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Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?

Posted by Erskine 
Can You give me a call when you have a chance

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I just completed my 2nd interview with the DM before seeing these posts

Everything being "fed" to me seemed calculated and almost too good to be true... topics such as the $$ I would make within the first three years, how this opportunity is perfect for someone who is tired of the corporate lifestyle, or how my age (in my 40's) is perfect for this line of work, etc.

I listened, but questioned everything...the DM appeared to be one step ahead of me in terms of what my next question, which made more and more red flags pop up in my mind.

As mentioned, it all seemed too good to be true, which was also a red flag because if it seems too good, then it usually isn't....and after talking to some folks and stumbling upon this site, it absolutely seems like a scam and not worth my time and effort (and my own $$$). It would take me maybe 10 years to have any real ROI and even then, my soul will have been sold.

Reading the same "themes" here on this post that has been going on for 10 years (!!) has enlightened me and confirmed that the doubts I had were true and I will turn this "opportunity" down.

Really fascinating... Thanks to all who have continued to contribute to this post and share their stories....

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I see your post is from 2011

How did everything work out ?

Did you join Farmers?

Did you move to VA ?

Are you making money?

I'm interested in your experiences

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I REALLY WISH THAT I WOULD HAVE READ THIS STUFF BEFORE BECOMING A RESERVE AGENT! I have only been at it for a week and I am quitting soon. It just seems like I am getting no help, while I am paying for everything. All I have gotten is a long list of people to cold call. Now they are asking me to pay 4 dollars per lead. It is already bad enough to have to pay for your own training, consumer report, and testing. Now they want me to pay for my own office space, advertisement materials, and even more testing. Forget this, I am out!!!!!! I am just going to admit that Farmers hoodwinked me and will never make the same mistake again. You pay for one thing and then you are being told to pay for another. After paying for that, you are paying for something else. This process seems to repeat itself endlessly with this organization.

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Don't work for Farmers
Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
August 14, 2016 06:08PM
I've been at it for a week and I am leaving the company.

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With Farmers you never own your own business--you are treated like an employee just with freedom to go and come as you please--because you have quotas to meet and once you deplete your family for policies and eventually have trouble selling their expensive insurance policies they fire you and then demand that you pay them back subsidies that you actually earned from visiting people at their houses and spending your own personal time promoting their business. After you sell a bunch of insurance policies for them, you will feel exploited after you are forced to leave for not meeting quota and some other agent that is the district manager's favorite agent will inherit your policies--that you worked hard to earn. I really don't know how they get away with this business practice. I mean Uber has been questioned in regards to their business practice in regards to the way they classify their workers. Farmers is worse because they make you pay rent, administrative costs, marketing costs, gas to visit customers, and a extremely expensive insurance that you must pay monthly to protect you against lawsuits. After you spend all your subsidy money on simply trying to stay afloat to promote their own brand, then they fire you for not reaching a high set quota and you lose everything, nothing to show for, but a sour taste in your mouth, while some other agent as previously mentioned reaps the benefits of your hard work. This isn't an opportunity, not your own business, its a scam to people trying to find a descent paying job.Make your research first, most agents don't complete a year in their agent program. Its all a numbers game since they reach out to the most unemployed people possible on Monster and Career Builder, tell you that you meet their criteria, hire you after a friendly interview, give you a binder and begin gouging you for insurance policies, while praising you for the policies until you deplete your contacts and cold calling really gets cold and all the mailers you paid out of your own pocket don't return much of any good leads, and then its time to walk away broke and a feeling of being fooled. There is a reason many people like me and that have experienced this scam take the time to write this, its real personal anecdotes that you should learn from. Run and get out while its early.

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I've been in the reserve agency program for a few months, not intending to become a career agent. In fact, I even told them that, way back when I was first contacted. I wanted to get my licenses, sell as an additional source of income and maybe work for someone else. I have no interest at starting a new business in this day and age. I was told not to worry about it and I didn't. I figured I'd cross that bridge when I got to it, if ever.

I wish I had seen this site before, but that's OK. I did get my licenses and I'm happy about that. That has made me quite valuable in the work force. I've only sold 6 policies in 3 months, so no investment other than my time.

