Farmers has been selling auto insurance to American vehicle owners since 1928, initially to farmers who needed protection for their equipment and machinery but it slowly expanded to include all types of drivers by the mid-20th century. Today, Farmers is the seventh largest auto insurer in the country, offering policies that are known for their tailored coverage options and plethora of discounts. We wanted to see if Farmers is holding its own in a modern and rapidly changing auto insurance industry, so we evaluated the provider using our SimpleScore method that compares customer satisfaction, available discounts, additional coverage, online tools and accessibility.

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Farmers

Farmers provides excellent auto insurance coverage options that can be easily combined with home, renters or life insurance.

J.D Power
3/5

A.M Best
A-

Standard & Poors
A

SimpleScore
4.2 / 5.0
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SimpleScore

Farmers



4.2

  • Discounts
    4
  • Additional Coverage
    5
  • Customer Satisfaction
    3
  • Support
    4
  • Accessibility
    5

Pros

  • Accident forgiveness
  • Discounts available
  • Flexible repair and replacement coverage

Cons

  • Customer service
Full review

Our Two Cents — Farmers offers bargain hunters the satisfaction of countless policy discounts and opportunities to save, but there’s a missed opportunity with customer service.

Farmers auto insurance at a glance

In business Since 1928
States served 50
Best for Anyone who qualifies for one or more of Farmers’ auto insurance discounts and wants the opportunity to save by bundling with home, renters or life insurance.
Not for Those who value excellent customer service and are willing to pay more to an insurer with better reviews.
Standout features Policy bundlingInstant quotes onlineRidesharing coverageSpecific options for classic car owners
Available bundles Home, life, renters, umbrella

What we like about Farmers auto insurance

Accident forgiveness

We all dread getting in an accident because it can lead to a significant hike in auto insurance premiums. With Farmers, your rates won’t increase just because you get in an accident, as long as you don’t make a habit of it. The insurer will forgive up to one accident every three years, keeping your premiums stable even if you need to file a claim. Just keep in mind that you can still lose your safe driver discount if you’ve qualified for one.

Discounts available

The auto insurance discounts available through Farmers are virtually countless. Sure, you can bundle car insurance with home, renters or life policies, but there are plenty of ways to save even if you don’t need any other type of coverage. Homeowners, students and seniors all have discount options that they can qualify for, as do members of certain professional groups and occupations. You can qualify for discounts if you drive a car with anti-theft technology or that uses alternative fuel. Savings are even available for those who are willing to participate in digital initiatives like receiving policy documents electronically and paying your premiums via bank transfer.

Flexible repair and replacement coverage

Within the various types of Farmers auto insurance coverage, there are a variety options to choose how you want to handle repairs and replacement. Low- or no-deductible glass repair plans can help you fix or replace your windshield without paying a fortune out of pocket. If you’ve customized your vehicle with aftermarket parts or you own a foreign car with parts that are hard to find, specific types of coverage are available to make sure repairs are made with the equivalent parts if your vehicle is damaged in an accident. Classic car owners will also find policy options that include a guaranteed value payment in the event of total loss and coverage for up to $750 in spare parts kept on hand.

[Read: New Car Replacement Coverage: Everything You Need to Know]

Things to consider

Customer service

Unfortunately, Farmers doesn’t exactly get glowing reviews in the customer service department. The insurer received a score of 801 out of 1,000 in the 2020 J.D. Power US Auto Insurance Study, 20 points below the industry average and lower than all but four competitors. Farmers also received more complaints with the NAIC than similar companies in 2019 with an index score of 1.25 while 1.0 is average.

Farmers vs. the competition

Geico

Geico SimpleScore: 4/5
Farmers and Geico offer similar coverage for most drivers, and each offers a separate policy for ridesharing drivers with companies like Uber and Lyft. Both provide digital claims filing and mobile apps for easy account management. However, there are a few differences. For one, Geico requires drivers to purchase accident forgiveness separately, while Farmers includes this in all policies at no additional charge. Geico also charges a premium for roadside assistance, which is a service you might not realize how much you need until you’re stranded on the side of the road. Read our full Geico review.

USAA

USAA SimpleScore: 4.6/5
USAA only offers auto insurance policies to current and former military personnel, so most drivers aren’t eligible for coverage with this insurer. However, if you are a member of the armed forces, know that USAA is well-known in the industry for its excellent customer service and claims filing experience. Both USAA and Farmers offer similar perks like accident forgiveness and policy discounts, and both have its own mobile app that enables you to file claims and request assistance from anywhere. Read our full USAA review.

Allstate

Allstate SimpleScore: 4.2/5
We’ve said that Farmers’ list of available discounts is impressive, but Allstate might have this insurer beat in the discount department. Drivers who are unhappy with their rate can earn savings with Allstate by participating in a driver education or defensive driving course and even just paying premiums on time. The downside is that Allstate does tend to be more expensive than other competitors, although the only way to know for sure is to compare quotes with your specific information. Read our full Allstate review.

Farmers’ auto insurance rates

Farmers takes many different details into account when determining auto insurance rates, such as your driving history and where you live. The insurer also discloses that it uses credit scores as a factor to help determine risk in states where it’s allowed by law. Of course, the type and amount of coverage you choose is the most direct way to influence your insurance rate. While Farmers can provide you with the bare minimum required by law in your area, it may be a good idea to add some of the additional types of coverage available to better protect your finances.

