State Farm is one of the nation’s leading insurance companies as they have been around the block a time or two in their 92 years of service. One of the leading aspects of the company is their network of agents across the nation and Canada, and also that they take pride in serving others, such as taking part in community help efforts across the nation.
State Farm began as a mutual automobile insurance company way back in 1922. The founder, a retired farmer named George Jacob Mecherle, focused on providing auto insurance for his fellow farmers. Later, the company expanded its products and services to include life insurance, homeowners insurance, as well as financial services.
The company is perhaps best known for its popular advertising jingle, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there,” which was written by hit songwriter Barry Manilow in 1971. Over its 92 year history, State Farm has become one of the largest insurance companies in the nation, with a vast network of agents in every state and throughout Canada.
As of 2014, statistics reveal that State Farm has over 80 million active insurance policies, over half of which are auto insurance. State Farm is ranked at #41 on the Fortune 500 list and handles 35,000 claims a day through 18,000 agent offices.
The coverage options are fairly thorough and should meet the needs of most consumers. All of the essential options are available, from liability and medical payments to car rental and emergency road service. Besides auto insurance, State Farm offers a wide range of other types of insurance and services to cover home, property, health, life and many other needs. In fact, there’s very little they don’t offer. Besides insurance, they also offer a wide range of banking and financial services.
- Liability Coverage (Property Damage and Bodily Injury Liability) pays out damages to another individual and their property should the policyholder be at-fault. This covers damage to the other’s personal property and loss of its use, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Medical Payments Coverage pays a reasonable amount for necessary medical and/or funeral expenses should the policyholder or any passengers be harmed in an accident.
- Collision Coverage pays for damages caused to the covered vehicle in the event of a collision with another vehicle or objects, as well as rollovers.
- Comprehensive Coverage will protect the vehicle should a natural disaster occur, damaging the vehicle, as well as protection from theft, vandalism and colliding with animals.
- Un/Underinsured Motorist Coverage pays for damages to the policy holder’s vehicle caused by drivers without, or with little, protection. It also covers necessary medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering for the owner and any passengers injured in the event of an accident.
- Car Rental and Travel Expenses Coverage helps pay for a rental when the damaged vehicle is in the shop for repairs after a collision. Daily allowances and limits vary by state.
- Emergency Road Service is an add-on option providing members with towing, mechanical labor, gas and oil delivery, flat tire assistance, locksmiths, and even jumpstarts. There are two coverage options: Coverage H, which State Farm will carry the financial burden, or basic, which will provide the policyholder with a competitive rate negotiated by the company.
Despite being one of the largest insurance companies on the market, State Farm manages to offer reasonable rates that put them in line with smaller, more aggressive insurance companies. They also offer a few good discounts, such as vehicle safety, safe driving, multiple lines, and good student discounts that can save policyholders a good bit of money on their premiums, while encouraging good driving and responsible behavior.
In order to make uniform comparisons, the Review Team standardized their requests for quotes. As such, for a 27 year old financing a 2011 Toyota Camry, as it’s the most driven vehicle according to Time.com, rates start around $94.88 monthly. This includes $500/$500 comprehensive and collision coverage, as the vehicle is financed. Coverage and rates vary by state.
State Farm offers their products and services in all 50 states and throughout Canada, with 18,000 agent offices. Prospective policyholders are going to be able to find an agent somewhere nearby, so sitting down face-to-face to discuss policy options is easier with State Farm than with almost any other insurance company. For people who prefer to deal directly with another human being, it’s hard to beat State Farm.
- Good Students – Up to 25% discount applied for students 25 and younger with good grades
- Multi-Vehicle – Saves up to 20% for two or more protected vehicles
- Multi-Policy – Bundling with home, renters or life can save an additional 17%
- Good Driving – Up to a 10% discount applied for three or more years without violations and no-fault accidents
- Steer Clear – Helps drivers under 25 save up to 10% after taking their Steer Clear Course
- Defensive Driving Course – Up to 5% discount by taking a driver safety course
- Drive Safe & Save – Share driving information on an eligible vehicle and save an additional 5% and up to 50% at renewal
Claims can be filed online or over the phone 24 hours a day for maximum convenience. For online filing, all a policyholder has to do is log onto their account and follow the “Report a Claim” link. The process is simple and can be done quickly. Customer may track the status of an open claim online, over the phone or with the State Farm Agent.
State Farm has been providing automobile coverage since their beginnings in 1922.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating
The Better Business Bureau gives State Farm an overall A rating.
Most websites that aggregate reviews of State Farm products and services give the company higher than average marks. The most common praise seems to be directed at State Farm agents who often go out of their way to help customers. Many people love having the personal connection with a local agent who is available to answer questions and meet needs at a moment’s notice. This certainly helps to eliminate the feeling that customers are dealing with a big faceless organization. Overall, this seems to be a particular strength of State Farm.
Though State Farm does offer reasonable rates, it should be pointed out that these rates are nowhere near the lowest or most affordable on the market. Even among the top auto insurance companies, consumers can get the same or similar coverage at cheaper rates than they will from State Farm.
Also, though State Farm does offer some good discount options, they do not offer as broad a number of discounts as some other insurance companies. While it is possible to find major insurance companies with literally dozens of discount options, State Farm offers only a few basic ones. However, what they do provide is quite good.
State Farms receives many compliments online about the hard work and personal touch of local agents, but there have been hundreds of complaints across a number of websites about the response time from claims representatives. It seems that many claims have been processed slowly. Though it is difficult to tell just how common this problem is, there are enough complaints about it that consumers should be aware of this. It might be possible that once you go beyond the local agent, the sheer size of the company becomes a problem, and some customers feel like they get lost in the shuffle at that point.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating
The Better Business Bureau has rated State Farm with an A, which is significantly lower than their competitors, who regularly receive A ratings. Cited as the reason for the lower rating by the BBB is a relatively small number of complaints on the BBB website that have not been addressed or resolved by the company. The number of outstanding complaints is relatively tiny, but since it has affected the rating, consumers should be aware of it.
Also, State Farm has opted not to become BBB accredited. It is not clear why they have not sought or received accreditation, especially for a company of this size. They are under no obligation to do so, and despite this, they have still attempted to resolve most of the complaints on the BBB website.
Online, State Farm has a learning and resource center that is helpful but a bit on the slim side compared to the websites of many of their competitors. While it offers a good deal of basic information about many of their products and services, it could certainly go into quite a bit more detail. Perhaps they expect local agents to fill in these details, but for those who like to do their research online, they will wish there was more available on the State Farm website.
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