My DM is a nice enough woman. No complaints. I was basically told that it was up to me to be successful. I'm an adult and I can accept that. I'm also damn good at marketing, going out and meeting people. They generally like me and I like them, but I have never had such a hard time in getting prospects to close! I was given a few programs to do and I worked them as hard as I could, but after 6 months of doing it part-time (about 25-30 hours a week), I could no longer afford to keep doing it.

I also had a very hard time getting quotes with their program. Maybe it's just me, but every time I had to call for help. It's not an intuitive program (it needs a lot of work) and every policy I wrote took a very long time. They really need to make it agent friendly.

I've decided to work with an Independent Agent. I've not said anything to Farmers yet. I'm laying low as I have no idea what could happen. I have no intention of harming them. I'm just surprised by the lack of support, especially in this day and age of competition. I did see lots of people in and out of the office, being recruited.

I don't see how it is set-up for an agent to be successful. Insurance is a complicated and detailed business. It's impossible to learn it by yourself, but that's what I've been doing and honestly...I'd rather work with someone who can teach me, help me and reap the benefits of my work.

Does anyone know what could/would happen if I resign as a reserve agent? I understand they'll take the few policies I wrote and I'm fine with that.

Thanks very much and I'm so sorry so many have been harmed in doing business with them. I hope it all works out and I'm glad this site is here. I've been told by quite a few IA how Farmers isn't the same company it used to be.

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I AM SO HAPPY I FOUND THIS SITE !!!! I have had Farmers call me in the past about this opportunity but never thought much about it. Then they called me again this week and I thought why not see what they can offer it sounds interesting and I have always wanted to own my own business and so I set up an interview for Thursday , which I won't be going to after reading Years worth of story after story of how this is pretty much a scam and I won't earn any money ! THANK ALL for your stories and letting me avoid The BIGGEST Mistake of my Life!!!

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Just make sure to contact your DM and let them know.Otherwise you could get in trouble for abandoning your agency. I wish I would have done the same I'm at about 400 policies now been doing this since October of 15 careered in December of last year. I'm looking around I don't like the fact that they won't let me rewrite my customers when their rates go up by 30%.

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I feel like I'm stuck
November 30, 2016 01:01AM
Ok so I'm still new I worked for an agent for a year and then was offered to take over an agency from an agent who couldn't take the stress anymore. I've had my own office a little over a year and I know this is not for me. I'm unhappy, frustrated and can seem to be happy for more than a day with this job. I feel like I'm stuck and have none to talk to. I want out if this place caught on fire I would throw gas on it. Can anyone here give me some insight on how to exit and what to keep an eye out for. My contract says nothing about paying anything back and I also haven't hit numbers enough to get any bonus or subsidy. I am very unhappy.

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So I am a former financial adviser with a local bank, and got a nice severance package recently. I was contacted by Farmers recruitment about buying a small book of business from a retiring Farmers agent in my area.

The book is producing about $60,000 in annual commissions at the moment, and the price is basically that multiple x1, or $60,000 to purchase.

I am interested in the idea of buying a book and growing it.

Concerns:

I am more a financial planner guy than insurance guy, so that is a bit of a concern to me.

I am also not too keen on a lot of new sales training/role playing, DM breathing down my neck. I have been selling for 20 years and am not changing my style that easily.

Could I readily expect to keep this income while I grow the business?

Any input would be appreciated.

Please keep the rhetoric and horror stories to a minimum, I am looking for some honest feedback.

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I am in the same boat. Would you contact me? Thanks.

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Farmers is getting rid of smaller Agency's to create larger Agency's. I've seen guys with 20 years with Farmers and get fired because they
don't produce as much as Farmers wants.

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I WAS considering Farmers until reading everyones posts. Thanks for the honesty everyone and saving me from this stress!!!

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So how do I leave farmers and hook up the these other
Company's so that I may offer all policy's life and P&c

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I hope you didn't do this. Keep what income?
You will make zero while spending twice that. You will be required to market a certain way, you will be required to rent a ground floor street facing office, you will be required to hire staff. You will get zero help from your DM, you will get rate raises on your current clients. You will also lose 33% of your clients upon announcing you'er their new agent. That is Farmer's number. We ended up losing 60%.

BTW, you will also be signing a contract that blocks you from selling what you just bought for 5 years plus at any time it says they can take your book and pay you ZERO.
That is the new contract.

Also, they just reduced commissions on all P&C products, so expect that $60,000 to now be worth about $48,000. You just lost $12,000 without doing a thing, take out the 33% loss and your're down to a value of $32,000. That's in the first month of doing business.

