John Tyler and Thomas Leavey founded Farmers in 1928, one year before the Great Depression. Operating from a small office in downtown Los Angeles, the duo steered the company through the murky waters of the global economic catastrophe and earned the trust of policyholders by paying in cash, while other carriers issued IOU’s.
In the subsequent decades, Farmers expanded its portfolio of insurance and financial products and today serves as the parent company to numerous insurance providers, including Foremost Insurance Group, The 21st Century Insurance Group, and Toggle. With 21,000 employees, Farmers earned the #45 spot on Forbes’ 2019 “Best employer for Women” list and ranks 91st on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list.
Farmers sells a wide range of insurance products, including auto, business, home, life, motorcycle, pet, recreational, renters, and umbrella policies. The company also offers investment products, including annuities, college savings plans, IRAs, and mutual funds.
|Strong financial ratings||More expensive than many carriers|
|A+ Better Business Bureau rating||Below average claims handling|
|Full portfolio of standard auto coverages||Limited discounts in some states|
|Expansive selection of optional coverages|
|Excellent mobile app|
The Auto Insurance Factors We Analyzed
Farmers does not offer the cheapest car insurance on the market. On average, a 25 year old Farmers policyholder pays around $919 for a six-month premium, and senior drivers pay about $713.
However, average costs don’t paint the whole picture because insurance companies use many factors to determine your premium rate, including the following:
- Annual mileage
- Car’s make and model
- Credit score
- Driving record
While oyu can’t change factors such as your age or gender, you can maintain a good credit rating and avoid accidents and traffic violations.
Every year, market research firm J.D. Power produces studies of the insurance industry. In Power’s 2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, Farmers earned 865 points out of 1,000, which is just below the industry average of 868. In J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Auto Industry Study, Farmers ranked among the top 20 companies in six out of 11 U.S. regions and ranked sixth in the Northwest region.
In 2019, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners received no complaints about Farmers auto insurance.
Farmers policyholders praise the carrier’s mobile app, available for Android and Apple devices. Using the app, you can access your insurance card, file a claim, find your agent’s contact information, get an insurance quote, request roadside assistance, and view policy documents.
Farmers sells a full line of standard car insurance coverages, including:
- Bodily injury and property damage liability – Your state requires you to carry minimum levels of liability insurance. This coverage pays the medical and property damage costs of another driver or his passengers when you are at-fault in an accident.
- Collision – States don’t require you to buy collision insurance, but if you finance a car, your lender will. Collision coverage pays to replace or repair your vehicle following a collision.
- Comprehensive – While states don’t mandate comprehensive coverage, many lenders require it when you finance a vehicle. Comprehensive insurance pays to repair or replace your automobile if it is stolen or damaged in a non-collision event, such as a storm.
- Medical payments – If you or your passengers sustain injuries in a collision, medical payments coverage will help pay your medical expenses.
- Personal injury protection – Some states require you to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. PIP insurance helps pay for your medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who’s at fault for a collision.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist – Some states also require motorists to buy uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage pays for medical expenses and auto repairs when an uninsured or underinsured motorist is at fault in an accident.
- Rideshare – If you drive professionally for a ridesharing company such as Lyft or Uber, the company will provide limited insurance that covers you and your vehicle while you are en route to pick up or are transporting a passenger. It’s important to note that Farmers’ rideshare insurance will cover accidents that occur while you’re driving, but not while transporting a passenger.
- Towing and roadside service – This coverage can come in handy if you need a tow or have a flat tire.
- Rental car reimbursement – If you need to put your car in the shop for repairs following a covered accident, this coverage can pay for a rental car for up to 30 days.
- Loss of use – If your car needs repairs following a covered accident, loss of use coverage can help pay the cost of renting a car, or paying public transport, rideshare or taxi fares.
Standard coverages include liability, collision and comprehensive insurance. If you own your car outright, you may decide to forego purchasing collision and comprehensive coverages. Check with your state to find out how much liability coverage you need and if you must purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist and PIP coverages.
Deals, discounts, and add-ons
- Alternative fuel discounts for automobile owners who purchase alternative fuel or hybrid vehicles.
