Farmer’s Insurance Scam in DFW

Whether this is technically a scam or not, Farmer's Insurance has managed to screw over at least one family in the North Texas area. 

Steve and Marian were looking to buy a house in the DFW metroplex. They found a nice home in Bedford and applied for a loan. During the process, Steve and Marian requested an insurance quote from Farmer's.

Before Steve and Marian could finalize the contract, someone else came in and bought it out from under them. They were disappointed, but chose to assume that God had better plans for them elsewhere. 

Six months later, Steve received a call from a collection agency. "You owe Farmer's Insurance $200," they told him.

"For what?" Steve asked.

"For insurance payments you haven't made on your home in Bedford."

"But I don't have a home in Bedford."

"Yes you do."

"No, I don't."

"It says here that you do."

"I don't care what your paperwork says. I never purchased that home and I've been living in a different city."

"Well, all we know is that you owe us money."

"How do we resolve this?"

"Send us proof that you didn't buy that house."

"Do what?!?!? How exactly do I prove that I DIDN"T do something?"

"…."

"I can send you my current residence agreement, but that doesn't prove that I didn't buy a house in Bedford. Nothing will prove that I didn't buy that house in Bedford."

"…"

"I'm going to talk to Farmer's Insurance about this."

"Okay. Bye."

So that's what happened. Steve called a Farmer's Insurance branch several times. They claimed that only their main office in Austin or Houston could take the action necessary to solve this issue. After several weeks, Steve received another call from the collection agency. The issue has not been resolved to this point and Steve's credit is at risk because he can't prove that he DIDN'T purchase a home. 

Seriously? How do you charge someone without their consent? This is wrong. Farmer's Insurance owes Steve some sort of compensation for threatening his credit for NO REASON. He was never a customer, which means they had no right to report him to a collection agency. He owes them no money, and if they damage his credit, they will owe him big time.

The moral of this story is apparently to never automatically trust any business. There may be some better organized home insurance companies in Dallas, Fort Worth, and surrounding areas, but you don't really know until you're on the wrong side of a mess.

Do you have any crazy stories about insurance companies? Or do you have an insurance agent that you would trust with your life? Let us know.  

Published by

Daniel Dessinger

Daniel is an avid people watcher and writer who shares regularly on his self-awareness site, Supposed.ly. Founder of CultureFeast.com in 2005. Co-Founder of Mommypotamus.com in 2009. He's on a mission to challenge the questions we ask and the assumptions we make.

13 thoughts on “Farmer’s Insurance Scam in DFW”

  1. Hi there, I’m a farmers insurance agent and have been for some time. I’d like to make a comment on this if I may. The family should have filed suit againts the Mortgage company or the Real Estate agent for this as the contract had to come from somewhere other than the family. The farmers agent should also have done his job and contacted the family for signatures on the paperwork before anything can be filed with the department of insurance. Farmers cannot charge a customer that has not signed the Texas Home Application among about 23 other documents therefore the documents had to have been signed by the homeowner in question or someone forged the signatures. I have yet to see farmers approach a family for non-payment unless they have physical signatures on paperwork. If this is the first time and there is proof, my opinion will definitely change.
    Farmers is a great company, allbeit, no company is perfect, I feel that they take care of my customers in the DFW area. If I find out that they do not, I will definitely go to bat for those families.

  2. I’m sorry to burst the bubble of the dedicated Farmer’s Insurance agent, but this did in fact happen to me and it was not the fault of the realtor or the loan company. I never signed any document with Farmer’s Insurance. I’m sure what they did was illegal. It probably happened because of shoddy procedures and no follow-up on the part of the agency office. I don’t believe it was intentional and probably does not happen often. However, I know it did happen one more time than it should have.

  3. Agreed, it certainly should not have happened. Your agent none the less should have done the job, they didn’t. It does upset me to read about this, unfortunately some agents from all insurance companies only care about that almighty dollar. What happened to good old fashioned customer service?… Choose your agent wisely 😉

  4. Daniel, Steve,
    does this mean that John from Farmers is going to go to bat for you, as he said he would in the first comment response?

    anything happen yet?

  5. i have farmers insurance and recently i have lost faith in them. i had auto and home owners through them and a few months ago i purchased life as well. well i never paid for the life because apparently my agent never submitted the paperwork to the company. i constantly hounded him about it and he said he had it handled. now i am pregnant, not working, and my husband and i have no life insurance. i have switched auto and i am currantly looking for new home insurance. i would never suggest to anyone to use them as their insurance.

  6. Friends,

    There is an old saying that “insurance is only as good as your insurance agent.” It’s unfortunate that an individual representing Farmers did not pay more attention to the situation and “flat cancel” the file upon learning that the home was not purchased.

    In this case, the agent obviously failed. Maybe his District Manager also failed. If I were the consumer, I’d call the company head quarters in Los Angeles, CA. Farmers Insurance is not a bad company and their was no premeditation on the part of the company to conspire against these people. Farmers does have its systems and processes and if the agent neglected to fix the situation, then the agent needs to step up and take responsibility. And if nothing else, that’s why agents are required to carry “errors and omissions” insurance.

  7. Farmer’s Insurance is in the business of screwing people over and cannot ever be trusted. Their agents and adjusters are all liars. Farmer’s has been rated one of the worst companies by several surveys. To see just how low Farmer’s will go, do a search on “Ethel’s Bill” in Washington state.

