News about Farmers Insurance Group
New insurance law takes effect "A new insurance law that changes the definition of "accident" and is named after a woman involved in a incident of road rage, takes effect Wednesday in Washington state."..."The "Ethel Adams Law" is named after a woman who was injured in March 2005 when her car was hit in an incident of road rage by a pickup truck driven by Michael R. Testa."..."After the accident, Adams' insurer, Farmers Insurance, at first said it wouldn't pay Adams' claims because it said Testa was trying to cause a wreck and the crash was not an accident."..."Ethel Adams' insurance carrier tried to apply an imaginative interpretation of the law to keep from paying her claim. This new law bears her name with the hope that no other innocent insured will have to go through the nightmare Ethel experienced," said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, in a statement." BizJournals.com 6/7/2006 Also see: Ethel Adams
Zurich Financial settles with 3 US states (Zurich is the parent company of Farmers Insurance Group) Zurich agreed to pay $153 million to settle insurance bid-rigging charges by New York, Connecticut and Illinois. The victims include small, mom-and-pop retailers, school districts, governments and large corporations. Forbes 3/27/2006
Zurich American to Settle With 9 States (Zurich is the parent company of Farmers Insurance Group) "Businesses shopping for commercial insurance were deceived into believing they were getting the best deals available," Abbott said in a statement. "The whole anti-competitive scheme was an intentional smokescreen by several insurance players to artificially inflate premiums and pay improper commissions to those who brokered the deals."
Said Massachusetts Atty. Gen. Tom Reilly: "Insurance companies will not get away with deceiving their customers, inflating prices or manipulating the insurance marketplace." Insurance Journal 3/20/2006
Farmers Insurance overcharging Californians? Garamendi said at least four major insurance companies including Farmers Insurance have been raking in high profits thanks to high premiums and low pay-out rates for claims. "What they're doing is filling their wallets at the expense of Californians". Companies like "Farmers Insurance are paying out less than 40 percent of the amount collected from premiums." MercuryNews.com 6/28/06 “I will determine why up to 70% of the hard-earned dollars that consumers pay end up in corporate bank accounts, instead of being used for policyholder claims,” said Commissioner Garamendi. “If the rates are determined to be excessive, immediate reductions will be ordered.” Farmers Insurance paid 37.7% of each premium dollar for claims. "I will not allow the insurance industry to charge excessive rates at the expense of consumers." Press Release 6/28/06 Editor: Californians vote Garamendi for Lieutenant Governor in November!
Farmers Insurance Fights California New Rules Farmers Insurance and other companies are fighting Insurance Commissioners Garamend's proposed regulations that would base automobile insurance rates primarily on a motorist's driving record, the number of miles driven each year and number of years behind the wheel. Other criteria that are now weighed heavily by insurance company underwriters, such as the ZIP Code where a car is registered, would be downplayed. Full Story Posted 5/6/2006 This might relate to the study that found Farmers Insurance charges good drivers living in California’s predominantly African-American ZIP codes an average $974 or 83% more and good drivers in California’s predominantly Latino ZIP codes an average of $214 or 18% more for auto insurance than non minority communities. See Fact Sheet
Insurers using satellite technology to identify fire dangers "Fire season was the last thing on Bill Stouffer's mind this winter when he received a letter from his insurance company (Farmers Insurance) telling him his homeowners policy would not be renewed because his Bonny Doon home was a fire hazard. santacruzsentinel 4/6/06 It says "Farmers Insurance uses aerial photographs in tandem with on-the-ground inspectors." I wish Farmers Insurance put forth this kind of effort and resources into settling claims fairly instead of using them to cancel policies! The story goes on to say, "Notice that his insurance would be canceled was enough to convince Stouffer to take action. He immediately called his agent, and, for $1,000, he hired someone to clear the property." Only if he saw this web site it would have saved him $1K and a lot of heartache. He should have let Farmers drop him so he can get insurance through a company that will actually treat him fairly when he files a claim.
