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What Professor Burke isn’t telling consumers about Farmers insurance

Our attorneys’ reasons why Farmers is sinking to one of the worst insurance companies in the nation

 

Professor Burke isn't teaching consumers what they really need to know about Farmers.

Professor Burke isn’t teaching consumers what they really need to know about Farmers.

There are several things Professor Burke isn’t teaching consumers about this insurance company and the way it treats auto accident victims.

In the past, I was insured with Farmers, and I actually used to recommend it to others as one of the better insurance companies. But no longer. Below are the reasons Farmers has now made our Michigan Auto Law attorneys’ list of the “Worst Auto Insurance Companies” for 2015.

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Farmers charges 80% more to consumers with ‘no credit’ than those with ‘excellent credit.’

In its “2014 Car Insurance by Credit Score Report,” consumer website WalletHub reported that Farmers’s auto insurance premiums fluctuated approximately 80% between the prices charged to consumers with “excellent credit” and those with “no credit.” For more information, please read Michigan Auto Law’s blog post, “How do credit scores punish Detroit residents when paying for auto insurance?”

Farmers charges more for auto insurance to low-income, but ‘safe,’ drivers than to higher-income, accident-prone drivers.

In its study, “Largest Auto Insurers Frequently Charge Higher Premiums To Safe Drivers Than To Those Responsible For Accidents,” the Consumer Federation of America reported that Farmers charged higher auto insurance rates to “safe drivers,” who had little education and lower-paying jobs, than it did to accident-prone drivers, who had more education and higher-paying jobs.

The CFA study was based on price quotes obtained from auto insurers for both a “good driver” (a receptionist with a high school education and a clean driving record) and a “bad driver” (an executive with a Master’s Degree and an at-fault accident with $800 in damage within the past three years) in cities across the country. For more information, take a look at my blog post, “The poor pay more for car insurance than bad drivers.”

Farmers charges higher auto insurance prices to drivers with less education and lower-status jobs.

In its study, “Major Auto Insurers Charge Higher Rates To High School Graduates And Blue Collar Workers,” the Consumer Federation of America reported that Farmers and other auto insurance companies “charge higher rates to drivers with less education and lower-status jobs,” than they do to drivers with more education and higher-status jobs.

Specifically, the CFA found that Farmers “charges those who are neither professionals nor certain government workers five percent higher premiums.” To learn more, please read Michigan Auto Law’s blog post, “Are blue collar workers paying more for car insurance in Michigan?”

Farmers auto insurance prices are the most expensive in Michigan.

When compared with Michigan’s other largest auto insurers, Farmers’s auto insurance prices were the most expensive in each of the 16 major Michigan markets examined.

Farmers received below-average ratings in several J.D. Powers & Associations studies.

  • Farmers received a below- average rating in the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, which ranks auto insurers based on “overall customer satisfaction with auto insurance companies …” Farmers’s below-average performance was marked by its “The rest” rating, which is J.D. Power’s lowest rating. “Among the best” is the highest rating. “Better than most” is the second-highest. “About average” is third. And the lowest is the below-average rating of “The rest.” Farmers also received below-average ratings from 2011-13.
  • Farmers received a below-average ratings in the J.D. Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study in both 2013 and 2011. This study ranks auto insurers based on “[c]ustomer satisfaction with auto insurance claims handling …” Farmers’s below-average performance was marked by its “The rest” rating, which is J.D. Power’s lowest rating.
  • Farmers received a below-average rating in the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study. Farmers received a below-average rating in the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Insurance Shopping (Auto Insurance Purchase Experience) Study, which ranks auto insurers based on “overall customer [or “new-buyer”] satisfaction with the auto insurance purchase experience …” Farmers’s below-average performance was marked by its “The rest” rating, which is J.D. Power’s lowest rating.

Farmers received the lowest ConsumerReports.org rating among Michigan’s largest auto insurers.

Among Michigan’s largest auto insurers, Farmers earned the lowest score in ConsumerReports.org’s 2014 “Car Insurance Ratings,” which measures ConsumerReports.org’s readers’ “overall satisfaction” with auto insurance companies.

On a scale of zero to 100, Farmers scored an 80, which means consumers were between “completely satisfied” and “very satisfied.” In 2013, Farmers scored an 84 on ConsumerReports.org’s 2013 auto insurer ratings, which measured ConsumerReports.org’s “subscribers’ overall satisfaction with how their claims were handled.”

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