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Becoming an agent for Farmers

Posted by Erskine 
Becoming an agent for Farmers
October 07, 2006 04:28AM
What are some of the benefits being an agent with this insurance company. I saw one of the recruitment ads but after reading some of the information on this site, it would help if present or past agents can share a bit of what it was like for them working for Farmer. Would like to know, for example do they obtains leads for new agents? And so on.....



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2009 06:45PM by administrator.

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Re: Becoming an agent for Farmers
October 10, 2006 03:42AM
Re: Becoming an agent for Farmers
October 10, 2006 02:52PM
Erskine,
Don't walk away, RUN.

Farmers does not supply you with any leads. You will spend endless nights calling and visiting with people to build your agency. You will be allowed to maintain and service their policies as long as you sell enough of their life insurance to keep them off your back. When that ends so will the attaboys you may accumulate. Farmers will give you a song & dance about how you are building your own agency, and you are. However, they kind of forget to tell you they claim to own the policies. Without the policies you have little to no value to your agency, just a name. They, however, do not own the relationship's and friendships you will develop with your insureds.

If you make the decision, or for those who may have already made the decision to become a farmers agent, you have my condolences. Make sure you have every request the district manager makes AND EVERY requirement written down and signed by the DM. Some of them have a track record of changing the requirements as soon as you meet their prior ones. And guess what? It's always YOUR memory thats just a little fuzzy on the details of the conversation.

If you have the fortune of having a good DM they will only last about 5-7 years, farmers has a track record of getting rid of those for someone newer and hungrier, and any agreements or understandings you had with the prior DM, just left with him/her. My first DM was a liar and a cheat, but a hell of a smooth salesman. I learned virtually everything from an experienced office partner and the secretary. My second DM, was an ethical and experienced ex agent. I learned more from him in 20 minutes than in 2 years with the first DM.

After nearly 15 years I went Independent. Now, when the company representatives stop by, they are always polite and respectful of my time. They don't constantly threaten to pull out of the state or cancel my contract. They want to know how they can help me sell more of their policies.

Independent companies seem to have different accounting methods. Isn't it funny how the same policy holders who never seemed to be profitable in nearly 15 years with farmers, suddenly became profitable and earned profitability bonus' for 3 of the last 5 years with Independent companies. I just don't understand the math I guess.

I'm much happier and there's a lot less tension around home as an Independent Agent.

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Re: Becoming an agent for Farmers
November 29, 2006 01:31AM
Allen, I want out, what companies do your recommened going indie with on personal lines??? BOP????? Commercial Auto?? Truck Driver?? There are so many lines of isnurance that Farmers does not even offer....

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just leaving
Re: Becoming an agent for Farmers
December 01, 2006 09:40PM
I recently became a Farmers Career Agent and am now leaving for a different company. The DM paints a beautiful picture of subsidy payments but fails to actually say what the reality of these payments are and how attainable they are. Now I am stuck paying back half as i was pushed out the door. First they rushed me into "Career status" and now after barely missing the benchmarks in the first quarter they are forcing a resignation. I resigned before that happened but it was in the works. Ridiculous.

No leads are given to you. The leads you can purchase are only names. Farmers is not competitive in Minnesota and the credit score "risk assessments" are weighed too heavily. They have no clue in rural areas on their rates.

Shop around and do your research before committing.

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Being a Farmers agent is the worst decesion I have ever made and encourage anyone considering joining Farmers just don't do it.

Farmers is like Amway, the recruit agents with stories of being on the golf course in three years while your staff does all the work. They make selling sound easy. The district office offers no support, no leads and Farmers rarely advertises. The recruits write as much as they can and if they don't make the program, Farmers has 30 or 40 new policies.

The idea behind being successful selling insurance is retention. But Farmers does not care about keeping old business. They only want new business and everything they offer in discounts is geared around that. With a low retention rate, agents drop like flies. The policies are then shifted to other more seasoned agents.

Farmers rates are consistantly going up. They lower rates to creat markets and once they are satisfied, the raise the rates. They open new markets and shift the agents toward them but in the mean time the new agent is loosing all the policies previously written.

Just don't do it.

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Re: Becoming an agent for Farmers
October 16, 2007 04:38PM
How do you become an Independent agent on the P&C side? I'm already independent on the Life & health side. I agree a lot better.

