.

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Mr.Wonderful
Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
April 05, 2015 03:01AM
Seriously To Everyone. I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart. I just did an interview with them 2weeks ago. Thank God i didnt called them back after missing the 10th phone call from them. Youve all saved me financially. I love you all very much spinning smiley sticking its tongue out and TO FARMERS INSURANCE the finger smiley

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I have an interview with the DM Monday and I've been "iffy" this whole time, luckily I did my research and came across this much needed forum. I now know my "gut instinct" to be true. Everything posted from above is honestly how the company has been portrayed to not only me but I'm sure dozens of other "qualified candidates" that seem to be a perect fit for THEM. They are deceitful in all aspects and will tell you anything to get the job done. Its crazy to think during my first interview how "personal" my recruiter was...it wouldnt suprise me if she made up a story to relate to my own...Honestly I'm not sure how someone could sign off on all their bullshit...it's not right...persuasions a bitch I guess...some things are really too good to be true and something really does need to be done so mire people don't fall in these traps. I look forward to declining this "opportunity" to hear what she will have to say only because I know she's not going to get paid...at least not for me. I will not sign my life over as a Farmers agent and i have learned 1. Contracts are bad 2. Recruiters are not here to help ME. 3. No loan woth a company is a good loan. 4. Go with gut instincts 5. Stay far far away from Farmers Insurance.

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I don't know how many times during the year I get asked this question, "I have an interview with the DM from your district, should I go through with the interview and then if I am hired accept the contract?" My answer is always the same, "hell NO"! Why? Because after being an agent for this company for over 35 years I cannot see any future with it going forward, my time is almost done with them and that is why I will stay for another 2 years. My office also operates under the old contract and we do a lot of outside business, Obama Care is keeping us going these days so we will make it just fine. The current contract is a piece of garbage, ask any attorney who reads it and they will say the same thing, completely one sided and it will lead you to failure, guaranteed!! Right now the company is offering me money to select and then refer new agent prospects to the DM. Really? You mean I should send you my replacements, agents who will be placed near my office in direct competition with me? Seriously Farmers? Our competitive position is so bad that what crumbs I do get I have to share with a bunch of other agents who are sunsidized by the company and given money to run their offices, and now you want me to add to that group? Nope, not going to happen. And if you think that you will make it as a new agent, just look at the numbers, this company is shedding agents like a dog sheds fur!! Not a good investment of your time or money, move to the independant side and start your career there, better deal all the way around.

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We all should keep this up to date due to the fact that it is 2015 and I just stumbled onto this website hours before an interview with
Farmers. THANK GOD. Just in reading past experiences of others, I cancelled my interview. Until I see positive remarks and experiences, I am
opting out of any requests from Farmer Insurance. None of us have time to waste or the funds to owe a company.

Good luck everyone!

KCInlandempire

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I definitely would NOT be an exclusive agent for Farmers. I would suggest being an independent agent, but if you want to and I do not recommend it, you can sell their products. I would stay away from this company.

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There are so many better opportunities in the independent agency system. From producer in a small or large agency to CSR to account manager etc. So many different options and opportunities. . .

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Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
December 09, 2015 01:15PM
Don't be an agency owner. Unless you are sleeping with a district manager and they give you all the policies that failed or agents that quit leave with the company. My district was just that. The DM would give ALL orphan policies to his wife's agency and daughter's agency. Funny how his wife has the biggest book in the district and his daughter's agency flourishes when they do very little work or even come to the office. I watched agents give it everything they got, only to burn out because the product is not competitive. Then I watched where the policies went. Even I had missed out on policies. Literally, split an orphan book with my DMs wife and daughter's agencies. What a CROCK!!!

If you are in Washington State and considering joining Farmers........message me first!