- Good student discounts for students under the age of 25 who maintain a “B” average, make the dean’s list, maintain a 3.0 or higher grade point average, or rank among the top 20% of their class.
- Multi-car discounts for policyholders who purchase more than one Farmers car insurance policy.
- Multi-policy discounts for policyholders who bundle car and condo, home or renters insurance policies.
Depending on your location, you may also qualify for other discount programs, including:
- Automobile safety discounts for vehicles equipped with antilock brakes, anti-theft devices, electronic stability control devices, and passenger restraint devices.
- Business and professional group discounts for policyholders who are members of an approved professional organization.
- Distant student discounts for young drivers who go off to college but leave their cars at home.
- Electronic funds transfer discounts for customers who pay their premiums using electronic funds transfer.
- Good driver discounts for drivers who maintain a clean driving record for at least three years.
- Pay in full discounts for policyholders who pay their entire premium in one payment.
- Senior defensive driving discounts for drivers 55 years of age or older who complete an approved defensive driving course.
- Guaranteed value coverage pays an agreed-upon price if you total a classic or collector car.
- Glass deductible buyback coverage has a $100 deductible and pays to repair or replace your car’s windows or windshield.
- Full windshield and glass coverage features no deductible and pays to replace or repair broken windows and windshields.
- Spare parts coverage pays up to $750 for purchasing parts classic and collector car owners keep on hand for future repairs.
- Original equipment manufacturer coverage pays for original factory parts following a covered accident.
- New car replacement coverage pays to replace your totaled vehicle with one of the same make and model. This coverage only pays for automobiles totaled within the first 24,000 miles or first two model years.
Farmers also offers accident forgiveness. If you maintain an at-fault accident-free record for three years, Farmers won’t raise your premium when you do have an at-fault accident.
Farmers Overview: Financial Strength, Availability, and History
- In business since: 1928
- States served (availability): 43
- Standout features: 24/7 claims support, addon coverages, mobile app
YouGov, a market research company, ranks Farmers the ninth most popular insurance company in the United States. Based on more than 7,600 interviews, YouGov found just 9% of interviewees had a negative opinion of Farmers.
The Better Business Bureau gives Farmers an “A+” rating. Most complaints filed with the BBB against Farmers center on billing and service problems, common grievances within the insurance industry.
To meet the needs of millennials, Farmers is expanding its digital platforms. In early 2020, Farmers entered the South Carolina auto insurance market, where it introduced a new digital policy, which enables policyholders to customize their coverage online.
|A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating||J.D. Power 2019 Claims Satisfaction Study||24/7 Claims Support|
All information accurate as of 3/15/2020.
The Bottom Line
While Farmers doesn’t offer the cheapest car insurance on the market, it backs its policies with sound financial ratings and nearly a century of experience.
We particularly like Farmers’ wide variety of optional auto coverages. Addons ranging from new car replacement to glass and windshield coverage can save the day when the need arises..
Farmers car insurance isn’t available everywhere, but the carrier is actively working to expand from 43 to 48 states.
It’s also moving quickly into the digital age, attracting younger drivers who demand online tools to manage their lives.
If reliable coverage is more important than low rates, Farmers could be the auto insurance company for you.
What other types of insurance does Farmers offer?
Besides car insurance, Farmers also sells business, condo, home, life, motorcycle, recreational, renters, and umbrella insurance.
Farmers offers discounts to policyholders who purchase multiple auto policies or bundle their car insurance with home or renters insurance.
How much car insurance do I need?
To determine how much coverage you need, check the website of your state’s department of motor vehicles to find minimum requirements.
If you financed your car, you must also ask your lender what coverages are required. Avoid purchasing insurance based entirely on price.
While we all like to save money, when it comes to insurance, more is better in the event of an accident. For new cars, consider maximum coverage for maximum protection.
Where is Farmers auto insurance coverage available?
Farmers writes car insurance policies in 43 states, with plans to expand to 48 states.
What does Farmers car insurance typically cover?
It depends. With Farmers, you can customize your policy, choosing from standard coverages such as liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance.
You can also purchase add-on coverages such as new car replacement cost and glass and windshield coverage for complete protection.