Farmers Insurance Group, commonly known as Farmers, is an insurance company based in Los Angeles California.
The company currently specializes in several types of insurance, including homeowners’ insurance, auto insurance, life insurance, specialty insurance, insurance for small businesses, financial products and various other products. They currently serve over 10 million households across the entire United States. Farmers also has over 50,000 sales agents representing them in offices across the country.
Farmers notably focuses providing three primary forms of insurance: the aforementioned auto insurance, business insurance and home insurance. This allows Farmers to provide customers with a thorough service that provides them with the insurance coverage they need for their personal and/or business related needs.
The insurance company initially got its start in 1928, a start that was rather interesting when compared to other insurance companies that got their start around the same time. Farmers’ insurance operations actually paid claims in cash during the Great Depression rather than give their policyholders an IOU.
The company, nowadays, pays claims much like similar insurance companies, despite the humble beginnings. Even since 2011, Farmers has been making efforts to effectively rebrand themselves as an innovator within the current insurance marketplace. That’s something that started with their focus on training their associated brokers and agents to be thoroughly educated in their brand of business.
Advertising and logo
While Farmers doesn’t have that many advertisements, the company is very much involved in various sponsorships throughout the country. Their sponsorships effectively help ‘spread the word’ about their company’s services, in addition to helping the organizations they sponsor out in return.
One of their best known sponsorships is the Farmers’ Field, a football stadium located in Los Angeles, California. The stadium, when erected, will be located in downtown Los Angeles, somewhere close to the Staples Center. The contract to sponsor this impending stadium cost about $700 million, though will start at $20 million in their first year of sponsoring the stadium, increasing from that point on. The stadium, as of now, will be named Farmers Field; while Los Angeles doesn’t have an official football team, the NFL has approved the construction of the stadium.
Farmers also sponsors what’s now known as the Farmers Insurance Open. Formerly known as the San Diego Open, this annual golf tournament takes place in Torrey Pines, San Diego. In 2010, Farmers became the title sponsor of the event, which benefits local charities that reside in San Diego. The public can even participate in the Farmers Insurance Open, since they can purchase packages to play in foursomes against current PGA tour members.
The Farmers Classic is the longest running sports events in Los Angeles itself that takes place every year. Farmers Classic proceeds are known to benefit the grassroots programs of the Southern California Tennis Association and UCLA.
Farmers Insurance Group also plays a role in sponsoring NASCAR. They’re an official sponsor for the #5 Chevorlet SS, driven by Kasey Kahne, represented by Handrick Motorsports. They have been sponsoring Kahne’s car since the 2012 season; interestingly enough, they were one of the first NASCAR sponsors to have a #hashtag on their sponsored race car. Farmers currently promotes their motorsports activities through their official Farmers Racing website.
As for Farmers’ logo, the logo is mainly depicted as ‘Farmers’ spaced out in red capital letters. Next to the logo is an emblem with ‘Farmers Insurance Group’ printed on a red badge, while being seated by a blue compass-like crest half.
The History of Farmers
While Farmers is working to boost their company presence in the current decade, in previous decades they focused on building the company into what it is today. That’s something that’s reflected in the storied history of Farmers Insurance.
The Farmers Insurance Group first started back in 1922, where the company’s future co-founders John C. Tyler and Thomas E. Leavey first met in the state of California. The insurance company was initially formed out of their mutual desire to have a less expensive insurance policy. At the time, many farmers and people with rural backgrounds were leaving other insurance companies to find financial relief from higher insurance premiums. These farmers and rural drivers founded their own insurance companies to circumvent the cost of paying high insurance premiums.
Both Leavey and Tyler were ruralites who wanted to pay less for insurance, especially since drivers like themselves had better driving rates and less expensive policies as a result. Because they both knew that farmers and other rural drivers were a rather overlooked market, they took it upon themselves to found Farmers Insurance.
By 1927, they received a loan from the owner of Bank of America to start their business. By the next year, in 1928, they eventually opened their company, Farmers Automobile Inter-Insurance Exchange in downtown Los Angeles, California. Leavy served as vice president, while Tyler served as president, and they both completed their team with a sales manager and secretary. Within the year, the first auto insurance policy they wrote belonged to a customer named Charles Brisco, who insured his 1925 Cadillac Paethon.
Sub-companies within the group were eventually founded in the following years. That included the Truck Insurance Exchange (1935), Fire Insurance Exchange (1942) and the subsidiary Mid-Century Insurance Company (1950). Throughout the 1960s, Farmers focused on growing the company’s services and consumer base.
By 1973, company president John C. Tyler passed away. Leavey, who remained as the co-founded, took over the CEO position. He later retired in 1988. The company would be the subject of an eight-month takeover ‘battle’ for ownership. The American subsidiary of the British company B.A.T. Industries Plc, BATUS, Inc., eventually bought Farmers Group, Inc. for an estimated $5.2 billion, becoming the sole stockholder of the company.
After getting new ownership, the company was tasked with responding to several disasters throughout California during the years 1989, 1991 and 1994. That posed a difficult time for the company, since they did experience financial challenges during the time.
By 2000, the Farmers Insurance Group started making more acquisitions, including the acquisitions of insurance companies under the Foremost Corporation of America or Foremost Insurance Group.
Services at Farmers
Farmers currently provides several types of insurance policies, including their core policies consisting of auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance and life insurance. Prospective and current customers of Farmers can find more information about their current insurance policies via their official website and other marketing materials.
Their insurance policies are said to be similar to their main competitors in the current marketplace of today. Though, Farmers is known to provide some advantages that some insurance companies may not present their customers. To start, Farmers is known for offering rather diverse business-related insurance products.
Their diverse suite of business insurance products includes coverage for commercial real estate educational establishments and non-profits, property construction, manufacturing, restaurant and retail, professional services and much more. Part of the reason behind the diversity of their business insurance products lies in their need to provide business customers with more choices to better serve their insurance-related needs.
Besides a diverse suite of business insurance products, Farmers Insurance Group also sells various auto insurance, home insurance (homeowner’s, renters and condominium), motorcycle insurance, recreational vehicle insurance and life insurance. They also sell various financial services and products, including variable annuities and mutual funds.