Farm Bureau Mutual Review: Auto, Home, & Life Insurance

The companies of Farm Bureau Mutual Holding Company, Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company and Western Agricultural Insurance Company, insure homes, farms, and automobiles in the states of Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota and Utah. How does Farm Bureau Mutual compare to other major insurance companies competing in these states, like Nationwide, State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, and GEICO? This review analyzes the JD Power customer satisfaction ratings, AM Best financial strength ratings, and the most recent three-year home & auto insurance customer complaint records for the Farm Bureau Mutual companies, and compares them with major competitors. If you don’t want to read the entire review, you can skip to my review summary at the end (Section #6), to find out if my analysis concludes the auto & home insurance customer service, claims handling, and rates at Farm Bureau Mutual is below average, average, or above average. Reading this review will help you decide if Farm Bureau Mutual is a good choice to insure your vehicles, home, or provide for your other insurance needs.


Farm Bureau Mutual Auto, Home, Life Insurance Review

In addition to the two subsidiary companies insuring autos & homes, Farm Bureau Mutual sells life insurance through its life insurance subsidiary, Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company. in the states of AZ, IA, ID, KS, MN, MT, ND, NE, NM, OK, SD, UT, WI and WY. Farm Bureau Mutual agents also sell life insurance of unaffiliated companies for certain types of life insurance, such as variable life insurance.

Although Farm Bureau Mutual offers other types of insurance, this review will focus on its auto, home, and life insurance.

About Farm Bureau Mutual

Farm Bureau Mutual started more than 75 years ago, to serve the need of Farm Bureau members. Farm Bureau agents have offices throughout the communities in the states where it operates (Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota and Utah), and you can find the Farm Bureau Mutual agent closest to you on the company website. You don’t have to be a farmer to qualify for Farm Bureau Mutual, but you do have to be a member of Farm Bureau. You can find out more about the costs of membership in your state on the company website.

Source: Farm Bureau Mutual website.

The rest of this Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance review is divided into six parts, consisting of: 1. The AM Best Financial Strength ratings for the Farm Bureau Mutual insurance companies, 2. Any recent JD Power ratings for Farm Bureau Mutual compared to other leading insurance companies 3. the auto insurance customer complaint ratings for the Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance companies over the last three years, 4. the home insurance customer complaint ratings for the Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance companies over the last three years, 5. the life insurance customer complaint ratings for the Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance companies over the last three years, and 6. a Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance review summary, rating the company average, better than average, or below average, based on its annual auto & home insurance complaint records & JD Power ratings over the last few years.

1. AM Best Financial Strength Rating for the Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Companies

Farm Bureau Mutual consists of three subsidiary companies: Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Western Agricultural Insurance Company, and Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company.

Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company and Western Agricultural Insurance Company had their “A” (Excellent) AM Best Financial Strength Rating with a stable outlook (no ratings upgrade or downgrade is anticipated in the near future) reaffirmed on 05/27/2015. Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company had its AM Best Financial Strength Rating upgraded to “A” (Excellent) from A- on 12/17/2014, with a stable outlook. The AM Best rating of “A” is the third highest rating for AM Best.

The AM Best financial strength ratings for the Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance companies are not a measure of customer service or the quality of the company’s claims adjusting, but an opinion about their ability to pay claims, remain financially solvent, and stay in business. I recommend avoiding, if possible or practical, any auto, property insurance company with lower than an “A-” rating for financial strength from AM Best. I prefer life insurance companies with the highest AM Best rating (A++) since most people’s relationship with their life insurance company can last decades, and encourage people to keep up on the Weiss ratings of their life insurers.

Source: Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company AM Best ratings

2. JD Power US Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study Ratings for Farm Bureau Mutual & Comparison to Competitors

The 2015 JD Power US Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 46,256 auto insurance customers. The survey data was collected in March and April 2015.

For the last three years, the annual JD Power Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study consists of many regional or single state studies. Farm Bureau Mutual is included in just one regional study, the Central region (Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota) study.

Farm Bureau Mutual sells auto & home insurance in Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota and Utah. Farm Bureau Mutual customers or potential customers in the Southwest states of Arizona, New Mexico, & Utah can use the company’s performance in the Central region as an indication of its auto insurance customer satisfaction.