    Way to go Farmer’s – all they do is keep those lowlifes of society employed

  8. Welcome to the world of Farmers Insurance Bad Faith practices.

    They lie, manipulate, skirt the law, lowball, underinsure, stall, stonewall, etc etc etc.

    One of THE worst insurance companies in existance with no ethics or competent workers to handle claims correctly.

  9. I live in California and have had several issues with Farmers Insurance. I signed up with them in late November of 2008, and such because they were around the median price for insurance in my area, and they had the coverage I wanted. About one month into my contract with them, I received a letter stating that my coverage was being cancelled because of an existing issue with the house. The existing issue was a tree on the property that was too close to the house, and a threat. Now at first I was upset, because I was thinking. Well why didn’t they notice this tree before. Then I was just plain confused. As I remembered there are no tree’s in the front yard at all. I called them and explained that this phantom tree did not exist, and they said I would have to prove that it didn’t exist by providing pictures, and sending those in. Once that was done, I was told my H.O insurance would be reinstated. I was so upset, that I went on and got insurance though another company. But just To prove a point I sent them the pictures they requested, and was phoned a week later and told, that this was not my house but pictures of another house. I explained that this was indeed my house, and was quite tired of arguing with them and invited them to come out and check for themselves. About three weeks later they did come out, and apologized for the inconvienience and confusion. Explaining that they had used “Google Maps Street View” to see my house. And that the house that came up had a tree in front of it that was dying. So this was how the ascertained that I wasn’t eligible for insurance through them. I found this absolutely sickening how unprofessional they were, and how they clueless they were to the whole situation. I am quite happy that I cancelled insurance with them, as I can not imagine what would of happened had I needed to file a claim. I also take issue with this recent wave of “hiring” they are doing where they give start up money to people who are already suffering from a bad economy to start up their own Farmers Branch. Seems like a Pyramid scam to me, and is certainly the reason why I had issues with them. They simply are not well trained professionals like you would want to do business with. Especially with something as valuable as ones property.

  10. I have been a faithful Farmers customer for over 15 years with my cars, 10+ years with my home. Paid on time, never made a claim…the perfect customer, right? Well, received a letter yesterday stating they were cancelling my home insurance because it didn’t meet their standards for condition and maintenance. No railing on my deck steps and the shingles above the garage were lifting in one spot. Wow, same roof and same deck I had when I bought the house. Have spent 10 years remodeling and improving, new seamless steel siding, new windows, new garage door – doesn’t meet your standards??? My hunch is that this is auto related. My husband was run into by a grandma who ran a stop sign, our car was totalled. Not our fault. Obviously they can’t cancel our car insurance when we were not to blame. I feel like this is our payback. I am livid…my agent knew nothing about this, it came from headquarters. I am off to go insurance shopping today.

  11. First comment:
    Poor choice of words and you are screaming for attention.

    “Farmers Insurance Scam in DFW”
    then an immediate disclaimer
    “whether this is a scam or not…”

    Is like saying – “John J is a repeat child molester”
    then follow up with
    Whether John J molests children or not – he took one childs candy and will not return it”

    “Scam” would imply that there were multiple intentional repeat scenarios where the company had placed clients with a collection company to “scam” them out of uncollected premiums.

    Ever heard of the Better Business Bureau?
    Farmers gets an A+ rating from the BBB
    B.S. you say?
    http://www.la.bbb.org/Business-Report/Farmers-Insurance-Group-Inc-18605

    This is a major corporation and in no way could possibly have 100% satisfied clients but still maintains an A+ rating.

    Can you say the same about your company?
    Doubt it.

    Let me run down a most likely scenario…
    The client called an agent for a quote on the home they wanted to purchase. That agent used the old version of the quoting system which in 2008 was out of use by at least a year but “available” if you knew what buttons to push.

    Quotes saved on that system would automatically convert to an application after 10 days or so (if they were not removed by the agent).
    Even if no $ was collected a policy could technically issue.
    Once issued and no premium ever collected – the billing dept would send it to collections.

    That is an ugly situation and in no way relieves the agent of their duty to the client and that person should be flogged.

    The company however is 100% innocnet of any wrong doing in this case. I personally have handled a case like this and it was not that hard to get fixed and pulled back from the collection company.

    Full disclaimer – I am a farmers associate and have seen a similar situation and it was not that hard to fix and have the clients name pulled back from the collection company.

    Bad luck, bad timing, and it sounds like a bad agent.
    Don’t hate the company over it – a calm head, clear communication, and a few phone calls will solve most problems.

    You call up and scream at customer service reps – seriously – no matter the company how much help do you think you are actually going to recieve?

    The moral of your story was to never automatically trust any company – I’m with you.

    Ask your realtor – who would you reccomend?
    Check the Better Business Bureau
    Call the local Chamber of Commerce

    Quit the sensationalism though please?

  12. I am a Farmers Agent Trainer for 15 years and while I cheated on my husband several times with agents, vendors and clients…let me tell you, I never “screwed” over a customer. I promise. 🙂

    By the way, I pretend to be a Angel, until you get me in a hotel, then you can do what ever you want…..as many times as possible.

    Colleyville Texas

  13. This is crazy. Why people like farmer always being cheated like this. We should spread this story to the world. So, people could beware of.

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