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FormerFarmersAgent
Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
January 11, 2016 11:58PM
I was a Farmers Insurance agent for 3 years, and it has caused near bankruptcy. I was one of the top sales agents in the District for my first 5 month of being with the company. With insurance you don't make a ton of money by itself but Farmers has this Scam called Subsidy. They sell it to you as being a forgiven loan, and as long as you sell the average amount of sales, it will be removed. Farmers pays you $2000 per month on top of your sales. Then they encouraged me to hire an additional agent to sell for me, and they gave me another $1500 per month, which would also be forgiven. You needed to sell around 600 policies within your first two years to be able to remove these loans, which is a lot to begin with, but I was well on track to just crush that number. about 12 months into my agency, I was bringing in around $6000 per month, doing awesome. Then Farmers had a massive rate increase. They came out with a product called FA2 which replaced all of my auto policies that I wrote. My customers rates almost doubled unless they had a perfect credit score. Out of my 450 policies that I wrote nearly 150 cancelled within 6 months. In addition it is very difficult to sell a product that is not very well priced. I did it, but I went from selling 40 a month down to selling 10-15 per month. I never fell below the production requirements, and I still received that $3500 subsidy so it seemed fine. Then year 2 hit and subsidy disappeared because that loan that the DM promised would be easy to forgive, was not so easy with a badly priced product. At the end of year 2 I was around 400ish policies, close to the same amount I had at the end of year 1, because of all the cancellations due to the price. Over night my income dropped $3500. and I had to start paying back that loan in $800 increments because I only brought my book back up to 400. My income went from $6000 down to $1000 per month. I fired my 2 staff members because I couldn't pay them anymore. I then took out personal loans to try to stay afloat. Farmers Also locked me into this advertising thing that pulled $500 per month out of my check that I could not get out of for a year. Then 6 months ago Farmers came out with a new Home Owners product that was supposed to be the greatest priced policies, and again replace our current home policies. It turns out it was about a 10% rate decrease, which isn't bad, however there was a new commission rate on these policies. The new rate was 8% vs the original 20%. That would cut my income in half on home insurance. At that point I looked at leaving Farmers Insurance and become an independent agent. I had a decent book size and I figured it had to be worth a good amount of money. I sent in my notice and then I get a phone call asking how I intend to pay back the $16,000 in subsidy loans. All I could think was how the crud did I get myself into this mess. I did everything right, I made lots of sales, and then just got screwed in the end. The insurance company was able to manipulate the agreement I had with them by increasing the prices of their policies, preventing me from selling enough to forgive my loans. If that isnt considered a scam, then I don't know what is. I am now an independent agent, starting from scratch. I am already making about 50% more money than I was when I left Farmers Insurance, but I have a $16k debt with them that will take me 5-10 years to pay back. I cant go into bankruptcy because then none of the Independent carriers will allow your to work for them. Farmers Insurance we the biggest mistake of my life and I plead with everyone to avoid working for them at all costs.

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I spent seven years as the guy who's job it was to bring new agents in the door for Farmers. I hated my job everyday because I was essentially required to lie to people and really tell them whatever it took to sign them on as a new agent.

The reality is that such a small percentage of people who actually try to make a living at this are able to pull it off. Based on my recruiting and management experience at Farmers I would estimate about 2% of agents succeed. This means in order to grow the agent pool Farmers has to cast a huge net. State management knows how rare a successful new agent is, so we actually had very high quotas (15-25) on how many new agents we needed to sign on in a quarter. Of those, a few would make it to the career stage, and every year or two one would make it past career.

It might be hard to believe, but the state office was typically most concerned with how many new agents we signed on, not how many were successful. In fact, recruiters were typically fired if we did not hit our quota for new agents over a year. However, if we hit our quota but none of our agents were successful (even EVER), the state office left us alone. Management puts tremendous pressure to keep that revolving door turning, and with that pressure recruiters like myself are told to misrepresent information to get people in.

Even of the established, very few probably make the kind of money your recruiter told you about. We would tell people that our average agent made a $150K/year. This is true if you look at their gross income not their net. After expenses our average agent made closer to $50k /year, which is not much in the San Francisco area, and for many that was after 10+ years as an agent.

In general the insurance business is tough because it is so over saturated, but Farmers makes it even a little bit tougher. Policy premiums are very uncompetative. You certainly will not hear your recruiter say that, but the reality is that at least 90% of the quotes you run, Farmers will be more expensive. The company is also extremely disorganized and this shows the moment you start to work for them. It will begin to take a toll on your business almost immediately, whether it is billing, inspections, or just general service issues. You will not be making much money, but Farmers will still be charging you A LOT for some of the things they force you to do, like join their Agency Marketing platform which was about $500/month last I checked. Most agents get bullied into being a part of it. In our district 97% of our agents were on it despite the fact that no one got any results from it.

By the way Farmers recently reduced their commissions as well. Making it even harder to make a living. I think they are down to 14% on the homes and 10% on the auto. Think about how many policies you have to sell to make a living, the numbers a pretty unrealistic.

But believe it or not, for some this business can actually make a lot of sense. But you need to have money to invest, at least $100k. And you should probably have A LOT of experience in financial services or business management. When I left Farmers last year the company was just starting to realize this, but they still spend most of their effort just bringing everyone through the door.