State Supreme Courts says Farmers Insurance breached its contract with Insured After a seven-day bench trial, the district court ruled that Farmers Insurance had breached its contract of insurance with Mr. Saleh and awarded him damages. Antoine Saleh had a homeowner’s insurance policy with Farmers Insurance. See Saleh v. Farmers Insurance 3/24/2006
Farmers Insurance fights so it won't have to defend its insured Thomas and Cindy Kure Thomas, Cindy and their son Matthew sought coverage for defense of a complaint and indemnity from their homeowners insurance company Farmers Insurance. This is when they need their insurer the most. What does Farmers Insurance do? Farmers files a lawsuit claiming they don't have a duty to defend or indemnify them. A trial court rules that Farmers Insurance needs to defend and indemnify Thomas and Cindy. What does Farmers do? They appeal. The appellate judge agrees with the trial court's decision. Farmers will do whatever it can to not pay out a claim. It would be nice if they used the same time and energy to pay claims fairly as they do trying to deny and low-ball claims. Appeal Decision Posted 4/20/06
New state law tightens definition of auto accident A new state insurance regulation will restrict insurance companies (like Farmers Insurance) from twisting the legal definition of "accident" to their advantage. SeattlePi 3/25/2006
Farmers Insurance Agent accused of embezzling millions in premiums SFGate ContraCostaTimes 3/22/06
Farmers Insurance Trying to
Weasel out of Another Claim
Workers Compensation in this case. See
Story 2/8/2006 See Judgement
Farmers Insurance Agent a Thief!
Former agent sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay restitution of $13,460 for three felony counts of Grand Theft. Story 2/16/2006
Racist remarks from Farmers Insurance
Agent makes racist remarks to employee, Debra Lazarus. She sues and settles out of court. See Post1 See Post2
(Farmers Insurance Agents sure are making a
reputation for themselves, a thief and now a racist, what's next!?)
Dogged by Farmers Insurance Farmers Insurance will not provide coverage in fives states for homes with Akita, Chow Chow, American Staffordshire terrier, pit-bull terrier, Rottweiler and Presa Canario dogs. See Canine Mutiny for details.
Blackmail effort by Farmers Insurance alleged by California official California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi alleges Farmers Insurance Group and other insurance companies of blackmail. "I firmly believe that this amounts to a serious attempt to blackmail me in my role as California's elected insurance commissioner," Garamendi said in a letter to federal and state investigators. "Clearly, I was offered a significant advantage. If I abandoned my responsibilities and delayed implementing the will of the voters, I would not be hit by a $2 million negative advertising campaign in the final weeks leading up to the June election." Story 5/10/06
Free-spending special interests exert big influence (in California Primary) "In the East Bay, the California Senior Advocates League political action committee spent $21,000 to send out a last-minute mailer on behalf of John Dutra in his race against Ellen Corbett for the Democratic nomination in the state Senate 10th District.
California Senior Advocates, it turns out, is funded by Farmers Insurance and porn king Larry Flynt's Hustler Casino in Southern California.
The Dutra-Corbett slugfest, in fact, could wind up being the most expensive state Senate primary in California history -- thanks to the work of independent committees representing "progressives" (teachers, nurses, public employees and consumer lawyers), which lined up behind Corbett, and the "moderates" (real estate agents, auto dealers, utilities, insurance and tobacco interests) that backed Dutra." SFgate.com 6/7/2006 See Results Editor: Congrats Corbett and Garamendi!
Must Read!: "The Martins
say they’ve suffered because Farmers refused to pay their bills -- and
millions of other Americans have been or could be in the same
boat."..."Farmers Insurance processed her claim through
Colossus, an insurance industry computer program shrouded in secrecy.
The computer’s call: Don’t compensate Martin for "pain and
suffering" -- her lost career, inability to have another child,
continuing emotional and physical pain" -Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Reporter, May 15, 2003
Must Read!: "There’s so
much pressure on you to settle for the least amount possible," Dietz
said, adding that early in his career, he even low-balled a good
friend.....The company would also offer monthly incentives to pay less.
Typical prizes were $25 gift certificates or a pizza party for an adjuster
and her team." -Seattle Post-Intelligencer Reporter, May 15, 2003
Farmer’s Abandons it’s Insured?