Great ROI on your $60,000, eh?

They predict 4 years before you make a single dime net. Again, this is their number. Sure your agency will product $100,000 in commissions but your expenses will be $120,000 to do that. Can you eat $10-30,000 in losses while making nothing for 4 years for the promise of getting just ahead of even in year 5? If so, this is the business for you!

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Here's the reality of MOST Farmer's agents...
Now keep in mind, my father was a farmers agent for almost 40 years when he died. I watched his income drop steadily for the last 8 years of his life.

There's a dozen people in my family that have also been involved in the company for at least that many years. I have seen MANY changes and it all started when Zurich bought Farmers.

For MOST agents who make it past the 1 year mark, you'll become an indentured servant.

The game works like this, you sell policies to friends and family, you make some "progress" in your business. Now you have to open an office, on the 1st floor with street visibility (far more expensive than an office elsewhere). You have to use their sign people and their rules to decorate and brand your office. You have to get hard land lines, internet, fax line. You have to rent office equipment, computers, copiers, furniture etc. You have to hire a receptionist and find a producer. You are told no one will be able to work in your area and you start to spend money.

They offer you loans. You take those loans and throw them on top of your ongoing expenses.

Next you're driving back to your office from an appointment and see another agency a mile away. Now you research how many agencies are in a 5 mile radius of your office and the number is staggering. You realize that not only are there that many farmers offices around you, but all the other carriers have just as many. You as your district about this, they tell you they will "look into it."

Now they redo your contract. You are now making less commissions and according to the new contract, cannot sell the book of business you are building.

They raise rates. People blame you. Now you are losing clients, making less and selling less. You go 1,2,3 maybe 4 years of bringing home less than minimum wage. You've maxed out your loans and drained savings with the "promise" and pressure of big money when YOU FOLLOW THEIR PROGRAM. This is the same tactic MLM and cults use. They put the blame on the person as "not good enough" or not following the program as reason for failure and point to the literal .5% of people who start at Farmers and make a good living as proof. Any good-hearted, principled hard working person will in fact, fully accept that blame.

You'll work evenings and weekends to try and catch up. You'll have to fire staff and work with outdated equipment as you cannot afford to keep up.

Now you're tens of thousands in debt to Farmers, fine, sell your business and pay the loan. Oops, your book isn't worth enough to cover the loan. Well you'll just go get a good salaried job and pay it back over the next few years... wrong. You have to pay it all back and since you're thinking of leaving, they'll beat you to the punch and terminate you for one of 50 reasons they have chambered and TAKE your book leaving you with nothing to offset your debt.

If you're lucky, they'll allow you to stay and work for what is going to be enough money to just pay back the loan. You will literally be trapped into working for free to pay off a debt associated with a promise that was never going to be fulfilled.

So you've spent 4-5 years of your life personally making Farmers literally millions of dollars in premiums over that time. You've sold those premiums with marketing and resources that you have funded, ALL of it out of your own pocket.

You're left with zero for your efforts and investment.

The reality for literally 98% of ALL people who try to be a Farmer's agent.

So given that information to balance out what the DM's will tell you, you can now ask yourself "should I be a farmer's agent?"

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Been a reserve for almost one month. Haven't sold a policy. Haven't been in the office except to train. I intend to quit. My question is should I go in with 3 months written notice and do I give it to the recruiter or the DM? I'm wondering if I will have to pay them back for the p & c license I got which they said they would pay for. Any help would be appreciated on how I should go about resigning as a reserve agent

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Anyone reading this get out and get out now. Best thing to do is get a resignation letter to them. Usually they require 3 months notice. If they agree it can be effective right away but get it in writing signed by DM. READ the contract. You cannot work for any other agency for a year and make sure to turn in anything they gave you. Check stamper, paperwork, dashboard handout, etc. Best case scenario you haven't sold one policy and you get out right away. This will make it very hard for them to justify charging you any hidden fees. Make sure you direct all communications to the dm whether letters or emails. Dispute any charges in court and don't pay them a dime. My attorney is looking at a class actions he's had so many complaints. I'm lucky enough to afford one but if you can't it's ok just follow the contract with regards to notice and get the hell out while you can before they put you in a desk and charge you 500 a month for it. And don't feel bad about yourself if they con you. It's okay. Most people trust others and it's a very convincing pitch. But remember they sell you bs like they sell insurance. Pat yourself on the back for at least finding out sooner than later, know you're not the only one it's happened to, and be happy you now can make a very informed decision on how, who, and what insurance coverage you need. I'd love for one of these fools to try to sell me something after what I know now. Good luck everyone. Hope you all get out debt free