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I was a reserve agent with this company for almost a year. The DM was great, but the company sucks. After I failed to reach another milestone in my career, they offered me to work for another, more experienced agent, as an agency producer. After I wrote some 10 policies under his agency's name they fired me for not reaching enough goals without paying me a single penny of commissions I expected to get, and when I left them as a customer, they started sending me bills for supposedly owed premiums. That drove me crazy. I thought of filing a law suit, and then I changed my mind. My health is more precious than the money they robbed from me. Somebody above was right: first, they occupied my market niche (in this case it is Russian speaking customers) and then took all the policies I wrote and gave them to the above mentioned agent. THE COMPANY JUST SUCKS. DO NOT EVER-EVER DEAL WITH IT. PERIOD!

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I too was a career agent for Farmers Insurance in Minnesota, but am leaving as of today for an independant agency. I really got screwed as they gave me another agents book of business after he left, and are not paying me for them, yet I spent MOST of my time taking care of these customers! Customers were cancelling by the boatload as they are discovering that the rates in MN are the highest of all companies. My portfolio was getting hit for it too. So glad I am leaving...

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Advice on getting out!!!
December 09, 2007 07:32AM
I have been with farmers for close to two months and I want out! Their rates are not competitive and they always do the bait and switch to my clients. I am still a reserve agent. I love helping people and would love to continue working insurance but I am affraid if i left and went independent that they would sue me because of the stupid contract I signed with them. A non compete and can not work in insurance for 1 year!

Any advice from anyone here regarding the horizontal marketing agreement they make everyone sign? I am in Arizona, does it hold up in court even if you are just starting and dont have that much business?

Anyone please advice or where can i get an answer.

thanks,

reserve-x

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Re: Becoming an agent for Farmers
December 14, 2007 04:07PM
Reserve-x,
Contact a good contract attorney and inquire if AZ has a right to work law. If so, the Farmers non-compete clause is worthless and totally unenforcable.

Depending on the individual state laws, you may be able to go after your prior clients the day you give Farmers the boot.

One of the happiest days of my life was when I told those controlling, mindless bums where to go.

I would contact your State Insurance department for information on ratios of premium volume to complaints. This will give you a really good impartial guage of who is writing and who is stiffing the clients in your area. Then start calling the area representatives for the companies you would like to write for. It shouldn't be hard to find ones that are more claim friendly and at a lower cost to your clients.

Good Luck,

Allen

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Tom
Re: Becoming an agent for Farmers
January 12, 2008 05:20AM
Actually the non compete clause only refers to the clients that you brought to Farmers it has nothing to do with your right to seek an appointment with other carriers after you leave Farmers. By contract you must not market insurance products to the clients you left with Farmers for one year. After the year expires you can actively market to your old client base.

Cheers!

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Re: Becoming an agent for Farmers
January 29, 2009 09:08AM
Hi im looking to start new as an independant agent on the life and health side, any information as to which companies are great to start with would be great. Any information provided would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Farmers Nightmare
February 20, 2009 12:45AM
Need help with a nightmare situation I had with Farmers as an agent. Looking to see if anyone knows of a contract attorney in CA or OR that is REALLY good and may consider working on a contigency.. considering the company has financially buried me.. My story is a good one!

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ANA
Re: Becoming an agent for Farmers
May 08, 2009 02:09AM
O.K "SCARE TO GIVE" CONTACT ME AT HADDADINSURANCE@CS.COM

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joe09
Re: Becoming an agent for Farmers
October 02, 2009 05:43AM
Man I have a story also I worked from about seven months for a Farmers agent that told me that we were gonna be selling like crazy. But it was all a lie I was the only one selling and it was not much.Also I was the only one that did customer service the customers like me more than the agent because I wasnt a liar I said it like it was. I was not a snake like him. I am somewhere better now but farmers iis the worst.

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LAR
Re: Becoming an agent for Farmers
November 29, 2009 02:43PM
We are about to leave Farmers and have been told by another agent, who left several years ago, that we will be docked in contract value for policies that leave after we give notice. Does anyone know about this? If so, my thinking is that if I am not paid by Farmers for the policy, the no-compete does not apply to that policy. Law requires consideration be given to make a contract enforceable and that consideration would be my contract value. Of course, I will check this with an attorney but I would like to hear you experience in being docked for lost policies in the final two payments of contract value. Farmers is making such devastating changes in Texas over the next few months that my customers will be leaving whether I take them or not and if I'll be docked anyway, I'll rewrite them myself.