A Seattle woman who contended Farmers Insurance abandoned her after a
traffic accident 11 years ago has collected a $760,000 settlement from the
carrier. "They shouldn’t even have a license to sell
insurance,"....."I don’t know how they sleep at night."- Mary
long fight is over 10/26/2005
who took insurance case to Supreme Court wins settlement 10/26/2005
Class action against Farmers due
in court The lawsuit alleges that Farmers Insurance short changes
customers who total their vehicles and claims that Farmers uses CCC
Information Services’ software to defraud its customers and avoid paying
the actual cash value of a totaled vehicle. Class
Action against Farmers 12/16/2005
Must Read: "the Colossus program consistently delivers
value ranges that are well below what human adjusters would consider a
fair settlement." -Farmers Colossus Summary
Texas, Beware of Farmers
Insurance! "That’s right, to get a lower rate, you have to stay
with the company that’s already ripped you off"..."This idea
that Farmers is giving water coverage is really meaningless because
[homeowners] know if they use it, they’ll be hard pressed to find
insurance again or face raised rates"..."If Farmers had been
forced to pay real refunds, consumers could have taken their money and
gone to other, smaller companies"- Settlement
with Farmers can bring a howl of rage, Dec 2004
Fill court void before deciding on appeal 1/22/2006
See more articles on Texas
Watch regarding Farmers Insurance.
Farmers Insurance Keep Secrets From the State? 11/14/2003
Ethel Adams victimized by Farmers Insurance Page
WA State Residents YES on
HB 2050 & 1620
Contact your State Representatives!
Photo of the week Must be another victim of Farmers Insurance? Photo If you have a photo of Farmers Insurance victimizing you please send it to us.
Web Site Geographical Reach
Updated! - Most people who have a complaint tell their co-workers and
friends. Who knows about my complaint? Find
Farmers Insurance Accused of Political Blackmail Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi accused Farmers Insurance and other California insurers Monday of trying to blackmail him in an attempt to block new regulations and said he planned to ask federal and state law enforcement authorities to investigate the matter. Full Story 5/9/06
Farmers Insurance Illegally Cut
Customer Claims: "...jury handed down a verdict Friday that
Farmers Insurance Co. of Oregon defrauded thousands of its customers by
reducing the payments for their medical expenses after auto
accidents." The Oregonion, December 6, 2004 Read
More. Also see Farmers PIP
Highlighted Story from Cindy
Jansen (received Jan 2005). "This whole process has been
a nightmare. Farmers Insurance certainly has not worked for me. What I
finally got I had to fight for tooth and nail.......At your most
vulnerable time is when Farmers takes the biggest advantage of you. This
should not be legal..... I wonder if the people who work for these
companies get kick-backs or commissions from screwing people." Read
Must Read!: "Jurors in
the case Strawn v. Farmers Insurance Co. found that Farmers acted in bad
faith and had been systematically defrauding its policyholders by failing
to reimburse its customers for the full amount of their reasonable medical
expenses following an auto accident."....."The amounts the
company was taking from individual consumers were so small that it was
never enough for one person to pursue," said Rick Yugler, who tried the
case against Farmers. "Of course, all these small amounts added up to
over a million dollars in profits for the insurance company." Read
Full Story. Bend.com November 29, 2004
Farmers low balls not unusual: "Rather
than make a fair settlement offer to our clients that encompassed their
economic and non-economic damages, Farmers made settlement offers well
below the true value of their claims. (A practice that is now common with
Farmers Insurance. In fact we have recently seen several settlement offers
from Farmers Insurance that are below the submitted medical bills.) The
low settlement offer by Farmers Insurance left our clients with no option
to but to file a lawsuit to recover the restitution they were
owed."......"These companies have the idea that if they play
hardball long enough with injury claimants, those claimants will get
discouraged and either go away or accept less than the full restitution
they are owed under the law." Legally
Speaking, Summer 2003 Page3. Moore
& Wolfe, Attorneys at Law.