Farmers’ auto insurance coverage

  • Full/basic coverage: Farmers offers basic auto insurance coverage that meets state minimums, but you’ll also find more full coverage options. These include liability, collision, comprehensive, uninsured/underinsured motorist, medical payments and personal injury protection.
  • Towing and roadside service: Get 24/7 roadside assistance and coverage for towing, tire changes, and more.
  • Rental car reimbursement: Drive a rental car for up to 30 days while your vehicle is being repaired.
  • Rideshare: Stay covered while driving for a ridesharing company like Lyft or Uber.
  • Loss of use: Receive a stipend for alternate transportation while your car is being repaired, such as public transportation or taxi fares.
  • Guaranteed value: Get a predetermined value in cash if your car is totaled.
  • Customized equipment: Repair and replace aftermarket upgrades and customization if your vehicle is damaged.
  • Personal umbrella: Benefit from additional protection above the limit of your auto liability policy.
  • Glass deductible buyback: Repair and replace glass with a flat $100 deductible.
  • Full windshield and glass coverage: Glass and windshield repairs and replacement with no deductible.
  • Spare parts coverage: Replace up to $750 in spare parts.
  • Original equipment manufacturer: Have repairs done with factory-original parts in cars up to 10 years old.
  • New car replacement coverage: Get the newest version of the same make and model of your current vehicle if it’s totaled within the first two years.
  • Accident forgiveness: Have one accident forgiven every three years without seeing a hike in premiums.

Farmers’ auto insurance discounts

  • Bundle policies
  • Good student
  • Multi-car
  • Alternative fuel
  • Anti-theft
  • Business/professional group
  • Electronic funds transfer
  • ePolicy
  • Homeownership
  • Paid in full
  • Safe driver
  • Senior defensive driver

[Read: Best Cheap Car Insurance Companies for 2020]

How to submit a claim with Farmers

Need to file an auto insurance claim with Farmers? Don’t worry too much — if it’s your first accident in no more than three years, Farmers won’t increase your rates as a result. Here’s how to submit a claim.

  1. Contact the Farmers auto claims department. This can be done via phone by calling (800) 435-7764 or by visiting the Farmers auto insurance claims page. Reporting a claim online is the easiest option; if you need assistance, an online chat is available from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. EST.
  2. Select the type of claim you need to file. Auto insurance claims are treated separately from glass claims, and you may need to take additional action if you need a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. Any claims related to driving for Uber should be filed directly through Uber.
  3. Locate the applicable policy. If you already have a Farmers online account, you can simply login to access your policy information. If you haven’t created an account or if you’re filing a claim against another party’s Farmers policy, you can also complete the process as a guest. You’ll just need the insured party’s first name, last name and policy number.
  4. Fill out the claim form. The form will ask for information about what happened, including contact information for parties involved and the vehicles they were driving.
  5. Send additional documentation. Hopefully, you took plenty of photos of the damage and the scene, if there was an accident. Send this documentation to Farmers along with your claim form. You should also include a copy of the police report if one was filed.
  6. Wait to hear from Farmers. Once you submit a claim, a representative will get in touch to discuss the details. It may take a few days or weeks for follow up, but you can always track the status of your claim through the Farmers website.
  7. Work with Farmers to find a solution. Farmers will help facilitate the necessary repairs to your vehicle and arrange a rental vehicle in the meantime. Make sure you’re satisfied that the policy will pay for all relevant expenses.

[Related: Everything You Need to Know About Subrogation Claims After a Car Accident]

Farmers insurance online and mobile app

Farmers offers plenty of ways to file an insurance claim online, whether you have an account or not. You can also file claims from your smartphone by downloading the Farmers mobile app. When you sign into the app, you’ll be able to easily manage your policy, submit claims and even request roadside assistance with just a few taps.

Farmers home, auto and life

Many vehicle owners need more than just auto insurance to cover other areas of their finances. If you bundle your Farmers auto insurance policy with home, life or renters insurance coverage, you can save money on your premiums. Contact Farmers for more specific information on discounts and to find out which bundles are available in your state.

Farmers in the news

  • Farmers was one of many insurers to make headlines in 2020 for offering discounts as part of relief efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. According to Business Insider, drivers with a Farmers auto insurance policy received an automatic 25% discount in April 2020 due to decreased driving overall as Americans stayed home in observance of social distancing measures. Coverage was also extended to those who wanted to use their personal vehicles to deliver food, groceries or medical supplies during the crisis.
  • A group of former Farmers insurance agents sued the company in 2019 for alleged age discrimination, according to a story in PR Newswire. The lawsuit claims that Farmers had inappropriately classified the agents as independent contractors, effectively stripping them of employment benefits, and stripped older agents of their clients without justified cause.
  • The Phoenix Business Journal reported in 2017 that Farmers was testing a new safe driving app among Arizona residents. The trial must have been a success; Signal by Farmers is now available to policyholders in 31 states, and with industry trends leaning in this direction, we wouldn’t be surprised if the app became available nationwide before long.

Too long, didn’t read?

Farmers insurance policies include highly customizable types of coverage for everyone from average drivers to ridesharing workers and classic car owners. Discounts are available by bundling with another Farmers policy, such as home or life insurance, and via more than a dozen other discount initiatives. But despite offering convenient digital tools, the provider comes up a bit short in the customer service department according to third-party ratings.

Keep reading

Methodology

The SimpleScore is our proprietary scoring metric to compare products and services at The Simple Dollar in a transparent, evidence-based way. Our editorial team identifies five quantifiable aspects to compare for every brand, determines the rating criteria for each aspect score, then averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore. For auto insurance carriers, we compared customer satisfaction, available discounts, additional coverage, customer support and accessibility. Our ratings are meant to be a directional tool to help you in the process of choosing an auto insurance provider. Be sure to continue your research and shop around for the best auto insurance provider that fits your specific needs.

We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the auto insurance providers we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

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