Central Region Study — 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015

Farm Bureau Mutual scored significantly below the Central region study average in 2012 & 2015, but scored close to the central study average in 2013 & 2014.

2015: Farm Bureau Mutual scored 21 points (on a 1,000 point scale) or 2.1% below the 2015 Central region average, at 799 out of 1,000 points.

Here is how Farm Bureau Mutual rated in the Central Region for the five factors used to determine its overall auto insurance customer satisfaction score in 2015:

Policy Offerings: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

Price: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

Billing & Payment: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

Interaction: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

Claims: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

Overall Customer Satisfaction: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

These companies scored .8% or more higher than Farm Bureau Mutual in the 2015 Central Region study (from highest scoring company to lowest scoring company): USAA, Auto-Owners, Shelter, State Farm, American Family, Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Hartford, Safeco, Auto Club of Southern California and Progressive.

These companies scored 1% or more lower than Farm Bureau Mutual in the 2015 Central Region study (from highest scoring company to lowest scoring company): Nationwide and Travelers.

2014: Farm Bureau Mutual scored 819 on the 1,000 point scale, only one point below (.1%) the Central study average score for all companies. Farm Bureau Mutual received a three power circle rating (about average) for overall satisfaction, consistent with its score, but received the lowest rating of two power circles in the category of pricing, and four power circle ratings (better than most) in the categories of policy offerings and company interaction.

You can’t rely on a study to find the best priced auto insurance companies for you, but the following companies, operating in some or all of the same states as Farm Bureau Mutual, received the top ratings of four or five power circles in the category of pricing in the Central region study: Auto-owners, GEICO, Shelter, Auto Club of Southern California, and USAA.

2013: Farm Bureau Mutual scored 806 on the 1,000 point scale, five points above (.5%) the Central study average score for all companies.

2012: Farm Bureau Mutual scored 779 on the 1,000 point scale, 32 points below (3.2%) the Central study average score for all companies.

Although Farm Bureau Mutual improved its score in 2013 & 2014, its auto insurance customer satisfaction, as measured by JD Power in this study, is about the same as the industry average for the companies included in the regional study. For 2015, Farm Bureau Mutual is back to being below average for auto insurance customer satisfaction, as measured by the JD Power study results in the Central region states.

For Farm Bureau Mutual customers in AZ, NM & UT, although your opinions of the company were not included in the Southwest region study (because Farm Bureau Mutual was not included as one of the rated companies in the SW regional study), Farm Bureau Mutual’s scores in the Central region for 2013 & 2014 were only a point or two above the SW region’s average score in 2013 & 2014. For 2015, Farm Bureau Mutual scored 25 points (or 2.5%) below the Southwest region average.

Considering JD Power uses a 1,000 point scale, I like to see a company score at least 10 points (1%) above the average or another company, to say it has better customer satisfaction.

Companies with higher auto insurance customer satisfaction than Farm Bureau Mutual in 2012, 2013, 2014, & 2015: Auto-Owners Insurance, Shelter, and State Farm.

Companies with lower or about the same auto insurance customer satisfaction as Farm Bureau Mutual in 2013, 2014, & 2015: Travelers, Liberty Mutual, and Nationwide.

Source: JD Power Insurance Ratings

Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

I analyze the most recent three-year complaint records for the Farm Bureau Mutual companies in the next three sections for auto insurance complaints, home (homeowners, condo, renters) insurance complaints, and life insurance complaints.

Life insurance complaints are most likely over sales practices and customer service. The most common reasons for policyholders to file auto & home insurance complaints with a state insurance department against insurance companies, are for claim-related issues, such as delays in a claim payment, unsatisfactory payment of a claim, or denial of a claim. The complaint statistics used in this Tennessee Farm Bureau Insurance review are the number of upheld complaints filed against each of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Insurance companies with a state’s insurance regulatory authority (most often in Tennessee), adjusted for its home or auto insurance market share, as determined by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. This Tennessee Farm Bureau Insurance review provides valuable complaint information to help you decide if Tennessee Farm Bureau Insurance is the best insurance company for you. By choosing an insurance company with a better-than-average complaint history, or at least avoiding companies with consistent, worse-than-average complaint records, you decrease the likelihood you will have a poor experience, when you need your auto or home insurance company the most.

