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(2007) News about Farmers Insurance Group

Farmers Insurance $117 Million Settlement to be decided"A $117 million settlement between the state (of Texas) and Farmers Insurance Group went back to a state appeals court on Friday after the Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling that keeps alive a legal challenge of the settlement by unhappy Farmers policyholders."..."Mr. Longley and his clients, who are seeking class action status, intervened in the case in December 2002."..."Alex Winslow of Texas Watch, a consumer group, said the high court ruling means that "a terrible settlement approved by the Texas Department of Insurance is not going to be shoved down policyholders' throats." 4/28/07 Texas Farmers Insurance Settlement

Farmer Insurance ordered to pay $150,000 in death benefits After a womans death, Farmers Insurance tried to convince a judge it was suicide so it wouldn't have to pay the death benefit. "Farmers Insurance failed to prove in a three-day trial in Oklahoma City that suicide was the cause of Wendy’s death." 5/3/07

Couple sues Farmers Farmers Insurance for denying claims on 14 properties When Hurricane Rita hit, Freddie and Zohreh Shahrodi owned 14 homes in the Beaumont area, most of which were in the West End. Once the couple assessed the damage to their properties, they submitted claims to their insurance companies, Texas Farmers Insurance and Fire Insurance Exchange, who "summarily denied at least a portion of the claims without an adequate investigation." 9/13/07

Farmers Insurance Agent License Revoked Arizona Department of Insurance has revoked the license of former Farmers Insurance Group agent Jamie Lee Eberhardt. In a Consent Order signed on July 18 by Christina Urias, Arizona's director of insurance, a Finding of Fact stated: “Between September 2006 and May 2007, Respondent failed to remit $16,251 in premiums to Farmers and/or used current cash premium payments to cover prior cash premium shortages.” 9/15/07

Couple sues Farmers Insurance for Denying Hurricane Claim "Beaumont couple Gary and Karen Kiefer maintain that their insurance policy covered windstorm damage. However, after Hurricane Rita hit, the couple says Farmers Insurance Exchange denied their policy claim."..."The suit faults Farmers for breeching its contract and duty of good faith and fair dealing, and also alleges the insurance company committed several violations of the Texas Insurance Code." 8/2/07

Consumers Evaluate Auto Insurers for Fairness "Lawyers representing the injured have known for years of how many insurers make it very difficult for all parties involved in accident to achieve a fair recovery." When purchasing insurance make sure to do "A google search of the name of the insurance you are thinking of buying along with the terms "complaints", "ripoff" or "bad faith" should yield lots of reading material relevant to an informed decision." 8/19/07 (This article actually mentions this web site)

Farmers Insurance Denies Another Claim "The pain became unbearable, a Kaiser physician documented my upper back tenderness and back pain upon flexion. I was prescribed pain medication and a muscle relaxer. I also received chiropractic treatment. Total bill $1,800. Today, I received a denial letter from Farmers Insurance which states, due to the low impact of the accident, they will not honor my medical claim." 7/7/07

Farmers Insurance pulls plan for insurance rate hike in Texas Farmers Insurance will revise its plan for an increase in homeowners rates because state regulators indicated they would turn down its initial proposal, officials said. Farmers, the third largest home insurer in Texas, withdrew its proposed 6.6 percent statewide increase in homeowners rates on Monday, canceling a premium increase set to take effect.Ben Gonzales, spokesman for the Texas Department of Insurance, said the agency was prepared to reject the plan because of concerns about rate variations across the state and indications that Farmers' current rates are adequate. 7/17/07

Farmers Insurance to Pay Largest Fine in State History "Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman today announced that he has levied a $750,000 administrative penalty against the Farmers Insurance Group". Examiners found that Farmers Insurance "forms included goals that bodily injury claims be settled within a predetermined range rather than on each claim's merits. In addition, Farmers instituted a goal to close a set percentage of claims without payment." 6/28/07 | Farmers Insurance Consent Order | Farmers Stipulation & Waiver | Market Conduct Exam

Benzing v Farmers Insurance Appeals court reverses decertification of class action against Farmers Insurance. After the decision in DeHerrera v. Sentry Insurance Co., Benzing, who was insured by Farmers Insurance, purchased insurance that included UM/UIM coverage on a second vehicle. He brought this action alleging that defendants had sold UM/UIM coverage using deceptive trade practices by failing to disclose that DeHerrera required UM/ UIM coverage to follow the insured rather than the insured’s vehicle, and thus insureds had no reason to purchase UM/UIM coverage in policies insuring additional vehicles. Based on claims for declaratory relief, breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, bad faith, and violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), § 6-1-10 1, et seq., C.R.S. 2006, he sought a full refund of premiums paid for this coverage by him and members of the putative class. PDF | HTML | Farmers Insurance Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Lawsuit