If your interested in the insurance business (it can be a solid industry to work in), I would look into your other options. I believe AAA and Liberty Mutual have salaried employees sell their policies. If you like the idea of having your own business I would consider becoming an independent broker. That way you are not necessarily tied to the rates and business practices of one company. Becoming a broker certainly has its own challenges, but so does starting any business from scratch.

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Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
January 30, 2016 06:46AM
wow.... it's uncanny how similar our stories are. from hitting the ground running...to being a top agent in the district...to the noncompetitive products...expensive marketing programs they make you buy... the subsidy debt... and I'm also independent now and I LOVE it! I have never been this competitive. Farmers is a bad dream....I learned nothing there except for how awful the company is...

and yes....you can't get appointments if you file BK.... what i'm wondering is...since i already have most of my desired independent appointments, if I was to file BK now.... would i loose those appointments? or just not be able to get any new ones?? hmmm.....

I'm curious...what state are you in?

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Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
January 30, 2016 06:50AM
Thank you for sharing this story. Farmers is a joke....

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Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
February 09, 2016 09:29PM
I was also in the agency point program. I have contacted an attorney to represent my interests and help others who have been victimized by this program. I'm trying to find others in Pittsburgh and the Philadelphia area that have stories similar to mine to ban together. If interested in sharing your story, you can email me or my attorney jpietz@fdpklaw.com

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Wow. I realize these emails are a few years old but still valid. I have been unemployed for many months so of course, someone saw my resume on a job board and contacted me with the same email that many above have displayed. I had a six figure salary and was looking for something lucrative to replace it. Guess this is definitely not for me. Most of my family are insured by State Farm. We have a family member who is an agency owner and has been for 30+ years so there is no change I would ever be able to sell Farmers to my family members.

I will contact the person who emailed me and back out gracefully. No need to go through this headache!

I am so glad I found this page and glad people are honest enough to put their feed back and personal experiences here.

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2016: Just got an offer today for an interview an it seems that even after all these years farmers is still making those same promises.. Luckily I did my research and found this information. I cancelled immediately. I will not work for a company who sells bullshit....So for anyone wanting to know if they are still up to the same old crap the answer is yes they are.

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I worked for Farmers as an agent for 6 months and learned the sheer scandal of it all. I have an extensive 25 year background in retail ownership and management and am sickened at the amount of forgery, backdating, outright lies and frauding the community in which they serve. Not to mention the difficulty the corporation puts on its agents...covering a homeowners policy for 30 years then all of a sudden will not cover because the garage door needs painting or two feet of the fascia needs replacing...when you go through the chain of command to district and regional the support is nonexistant when the reply is "Yeah, I know there is really nothing we can do about that"...putting you on the front line with a broken gun and no ammo. In Ripon Ca, there were policies written by unlicensed agents or agents who allowed their license to lapse. If a customer wanted to lower their premium agents would change full coverage to liability and tell the customer not to get in an accident. When the accident happens that is when the client finds out what the agent has done and depending on how mad the client is depends on the amount of illegal damage control on the paperwork and claiming agent error to farmers corp...who by the way will cover their investment at all costs. The amount of annual changes to the agency owner and requirements of the agents to meet make it nearly impossible to survive with any type of legitimacy. It is a doggy dog business. If you struggle in any way with honor integrity and being a person of your word this is NOT THE BUSINESS FOR YOU. If chasing the almighty dollar at all costs is your bag then dive right in and may thr force be with you....you will need it.

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Thank you so much for posting this, I came across this by accident, however I had gotten an email from Farmer's wanting to do an interview and after reading some of these reviews, I will not be doing it. Thanks again.

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Anyone still out there on this site? I have rec'd a similar call to open a new agency. Wondering if these issues still exist?

thank you

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Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
July 03, 2016 05:19PM
DGS - there are a few of us still here. As far as I know, Farmers is still the same. False promises, lies, unethical practices at the DM's office, etc.

Now obviously, they still get new agents and once in a while less than 1% of those agents will thrive. Not because of the lack of effort (which happens also), but mostly because the requirements, conditions and treatment by Farmers and district employees are unethical and ridiculous.

If you have specific questions feel free to post...or if you know someone considering, please refer them to this site. Folks need to know what they are getting into before signing the contract.

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I worked for them for 7 years. what a mistake. stay away from this company. they will make your life miserable.

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