Farmers may seem like a questionable homeowners insurance company based on its total asset value of $16.06 billion. By comparison, the average asset value among the companies I reviewed is $164.57 billion. Only Amica Mutual, a much smaller and lesser known brand, has a lower asset value than Farmers. While financial stability is not the end-all consideration when purchasing a homeowners insurance policy, it’s important that the provider you choose can pay out on claims. Fortunately, Farmers is a subsidiary of the Zurich Insurance Group, a company with an asset value over $422 billion.
Determining value is difficult with insurance providers because every quote is based on so many variables, including your consumer reports and claims history as well as the home’s location and proximity to risk. Farmers lists more discounts than other insurers, and the discounts are for more common scenarios than those offered by other providers. As such, you have a greater chance of qualifying for discounts and getting the lowest premium, which is why Farmers is my pick for best value insurer.
Since I'm not a homeowner, I used my parents' home as I filled out each insurer’s quote tool – you need a real address to get a quote. Because I already knew all the necessary information, including the home’s reconstruction value, I could compare the quotes’ accuracy as well as how easy-to-use and efficient the quote tools are.
I gave Farmers’ quote process an A grade for ease of use, and it's also very efficient. Each page asks an average of 16 questions, which is more questions per page than any other insurer I reviewed. This may seem like a small detail, but it makes the quote process more efficient since you don't have to constantly load new pages.
Farmers asks 49 questions, which is close to the average. For comparison, State Farm asks 123 questions. Because Farmers’ questions weren’t as comprehensive, there was an issue with its reconstruction value quote – it quoted the house at under 50-percent of the actual reconstruction value. If I'd purchased the plan without consulting an agent, I'd have underinsured the home by a huge margin. State Farm's comprehensive questionnaire resulted in a much more accurate reconstruction value.
J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Study
In 2017, J.D. Power interviewed 15,909 homeowners insurance policy holders from 31 insurance providers. In this study, Farmers emerged with a customer satisfaction score of 796. That is 12 points below average and puts it in the bottom half of the companies J.D. Power studied. However, it received three circles out of five, or “about average” ratings, for each of the five categories: price, claims, policy offerings, interaction and billing. So, while it doesn’t come close to having the same high level of customer satisfaction as Amica Mutual (866), USAA (892) or even State Farm (823), an average customer satisfaction score is okay, especially if you can get a great premium with Farmers’ discounts.
Farmers has one of the best agent finder tools, similar to Allstate’s. It is prominently located on the website, and once you enter your city, it shows all the agents in your area, including their picture, distance, address and phone number. It also shows their star rating with user reviews from their clients. Each agent has a personalized webpage with their bio and information about their experience and awards, languages spoken, community engagement, office hours, and hobbies. It's a great way to evaluate whether you'll get along with the agent. For example, if you're a sports fan who enjoys hiking, you can probably find an agent with those same interests. This makes for a greater chance for developing trust when consulting with the agent about your policy.
In many ways, Farmers is an average insurance company for homeowners policies, but its many discounts make it a good option if you want the lowest premium possible. However, the quote process doesn't provide the most accurate reconstruction value, though you can always have it adjusted with more accurate information.