Farmers Insurance Employees If you are a current or former Farmers Insurance employee and have taken an FMLA absence from work or know someone who has you should read about the potential Farmers Insurance Class Action Lawsuit for unlawful garnishment of sick pay. Update: The United States Department of Labor Wage Hour Division has completed the investigation of the above described violations of the family medical leave act and found a sustained violation….Any current or former claims employees, uw, siu, adjusters, etc., or part of the umbrella companies who have been pinched on any F.M.L.A.. issue, and told you did not qualify for F.M.L.A. protections, sick pay issue, discharged while under F.M.L.A., or had wages unlawfully garnished should post comments now to be heard. Potential Farmers Insurance Class Action Lawsuit

Farmers Insurance to raise homeowners insurance rates in Texas Farmers Insurance "notified the state that they intend to significantly raise rates in July, even though they and their competitors had one of their most profitable years of the decade in 2006."..."The commissioner should reject these increases out of hand, force these companies to reduce their premiums and give homeowners the money they are owed because of past overcharges," said Alex Winslow of Texas Watch, a consumer group active in insurance issues. Mr. Winslow said the insurance industry has enjoyed "exceedingly profitable" returns over the last three years and should be reducing their rates rather than increasing them. "Homeowners in Texas have paid billions of dollars in overcharges while most companies have made excess profits because their rates are too high," he said. 6/28/07

Former Farmers Insurance Manager Speaks Up Farmers Insurance Business Director to employees "I don’t give a sh** about customer service and neither should you." Former Farmers Insurance Supervisor

Belly of the Beast: Farmers Corporate Organization Farmers is a reciprocal insurance company. If you work or deal with Farmers Insurance, reading this document is a must. Farmers Insurance Corporate Organization

Stack suggests splitting class in two for dueling law firms "Texas Farmers has no employees and no assets. Illinois Farmers has no employees and no assets," Burke said. "Do you go after the company that really controls the conduct that was the basis of the lawsuit or do you chase the shells like some kind of three card monte?"

Farmers New World Life Insurance Accused of Bias Farmers New World Life Insurance is accused of refusing to sell life insurance to Gerald Herbert,of Poulsbo Washington, who is HIV positive. "However, it is illegal under Washington law to "cancel or fail or refuse to issue or renew insurance or a health maintenance agreement to any person" because of disability, according to Washington State Law Against Discrimination." 5/4/07 "from documents I have seen, the company (Farmers New World Life Insurance) has not provided information showing a statistically greater risk in insuring individuals with HIV."

Mary Mulcahy Endorses WA State SB 5726-Insurance Fair Conduct Act "Maybe if this bill had been in place in 1994, I would not have had to fight Farmers Insurance Co. for 12 years for pertinent benefits that were part of my policy and that I was rightfully entitled to. First-party policyholders do not have "a number of avenues to seek redress for a grievance against an insurance company"; they have the courts — a very expensive proposition, and many people cannot afford the cost." 5/10/07 | Mary Mulcahy v Farmers Insurance Story

Farmers Insurance Premiums Skyrocket "When Elenor Gahchan got a renewal notice from Farmers Insurance Group, she thought the premium for her home policy might be a mistake. It wasn't: In just one year, the premium for her 1975 one-story house had risen from $1,174 to $6,615. Then there was also a $1,039 surcharge to go toward bailing out the state's insurer of last resort, the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. "I was floored; I almost fell over," said Gahchan, whose insurance bill is now almost equal to the mortgage payment on her Kenner home. "I can't afford that," she added. "I don't have that kind of money." ..."Critics say Farmers is taking advantage of the limited availability of insurance." 4/14/07

Farmers Insurance opposes Auto Repair Law Farmers Insurance opposes Oregon Senate Bill 523. This law would bar insurance companies from suggesting or recommending auto-body repair shops without disclosure requirements. Janet McEwen testified at the hearing and said, "“No insurance company should be allowed to force a claimant to accept its standards for repairs or expenses.” "Attorney General Hardy Myers, said it ensures that consumers are treated fairly and receive appropriate disclosures." Sen. Rod Monroe feels “there are insurance companies that are flat-out breaking the law — and a lot of consumers do not know the law.”