Farmers Insurance Denies Coverage
then Loses Judgment of $9.9 million: "In a May bench
trial, Superior Court Judge James R. Dunn ruled that Farmers had breached
its insurance contract by failing to defend the two women" (Linda
Williams,65, and B.J. Walker, 80) "What’s different is that
Farmers knew its actions might cause these women to lose their
home."..." The suit was a "garden variety bad-faith case
where the insurance company denies benefits with no justifiable reason for
doing so," said L.A. attorney John Quisenberry, who represented
Walker and Williams." See Story July
Farmers Insurance charging higher
premiums to good drivers in predominantly African-American and Latino ZIP
codes According to Consumers Union (the non-profit publisher of
Consumer Reports magazine) Farmers Insurance charges good drivers living
in California’s predominantly African-American ZIP codes an average $974
or 83% more and good drivers in California’s predominantly
Latino ZIP codes an average of $214 or 18% more for auto insurance
than non minority communities.
Consumer Union’s Fact
Consumer Union’s Zip
Release of Consumers Union 12/20/2005
Farmers Insurance Screwing up yet again! "The documents
in the trash ranged from insurance policies to bills. And they all
seemed to originate from the same Farmers Insurance office in Fair
Oaks."..."Among the information contained in the documents
found in the trash were Social Security and phone numbers, and
addresses, most of them clearly labeled
Insurance Customers’ Personal Information Found In Trash
May 4, 2005.
Farmers Insurance buying legislators? According to
this article Rep. Joe Nixon (R-Houston) received at least $13,000 in
insurance claims for mold in his house that other Farmers premium payers
would not have received. Jim Daues, vice president for property
claims, stated in an email "John Hageman, Mark Toohey and Kevin Kelso all called
me about this claim and wanted Mr. Nixon to be a friend of Farmers in the
legislative session. Each one strongly suggested that an additional
payment would be very helpful to the cause." "Hageman was
Farmers’ Texas chief, Toohey an Austin lobbyist for the company and Kelso,
division president." Nixon is a leader
in "tort reform" legislation designed to lower jury awards.
jury learns how Austin works 11/18/2005
Rep. Joe Nixon should be tithing 08/29/2003
Joe Nixon’s Two Faces 8/21/2005
Farmers Buy Off Nixon? 8/8/2003
Did Texas legislator take bribe from Farmers Insurance over "tort reform?"
"John Hageman, Mark Toohey and Kevin Kelso all called me
about this claim and wanted Mr. Nixon to be a friend of Farmers in
the legislative session. Each one strongly suggested that an
additional payment would be very helpful to the cause."
E-mail from Jim Daues (Vice President for Property Claims) to Adjuster
Isabel Arnold in regards to Nixon’s (tort reform legislator) claim
Farmers Insurance Overcharging in California? A
State Agency is Investigating if Farmers Insurance is Illegally
overcharging its customers. "The California Department of Insurance
has "received numerous complaints and continues to receive
complaints" that the Los Angeles-based company has violated an array
of its stated policies".. "This company thinks it can break the
law without being held accountable,".."It’s an arrogant,
outrageous practice by an arrogant, outrageous company." said Harvey
See Story, Contra Cost Times Oct. 05, 2005
-"Farmers Insurance customers across California are paying more
than they should for home insurance because the company doesn’t even
follow its own rules when it comes to deciding the premium a customer will
pay," said Rosenfield.
Farmers Insurance Under Scrutiny For Overcharging Homeowners 10/4/2005
Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer
Farmers Insurance Selling Flooded Cars?
"Farmers Insurance sold
the Jeep Liberty at the auto auction, never disclosing it spent two days
dashboard-deep in water"..."The Jeep was sold with no indication it
was damaged in a flood."..."it’s a mistake that allowed Farmers to
make more money -- a mistake that added about $5,000 to Farmer’s bottom
line."..."They need to be penalized for it. You can’t just be
dishonest with people and sell them a huge problem, crossing your fingers,
hoping nothing will happen and walk away with their check. It’s just
wrong," said Vaughn." See
Story / See
the Video November 22, 2004
"You can’t just be
dishonest with people and sell them a huge problem"
Ballard v. Farmers
Insurance: A Toxic Mold Case One of the most prominent mold claim cases against an
insurer. Ballard alleged that Farmers Insurance failed to adequately and
swiftly cover repairs for a water leak, allowing the toxic mold
Stachybotrys chartarum to overrun their home and damage their family’s
health. The family was awarded $32-million after the jury concluded
that a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance Group mishandled the family’s
claim. The award was later slashed to $4 million.