I also look at the growth or reduction in annual premium for each product line, as a possible indication of low or high auto or home insurance rates. For example, a company that’s increased its size in a line of insurance by more than 10% since the previous year, may have achieved the growth because of lower insurance rates. Strong Growth can be a good indicator of competitive auto insurance rates, but not as reliable for home or life insurance rates.

Source: Home & auto insurance complaint ratios & annual written premiums obtained from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website

3. Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings for the Farm Bureau Mutual companies

Here’s how I establish my auto insurance complaint ratings:

B = Better than average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios less than 75% of the average insurance company.

C = Average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios from 75% to 125% of the average insurance company. I use a minus sign (-) to indicate auto insurance complaint ratios slightly worse than average (1.05 to 1.25) and a plus sign (+) for auto insurance complaint ratios slightly better than average (.95 to .75).

W = Worse than average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios more than 125% of the average insurance company.

Farm Bureau Mutual has two subsidiary companies selling auto insurance:

Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.12)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $425,446,961

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.08)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $416,856,988

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C+ (.85)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $413,625,636

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.54)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $406,514,436

Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company has an about average auto insurance complaint history over the last three years, with its number of auto insurance complaints, in its worst year during this period (2014), at 12% more than the industry average. The auto insurance market share for Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company has increased its auto insurance market share each year since 2011, which may indicate it has competitive auto insurance rates for at least some types of drivers.

Western Agriculture Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) No complaints

2014 US auto insurance premium = $35,431,318

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.23)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $30,567,634

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.17)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $26,647,050

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) No complaints

2011 US auto insurance premium = $22,751,695

Western Agriculture Insurance Company has had an about average auto insurance complaint history over the last three years, with its number of auto insurance complaints, in its worst year during this period (2013), at 23% more than the industry average. The auto insurance market share for Western Agriculture Insurance Company has increased each year since 2011, which may indicate the company has competitive auto insurance rates.

4. Home Insurance (Homeowners, Condo, Renters) Complaint Statistics & Ratings for the Farm Bureau Mutual companies

Here’s how I establish my home insurance complaint ratings:

B = Better than average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios less than 75% of the average insurance company.

C = Average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios from 75% to 125% of the average insurance company. I use a minus sign (-) to indicate auto insurance complaint ratios slightly worse than average (1.05 to 1.25) and a plus sign (+) for auto insurance complaint ratios slightly better than average (.95 to .75).

W = Worse than average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios more than 125% of the average insurance company.

Farm Bureau Mutual has two subsidiary companies selling home insurance:

Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.43)

2014 US home insurance premium = $262,946,941

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.22)

2013 US home insurance premium = $243,172,048

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.29)

2012 US home insurance premium = $222,444,783

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C+ (.81)

2011 US home insurance premium = $203,702,806

Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company had a worse than average home insurance complaint record in 2012 & 2013, with its number of home insurance complaints in 2013 at 222% of the industry average. Although the company’s home insurance complaint record is better than average for 2014, in updating this review to add the 2014 statistics, both the 2012 & 2013 home insurance complaint ratios significantly worsened since their last reporting. I would not trust the 2014 home insurance complaint ratio as it is reported now. The home insurance market share for Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company has increased each year since 2011, which may indicate competitive home insurance rates.

Western Agricultural Insurance Company Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) No complaints

2014 US home insurance premium = $19,227,920

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) No complaints

2013 US home insurance premium = $13,689,701

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) No complaints

2012 US home insurance premium = $9,172,085

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.41) 1 complaint

2011 US home insurance premium = $5,807,324

Western Agricultural Insurance Company has a perfect home insurance complaint record in 2012, 2013, & 2014, with no home insurance complaints in these years. The subsidiary had only one home insurance complaint in 2011, but because of the very small home insurance market share for this subsidiary, resulted in a high home insurance complaint ratio in 2011, which should not be a concern or indicate problems with its claims service. The home insurance market share for Western Agricultural Insurance Company is very small, but growing by a large percentage each year since 2011, which may indicate competitive home insurance rates.