Farmers Insurance trying to stifle Free Speech again: Former President's Council Farmers Insurance District Manager Threatened with Defamation and Libel In a letter sent to Paul Drockton, Farmers Insurance states, "Farmers is aware of numerous false and defamatory statements you have made regarding its employees and business practices"..."Be advised that your statements are false, defamatory and expose you to liability for damaging Farmers reputation and intentionally interfering with its economic relationships. Farmers demands that you immediately cease and desist from making such statements..." View full letter at Farmers Insurance trying to stifle Free Speech Editor: If Farmers Insurance can't stop public criticism of itself by alleging trademark infringement why not try libel and defamation? Damaging Farmers reputation?! I don't think Drockton can damage the reputation of the worst insurance company in America any more than Farmers damages itself by lowballing and denying claims and getting rated the worst by Consumer Reports, Better Business Bureau, FBIC, JD Powers and Associates, etc.

Farmers Insurance Supports Corrupt Members of Congress Farmers Insurance has donated to Tom Delay's (indicted): Americans for a Republican Majority PAC and Rob Ney's (convicted): American Liberty PAC. Additionally Farmers Insurance supports Dennis Hastert(Keep our Majority Pac), Tom Feeney (R-Fl) and Roy Blunt (Rely on Your Beliefs) who are all on Crews Most Corrupt Members of Congress. See Farmers Insurance-Abramoff Connection

Former Farmers Insurance Manager says, Transax PIP Claim Handling Software Didn't Work "it didn't work"..."Farmers Claims Representatives and Claims Associates in the PIP operation were bullied and threatened into learning and implementing Transax. The PIP director and several of his cohorts went around to each PIP office and basically told everyone "learn it or be fired."" 1/28/07 See email : Farmers Insurance, Clear Technologies and Transax's Automating PIP Claims Software | See also Clear Technologies and Farmers Insurance

Insured drops Farmers Insurance after Low-ball "...he elected to drop his Farmers Insurance Co. policy because the company paid him about $4,000 even though he blames the wind for about $10,000 in damage to his roof. "If that's all I can get, I don't have any need to get insurance," he said, figuring he is better off saving his money than paying premiums."

Another Unhappy Farmers Insurance Customer "Mary and Ben Wheeler submitted a written claim to Farmers on March 13, 2006, for losses to their family home that are covered by a homeowner policy issued by the insurance company, the lawsuit stated." Farmers Insurance "has failed to make timely payment of plaintiffs' claims as required by the Texas Insurance Code," the suit stated. "As a consequence, plaintiffs continue to suffer damages, including, but not limited to, actual and consequential damages as may be proved at trial." 4/5/07

Farmers Insurance Adjusters are Exempt The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that Farmers Insurance “adjusters in this case are exempt.” The three-judge appellate panel says that “regardless of the type (personal injury v. property) or size (large v. small) of the claims they handle, the adjusters are required to do virtually all of the very things” that makes an employee exempt from getting paid overtime such as using discretion to determine whether the loss is covered, set reserves, decide who is to blame for the loss and negotiate with the insured or his lawyer. 3/30/07 Farmers Insurance Adjuster Overtime Decision | It is unfortunate that Farmer Insurance won't compensate its adjusters approriately. Feel free to sound off in our Farmers Insurance Forum

Farmers Insurance low-balls a 72 year old, frail, disabled woman on a fixed income? "Farmers refuses to settle the claim and sent me a check for $13K. I gave it back and now they won't respond to any communication I try to make.  The adjuster said they are trying to dodge the claim and I should sue them." See Post (near bottom) 6/13/2006 Editor: Farmers Insurance continues to prove that it is the worst insurance company in America.

Farmers Insurance Employee Accused of Stealing and Selling $9000 in Policies Annie Martinez Alvarez "sold 11 insurance policies which were not registered with their system at the insurance branch.". 12/14/06

Bristol West to be acquired by Farmers Insurance Group Bristol West sells private passenger automobile insurance through independent agents and brokers. Bristol West Holdings is traded on the NYSE under the ticker BRW.

E-mail from Another Educated Consumer "I just wanted to say thanks for the warning! We were going to switch home & auto insurance to Farmers before I saw your site. While I realize any disgruntled customer could complain without just cause, I learned my lesson earlier this summer. (I saw a website about consumer horrors with Uhaul & we rented from them anyway. We had an awful experience & were ripped off.) This time I'm not going to make the same mistake, so thanks again!"
Keni 9/14/06 Editor: Your welcome, smart choice!

Former Farmers Insurance Lobbyist Appointed California Insurance Counsel Former Farmers Insurance lobbyist Bill Gausewitz was appointed special counsel to California's newly elected Insurance Commissioner, Republican Steve Poizner. Consumer rights advocate,Harvey Rosenfield, stated, "He's proposing putting an industry guy in charge of regulating the industry. That's devastating." and it creates a fox-guarding-the-henhouse scenario. |

Humor! A joke about Farmers Insurance and Paul Hopkins. Enjoy

Farmers Insurance Agent Tom Maciel Writes to Us He dared us to publish his email. Here it is: Farmers Insurance Agent e-Mail.

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