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Just incase anyone thinks these post are outdated or that the company could have changed over the years, as of sept 7 2017 your wrong. They have become even more of an animal. They are kicking to stay afloat and they will step on and grab onto anyone they can to keep this giant scam alive. They now require you to take out a 5 grand loan in order to even be hired. It's hard to get a loan like that. Good thing Zurich approves high risk loans after finding out from the child company is going to hire who is applying for their high APR loans. They also set up a Gmail account and Google voice. What do you use to check your email the most? Your phone. They keep the password for it and once you sync your new gmail account with your phone they extract all of your contacts info. 2017 and they are worse than ever before!

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What upset me the most was how they made me feel like I was unique. Like I was the only guy for the job. Like I had potential. And I'm thinking sure I went to school didn't graduate. I'm getting older. I was like this is my time to shine. To make some money and buy a house and take care of my child. That itself is worse than any bill or expense. I spent 8 weeks with my head in the clouds. Up all night studying the online test. That's sick psychology. I really was conned into believing I was special. Then I heard the recruiter calling back to back applicants when 3 months prior he said only 2 slots were open and I was lucky enough to get one.

I'm so thankful I didn't quit my part time job and got out before I sold a single policy for those devils. And they paid for my training and tests. Maybe I came off as such a sucker they thought let's not make him pay he might catch on. And they were right. If they would have asked me for any money I would have ran. Wasted 6 months doing p&c and life only to sign a contact that won't allow me to work for any other insurer for a whole year.

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I started with Farmers in November of 16, made career by January 17, only because they told me I had 2 weeks to hit my numbers before I was tossed out. They told me I wasn't doing enough, even though I had racked up over $3000 in credit card debt to get things started. I contacted anyone and everyone I knew and basically begged them to switch to Farmers. I sold 12 policies in about 3 days, and almost lost my fiance because of the stress. I signed my career contract and tried to set up a meeting with my sales manager about next steps. They had fired him and never told me. I was calling him and leaving him voicemails for 2 weeks before they told me. I received a subsidy for 3 months before I realized I couldn't even come close to hitting my first quarter policy numbers. And the quotas are a compounding issue. Whatever you don't sell in the first quarter gets added to your 2nd quarter quota, and if you don't hit those quotas, you don't get your subsidy. I put in my 3 months termination notice at the end of March 2017. By May, they still hadn't hired a replacement sales manager for the guy they fired in January. They finally did hire someone 2 weeks before my 3 month notice was finished. They never told her I was resigning by mid June, so she called me to see how she might help me with my agency. I had to be the one to tell her I quit. I just received notice that I have to pay back half of the subsidy they gave me. When talking with them about payment options, they only have 2. Pay the whole amount, or their set monthly payment. I can't afford either, because I had to take a job at a different Farmer's agency as a producer, making half of what my last job paid. They won't work with you on other payment options. Do not accept a reserve agent contract from Farmers. The recruiters will give you best case scenario $ numbers. They are WRONG!! Don't do it.

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Just Run!!!!

If you buy and drop 25K-35K-50K for a book then you're Golden, if not you're treated like hot garbage! They want you to service a book that you buy there will be zero #'s you have to hit which is good for you! And hopefully you don't lose 40-50-60% of your new book cause guess what? You will get hammered with charge backs! Oh, don't forget you also have to hire 2-3 employee's so the $$$ per annual is less. Also, depending on which person, District Manager or Book Sales Recruiter you talk to they will each tell you a book cost a different amount of $$$ 25K, no 35K, no 50K.

The university training was good and it works - A very professional and fantastic team.

However, if you are in the wrong District or office you're toast! Zero help or post education. It takes weeks/months, sometimes to get questions answered from DM's all the way through Corporate. Sometimes, they are never to be heard from again. Until, they are attempting to get you to update and REUP for the new Agency Marketing and website crap that's going to cost you $300.00!!!

District sales meetings; when you lead the District no comment when you don't here come the backhanded comments, public shaming and scorn!