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I contacted agent services and here in Il if you have less than 5 years and under 500 policies you are only given 1/2 of your contract value when you leave. So if your one of the many who received any subsidy you are more than likely still going to owe Farmers!!...I cant wait to tell them where to go...If anyone in Il know of a company i can sell auto and home thru as an independant agent please forward the info.

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Screwed Ex Agent
Re: Becoming an agent for Farmers
February 20, 2010 03:41PM
I made the grave error of drinking the Farmers reserve agent Kool-Aid. Not only do they nickel and dime you over everything needed to become an agent (I was forced to retake my PASSED background check and PAY for it the second time around once they implemented the charge of $63), they supply no leads and have the worst rates ever!

They promised me reimbursement for lead purchases through earned "Farmers Bucks" which never came. And the bonus money I won in a commerical sales contest also never arrived.

It was the worst months of my life. It was hands down the worst place I have ever worked. They corral people in off the street in the hopes of acquiring a small base of sold policies only to have the disgruntled agents leave and turn those policies back over to Farmers.

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Can you recommned a lawyer in California,to sue Farmers for breach of Agency contract?

I have been with Farmers for almost 6 years!!!

Never made much money, but hoped to keep getting my renewals...It takes years to pay your subsidy off, of you ever do.

Farmers sucks, don't become an Agent if any reads this.

02/20/2010

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Re: Becoming an agent for Farmers
March 19, 2010 01:40PM
First of all, this website is extremely powerful and I want to say thank you to all of you that have posted blogs to this site. I have a meeting set up with a Farmers DM in an hour and twenty two minutes. After reading all of this, I won't be attending. I'm just happy I was able to find this before attending, this saved me alot of time, and from what I've read, stress!

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I have an interview tomorrow morning with a Farmers DM. I have been reading everything I could find regarding Farmers Ins. I am honestly considering not going to interview, but might go just to get interviewing experience and listen.

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Re: Becoming an agent for Farmers
March 29, 2010 07:18PM
I have resigned farmers. (forced to) I am selling for an independent agency. can they sue me? I know about the no compete contract, I read in this forum that it only applies to you ex-clients.and that as long as I dont market to them for one year, I will be fine?

anybody else knows if this is true or not?

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dl
Re: Becoming an agent for Farmers
May 03, 2010 11:59PM
I have an interview tomorrow with a DM with Farmers, and after reading these blogs considering not attending the interview, but might go just to hear what they have to say

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I had an interview with a DM named Donald Swanson 6 years ago in Jan 04. I had a misdemeanor conviction 8 years ago, and had it expunged 7 years ago. All he talkded about in the second interview is what I did wrong. Mr. Swanson never brought up any thing positive, only negative. I talked to other insurance agents in different companies, and they all say he is the worst DM in San Diego, District 65. Don't work for him ever, you ar making a mistake if you do.

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Thank you for the help...