5. Life Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings for the Farm Bureau Mutual companies

Here’s how I establish my life insurance complaint ratings:

B = Better than average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios less than 75% of the average insurance company.

C = Average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios from 75% to 125% of the average insurance company. I use a minus sign (-) to indicate auto insurance complaint ratios slightly worse than average (1.05 to 1.25) and a plus sign (+) for auto insurance complaint ratios slightly better than average (.95 to .75).

W = Worse than average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios more than 125% of the average insurance company.

Farm Bureau Mutual has one subsidiary company selling life insurance, though its agents sell certain life insurance & annuity products of unaffiliated companies:

Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company Individual Life Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Life Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.08)

2014 US life insurance premium = $330,995,010

2013 Life Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.30)

2013 US life insurance premium = $354,258,667

2012 Life Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.17)

2012 US life insurance premium = $301,159,561

2011 Life Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.24)

2011 US life insurance premium = $276,066,478

Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company has a good life insurance complaint history over the last four years, with its number of complaints for individual life insurance policies, in its worst year during this period, at only 30% of the industry average.

6. Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Review Summary

Here’s my review summary for Farm Bureau Mutual auto, home, and life insurance:

Farm Bureau Mutual Life Insurance

Farm Bureau Mutual individual life insurance (not group policies, which were not examined in this review) has a better than average complaint record over the last three years. Although companies with a history of worse than average life insurance complaints should definitely be avoided, many life insurance companies have excellent life insurance complaint records. A drawback about Farm Bureau Mutual agents is they are limited to Farm Bureau life insurance products and the products of other life insurance companies Farm Bureau Mutual allows their agents to sell.

A wise life insurance shopper comparison shops with more than one company or agent, and the easiest way to do it is to contact a few independent life insurance agents representing many life insurance companies.

Farm Bureau Mutual Auto & Home Insurance

Here’s the bottom line on the customer satisfaction & rates for Farm Bureau Mutual insurance, to see if the company performs better than average, average, or worse than average. For auto insurance, my evaluation is based on JD Power study results, as well as auto insurance complaint statistics for the Farm Bureau Mutual companies over the last three years. For homeowners insurance, Farm Bureau Mutual is not rated by JD Power, so customer service & claims handling is evaluated based on its three year home insurance complaint record.

I summarize the auto & home insurance customer & claims satisfaction in this same way for over 40 other major companies on my homepage. Compare Farm Bureau Mutual with other insurance companies at: smartshopyourcarinsurance.com.

Farm Bureau Mutual Auto Insurance Complaint Record:

Average

Farm Bureau Mutual Home Insurance Complaint Record:

Worse than average

Farm Bureau Mutual Auto & Home Insurance Rates

Current Farm Bureau Mutual auto insurance customers give the pricing of its auto insurance the lowest rating of two power circles, as surveyed by JD Power in 2015. Since JD Power does not include Farm Bureau Mutual in any of its home insurance studies, there is no rating for the price of its home insurance coverage. Home insurance market share has increased over the last three years for the Farm Bureau Mutual subsidiaries selling home insurance, and this may be because of competitive home insurance rates.

As regular readers of my blog know, I don’t recommend using the opinions of others about a company’s rates without checking the company’s rates for yourself. No single auto or home insurance company has competitive rates for everyone, with some companies charging a lot more than others for the same coverage. Your auto & home insurance rates are unique to your situation. All companies seem to save some people money, but have higher rates for other people. This is why many insurance companies can advertise about the big savings some people find with them.

Many people pay too much for their insurance because they never shop for better rates, or if they do shop, they don’t check the rates of enough companies. With auto & home insurance, you don’t get better service or coverage because you pay more. Some of the best companies have competitive rates. You have to shop with all the leading companies, to find the company with the best coverage and best price for you. The ad below will take you to links to get online quotes from leading Home, Auto, Health, & Life insurance companies in your area. Choose the type of insurance, put in your zip, and start shopping now!

What do you think about Farm Bureau Mutual auto, home or life insurance? Did you find this Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance review useful to you? Comment or ask me questions on my facebook page. Follow me on Twitter for important insurance consumer news & new blog entries at CarInsWatch.