Company is cutting commissions and %'s every six months. The lines they will now push you to sell don't count for your quarterly #'s as a career agent so why bother? The Company wants "ZERO Risk" and forget about being competitive with Auto. Oh, and those Competent Planners they tell you to sell to? They jack their rates to the point they won't buy from you either!

Other agents act like they are your friends. But, in reality they are waiting for you to drop out so they can run to your DM and beg for your account/customer base! Come on Vultures; Pick those Bones C L E A N!!!! I literally laughed out loud when I heard and saw the conversation unfold.

Corporate Area Sales Manager is clueless, she has no clue what is going on and looks back at her right hand man to see if her explanation or statement she just made is right. Does she even know what she's talking about? He shook his head in acknowledgement and approval. As she turns around and smiles at you like the kid that just gut punched you and took your lunch money.

Double, Triple, Quadruple dipping off Agents! From Agency Marketing, E & O, Bonds etc etc etc. Let's send out 500 mailers and then charge you for it! But, we are not telling you we did it! And then you will not receive one phone call in return from them either.. Until the bill hits your e-folio and you ask WTH is that? And then they scramble to explain it to you. Just grab your ankles buddy here it comes!
Sell this cluster to an online e-tailer and just get out of the Insurance business.

Shall we even go into how Other Outside Agents are able to Get your personal books contacts through SIMS and solicit your customers and yourself?

We are Farmers: BADDA, BAM, BA, BAMBA, BAMBA, BAM.

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Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
September 28, 2018 01:27AM
if you want to get out from Farmers, get out now!!! cuz you will be thinking about it over and over and over again
dont wait until they found out and terminate you, you terminate them!!
do not wait, foolish me I waited until 12 years with Farmers
then they kick me out. but guess what It takes 5 years of becoming independent Brokerage to be the same as 12 years Farmers agent in commissions and Farmers has a standard of 10% policy/customers gone in a year, my Brokerage we lost 2% of our customers only.......
I want to be with the Big Boyz... how about you?

Farmers insurance is only 16 Billions.... a small potatoes amongst Huge big boys outthere rating? uncertain
Travelers 120 Billlion A+
Nationwide 150 Billion A+
Berkshire 350 Billion and more? A+
Transamerica 120 Billion A+
Pacific Life 120 Billion A+
Liberty Mutual 120 Billion A+
Progressive 50 Billion and increasing A+

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Re: Should I become a Farmer's Agency Owner?
September 28, 2018 01:28AM
Congrats!! on you leaving Farmers the nitemare

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I would like to be involved in the class action suit. Been with them a year and I have spent over $100000 to lose $63,000. You get no training, no help, and no support from the company. Run don't walk the other way!!!!!

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I've been a Farmers agent for 10 years and also have a second agency I am not going into how I did this but I can tell you that the shit is going to get real I love Farmers they supply me with so many free leads for my other agency and while I grow it and take the policies that were give to me and roll them out I will have a monster book and then I will tell them to go kick rocks, I hope others that have been screwed over by this shit hole company will see this and know that there is some payback for them.

I also started out as scratch agent, not easy but it can be done just need a little luck and some wit, got to find the product that is completive and chase that to make your pay.

If your looking to buy a book you should just lite your money on fire, I'm rolling mine into a better business Peace out

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Farmers had done allot. Please let me know anyone how recently got terminated in 2017 and in 2018, I am looking to do a class action lawsuit but need 1 more agent in California. We need it soon before my status of limitation run out. I can be reach at Ustravel2019@gmail.com. All information send to me will be kept confidential.

Thanks.

Terminated Agent.

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So it seems like everyone hates farmer. I would like to know if anyone in the last two years is still in Farmers, and has anything change for the better, or is it still the worst company to get into? I am currently in contact with a recruiter and he wants to start the process. I told him that I would have to wait and do my research, this is how I came across this site.
I am new to the insurance industry and would like to start an independent insurance agency. However, this idea also seems impossible. It seems that I need at least two years under my belt?
Please help! I need good advice, that would give me the best scenario to start in the insurance industry.
I have my p&c license, as well as my life and health.
thank you in advance

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I left Farmers this year after 15 years. Please do not make the mistake of working for Farmers. Go find an independent agent who is looking for producers, you will be much better off. I will not even go into all the problems at Farmers too numerous to list.

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