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I JOINED FARMERS ALMOST A YEAR AGO. THIS COMPANY AND IT'S DM'S SUCK. THEY MAKE FALSE PROMISES JUST TO GET YOU TO ACCOMPLISH A GOAL. ONE THAT GOAL IS ACCOMPLISHED, IT'S THE SAME STORY AGAIN. IF YOU CONFRONT THEM ABOUT THEIR FALSE PROMISE, THEY GO ON THE ATTACK MODE AND BLAME YOU FAIR AND SQUARE. I HAD JOINED FARMERS WITH HOPE TO BE ON GOLF COURSE IN FIVE YEARS AS THEY PICTURE IT FOR YOU AND THERE IS LAWAYS THIS IMAGENERY JOE THAT HAVE MADE IT TO THE TOP AND IS LIVING LARGE. THE FACT IS IT'S ALL A SCHEME, A LIE, A WAY TO GET YOU TO DANCE TO THEIR TUNES. MY DM HAD PROMISED ME 500 POLICIES AT LEAST THREE TIMES IN THE PAST 7 MONTHS. SHE NEVER KEPT HER PROMISE AND GAVE THOSE POLICIES TO A LONG TIME FRIEND WHO IS CONVENIENTLY LOCATED NEXT DOOR TO DM'S OFFICE. WOW. I WISH I HAD A FRIEND LIKE THAT. THE LAST GOAL I ACCOPLISHED AND EXCEEDED THE GOAL BY TWO POLICIES AND I WAS 1000% SURE I WOULD GET THE 500 POLICIES I WAS PROMISED. GUESS WHAT? I GOT AN EMAIL FROM HER SAYING I DID NOT ACCOMPLISH THE GOAL BEFORE 3:00PM LOCAL TIME THEREFORE I DO NOT QUALIFY FOR THE POLICIES. REALLY? I WAS SICK AND TIRED OF HER BULL CRAP SO I WROTE A 5PAGE EMAIL TO HER MAKING HER AWARE OF WHAT SHE HAS DONE WAS WRONG OUTRIGHT. I HAVE ALSO WRITTEN TO VP OF OPERATIONS THOUGH IM NOT HOPING FOR A RESPONSE BACK. IN MY FOLIO, THEY HAVE CHARGED ME FOR COMMISSIONS OWED BACK WHICH IS UNDERSTANDABLE BUT WHEN I PRINTED REPORTS THEY HAD ALSO CHARGED ME FOR THE PAYMENTS AND NSF FEES THE CUSTOMERS HAD MISSED. AM I AS AN AGENT REALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR CUSTOMERS PAYMENTS AND NSF FEES? YOU MUST BE KIDDING ME. BUT I HAVE BEEN CHARGED FOR IT. I AM A FATHER OF SIX, A HUSBAND AND A VERY HONEST PERSON. I DON'T LIE TO PEOPLE AND I CERTAINLY DID NOT EXPECT FARMERS AND IT'S REPS, DM'S AND DMMS LIE TO ME. I CANNOT LIVE ON FALSE PROMISES. THEY DON'T CARE WHO YOU.THEY DONT SEE REAL PEOPLE AND HOW THEY AND THEIR FAMILIES WILL BE AFFECTED FINANCILLY. ALL THEY SEE IS HOW YOU CAN BRING THE NEXT CUSTOMER. ALL THEY WANT TO DO IS TO USE YOU AND HAVE YOU BRING THE POLICIES THEY NEED THEN YOU BECOME A TARGET OF THEIR SICK MINDED GAMES. SO FAR, I HAVE LOST TIME AND MONEY BY JOINING FARMERS....ABOUT $9000 OR SO TO BE EXACT.

MY HUMBLE REQUEST, PLEASE DON'Y LET THESE WITTY, SHARP SHARKS TALK YOU INTO JOINING THEM. THEY PRETEND TO BE YOUR FRIENDS AND HAPPY TO HAVE FOUND YOU, BUT YOU WILL SOON SEE THE REALITY OF THEIR TRUE INTENTIONS. THEY HAVE NO INTENTIONS TO BE YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR COACH, WETHER OR NOT YOU MAKE MONEY, HAVE A FAMILY OR EVEN A LIFE. YOU ARE LIKE A TIRE ON A CAR, ONCE USED THEY WILL CHANGE YOU VERY QUICKLY. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT JOIN FARMERS.

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I'll just say this...a company cannot be successful forever if their business model includes screwing the customer repeatedly at every opportunity and screwing their agents at every opportunity as well. A company with no integrity or concern for what is right and what is wrong WILL NOT survive in the long run. Sound far fetched? Look at GTE, now known as Verizon. They got so bad they had to change their name. It doesn't take a profit to predict that when you do enough wrong to enough people for long enough it will come full circle. Corporate greed is driving decisions that are not based on any type of long term committment to their customers or agents, they are based on immediate profits. We'll just have to see how it plays out.

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I'm getting ready to leave. I don't trust farmers now, at all. I will be moving my insurance policies also, as they are not the kind of people I would ever use today, so now that I know, I done with them. I have been insured by farmers for 20 years. I don't trust them so I will not be put in a position to have to pay them back, for my pay during the period I worked for them. No way will I be in debt to them, when they have the right to get rid of me for any reason at all. New contract!
You have to watch your pay from them very close. They never overpay you, only under-pay you. The charges, the requirements, the crap... its a scam I say, a SCAM! They really do make you hire someone to fix the mistakes they make, like billing, and policy corrections.
I will say more once I have left, but I have a strong background, know how to sell, and make contacts. I should have been the right person for this career. Their 'dashboard' computer system sucks. Their pricing is higher than any of the other big companies, in my experience. They really only want you to bring in the new policies, and don't care at all if you leave.
Don't do it. Just say no!
Dave...

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Dani
Thanks to you all
March 14, 2011 03:12PM
After reading all of your posts, I have turned down a job offer at Farmers Insurance to become an Agency Owner. Thanks to you all! You have saved one individual from the Farmers Trap smiling smiley

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