Watch the Court TV video "Breaking
The ’Mold Queen’ Fights Back
Jury Sends Message to Insurance Industry in Toxic Mold Case 6/18/2001
Haunted by Mold August 12, 2001
Million award in toxic-mold suit slashed 11/13/2003
MOLD: A Health Alert
Dec 5, 1999
Insidious Mold Dec. 2, 2000
cuts award in landmark mold case to $4M December 20, 2002
Ballard sued Farmers in 2000, alleging the company had committed
fraud and bad faith in handling mold claims in connection with water
damage to her 12,000-square-foot, 22-room mansion on 72 acres near
Farmers Insurance Denies Charges According
to this article Farmers denied charges for all but the first two months of
treatment. The denial applied to $2,852 in claims. "The company uses
these biased reports as part of the fraudulent scheme, to say that we are
not going to pay all of your bills, we are going to pay some amount
less."..."But the way we have set this up, the arbitration will cost
you more than what the initial dispute is,"
Death of plaintiff interrupts landmark ruling
Austin sued Farmers for breach of contract and consumer fraud
Switch from Farmers and Save! Poster claims if they
switch from Farmers Insurance they can save $369 every 6 months! Enough to move
out on their own. See
Post (that is a lot of money!)
Blogger Claims She Switched from Farmers and its Cheaper! "It was that easy. Oh, and did I mention it’s CHEAPER?
Farmers can kiss my ass!" See
Blog (wow that’s two people who switched from Farmers that said it is
saving them money! $$ hmmm, must be a trend.)
LOL! Ha! Ha!....I just read about Farmers
Insurance offering these Auto Accident Kits. That’s a joke!!
Like one of these kits is really going to help if you’re dealing with
Farmers Insurance, oh!...and what "good will" they have giving
$1 to charity, they should give it all to charity, cheapskates!
You’re going to need a lot more than a cheap camera, a pen and a
measuring tape to get a fair settlement from Farmers!! Your going
to need an army of lawyers and directions on how to map your injuries to Colossus,
why don’t they offer that for $9.95!? This kit is just another way
to line their greedy pockets...scum bags!
Education Bad Faith Example: If you are teaching a class on Bad
Faith Insurance who better to use as an example as the "Kings" of Bad
Faith. You guessed it Farmers
Farmers Overcharging for Insurance. A report finds Farmers and
other insurers overcharge Texans for homeowner and auto insurance an average of
$600 per home and $200 per vehicle insured. The report claims Farmers
overcharges auto insurance by 8.1% and homeowner’s insurance by 85.7%!!
For Homeowners, Farmers was said to be one of the "Insurers reaping the
biggest windfalls". Report: Insurers Price Gouge Texas Policyholders By $4 Billion in 2004,
March 31, 2005.
overcharges auto insurance by 8.1% and homeowner’s insurance by 85.7%!!
Write your Senators Regarding Farmers Bad Faith Tactics!
"Farmers offered less than half the amount that my mother paid for the car less than two
years before. They offered no compensation to my wife and me. When we challenged the amount, we were mailed a
check LESS the salvage value for the car".... "I have been fighting Farmers for almost two years now."
William R. Horn, via email August
18, 2005. (You can contact your senator at http://www.senate.gov/
Farmers Insurance is Stingy Leader of the Pack: "Anyone
who is insured by them seems much likelier to end up in court, should
they have an accident, because Farmers is SO
difficult"..."we’re finding that MOST of our clients who have
the misfortune of having Farmers as the opposing insurer have to file a
lawsuit." See details
Grows on House of Farmers See
Story July 18, 2003
Texas sues Farmers Insurance for price gouging See
Farmers Insurance and Clear Technology
Farmers Insurance taps Clear Technology to provide automation software for its medical and personal injury protection claims processing. Story 2/22/06 (I hope this isn't more software used
for low-balling like Farmers uses Colossus)
Zurich and St Pauls Traveler in merger talks Story 3/17/2006
Tornadoes bring thousands of claims At Tennessee Farmers Insurance Cos. in Columbia there have been 6,000, including up to 4,000 homeowners' claims. tennessean 4/5/2006 (Hopefully Farmers Insurance offers some fair settlements to these claimants, but probably not)