Georgia Farm Bureau Review: Auto & Homeowners Insurance Complaints, AM Best, BBB, & JD Power Ratings

The insurance companies of Georgia Farm Bureau, Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company and Georgia Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, sell auto & homeowners insurance in the state of Georgia only, and GA Farm Bureau is a major insurer of cars & homes in the state. You don’t have to be a farmer to be eligible for Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance. If you live in Georgia, you may know about Georgia Farm Bureau, but do you really know how good a company it is for auto & home insurance? I’ll review the AM Best financial strength ratings, JD Power customer satisfaction ratings, and Better Business Bureau ratings for the Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance companies, including their annual auto & home insurance complaint records over the last three years.

My review summary will give you my opinion if Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance is performing better than average, average, or worse than average, compared to its competitors, like State Farm, Nationwide, Allstate, Progressive, GEICO and other leading companies. The smart insurance buyer shops for the best combination of coverage, price, and service, so be sure to use the ad below this paragraph (or the ad at the end of this review) to get price quotes from multiple insurance companies and find the best insurance company for you.


Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance Review

This Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance review is divided into five parts, consisting of: 1. A company overview including the Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance website, and how to get insurance price quotes, 2. The AM Best financial strength ratings for the Georgia Farm Bureau insurance companies, 3. The JD Power customer satisfaction ratings and BBB rating for Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance, 4. the auto & homeowners insurance customer complaint records for Georgia Farm Bureau insurance companies over the last three years, 5. a review summary of Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance rating its complaint record as average, better than average, or below average, and comparing its rates and auto & homeowners insurance to competing insurance companies.

1. About Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance

Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance is the largest personal lines (personal auto, homeowners) property casualty insurance company domiciled in the state of Georgia, and is 100% owned by Georgia policyholders. You need to be a member of the Georgia Farm Bureau to buy Georgia Farm Bureau insurance products. There are 159 Georgia Farm Bureau offices with at least one located in every county throughout Georgia, where you can pay your membership dues (currently $25 a year), join the Georgia Farm Bureau, learn about the discounts & benefits eligible for members, buy insurance, and receive policy service.

Georgia Farm Bureau Main Office Address:

1620 Bass Road
Macon GA 31210

or

P.O. Box 7008
Macon GA 31209

Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance Website, Requesting Insurance Price Quotes, & Reporting Claims

You can’t get auto or home insurance price quotes online from the Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance website, but you can locate the address & contact information of your local Georgia Farm Bureau county office, and call an agent there (or visit the office) to request insurance price quotes. The Georgia Farm Bureau website has limited online services for customers, where they can see their policy information and pay their bill online, but by credit card only. Claims cannot be reported online, but can be reported by phone.

Georgia Farm Bureau Member Services Phone number:

1-800-633-5432 (if you know the 4-digit extension, dial (478) 474-0679) or call your county office.

Georgia Farm Bureau Business Hours

The Home Office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

The Member Services Department hours are Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.

The Claims Resource Center hours are Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Office hours for county offices may vary, but are available through the Georgia Farm Bureau website.

Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance Claims Reporting Phone Number:

(855) 432-2567 (during business hours)

After Hours Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance Claims Reporting:

(866) 842-3276 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, and 24 hours a day on weekends and holidays.

Glass Claim Reporting for Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance:

(866) 842-3276 any time.

Source: Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance website

2. Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance AM Best Financial Strength Ratings

The Georgia Farm Bureau insurance companies (Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company and Georgia Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company) had their AM Best Financial Strength Rating affirmed at B+ (Good), with an outlook upgraded from negative to stable (a ratings upgrade or downgrade is not expected in the near future) on 04/21/2015. The AM Best rating of “B+” is the 6th ranked rating (five ratings are higher: A++, A+, A, A-, B++,) from AM Best, and it is also the lowest rating the AM Best website places in the “secure” category, before being placed in the “vulnerable” category.

The revision in AM Best’s financial outlook for Georgia Farm Bureau insurance companies was reported in this Insurance Journal article, A.M. Best Revises Outlook to Stable for Georgia Farm Bureau Group Members, and the reason for AM Best’s decision is cited here:

The affirmation reflects GFB’s risk-adjusted capitalization, which adequately supports its rating level. The company also benefits from the sponsorship of the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation, which facilitates marketing efforts and enhances customer loyalty and affinity. Additionally, management has been undertaking initiatives to restore operational profitability, including rate increases where needed, reducing concentrated exposures and re-underwriting its book of business through data analytics, thereby leading to better risk selection.

Partially offsetting these positive rating factors is GFB’s generally unfavorable operating performance, as reflected by its volatile operating and underwriting results in four of the past five years. As a result, its five-year average pre-tax returns on revenue and surplus are negative and compare unfavorably with the private passenger standard auto and homeowners composites.

GFB’s unfavorable underwriting and operating performance during the latest five-year period is attributed primarily to frequent and severe weather events that have periodically fallen below the company’s catastrophe retention. Furthermore, GFB’s business concentration in Georgia exposes it to regulatory and legislative changes in a single state.

AM Best financial strength ratings are not a measure of customer service or the quality of the claims adjusting for the Georgia Farm Bureau insurance companies, 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 or homeowners insurance company with lower than an “A-” rating for financial strength from AM Best.

Source: AM Best Rating for Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company

3. Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance JD Power Ratings & BBB Rating

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Ratings

Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance, like many other small insurance companies operating in a single state, does not have enough auto or homeowners insurance customers at this time in the Southeast region or nationally to be included in any of the recent annual JD Power insurance customer satisfaction studies, which evaluate the largest national and regional auto or homeowners insurance companies in the USA. Not being included in a JD Power insurance study does not make Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance better or worse than large or JD Power rated companies, but it does make it harder to objectively evaluate the quality of customer service provided by a company not rated by JD Power, like Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating

Although customer complaints are best directed toward a customer’s state department of insurance, the Better Business Bureau is a well-known and popular choice for consumers filing complaints against companies. If many customers are having difficulty resolving an issue with their insurance company and take the time to contact the Better Business Bureau about it, it’s a pretty good sign customers in general may be unhappy with the service provided by their insurance company. If a lot of complaints are made to the BBB about a company, in greater numbers than similar-sized insurance companies, it’s reflected in the BBB rating, and is one indicator the company may have more dissatisfied customers than some of its competitors. I don’t consider an A+ BBB rating to be a reliable indication of a good insurance company, but a lower than “A-” rating should be considered as a sign of below average customer service.

Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance has the third highest rating of “A-” from the Better Business Bureau, and it is not BBB accredited. Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB accreditation, and some businesses are not accredited because they have not sought BBB accreditation. Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance had 8 BBB complaints in the last three years, with 1 occurring in the last 12 months. Seven complaints were for the category of a problem with service and one complaint was for advertising / sales issues. All complaints have been closed and resolved according to the BBB.

One additional complaint for billing/ collection issues, where the BBB states Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance made a good faith effort to resolve, is at a different web page due to misspelling the name of the company, Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company.

According to the BBB website, the reason for the lower rating (the highest rating is A+) is for having 8 complaints, but the BBB web page also says factors raising the rating are the response and resolution of the complaints. I think BBB may not be able to measure the size of Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance, which is substantial in the state of Georgia, because 8 complaints in three years is a low number of complaints, compared to smaller insurance companies with more BBB complaints, receiving the highest rating from BBB.

I don’t consider higher BBB ratings to be a reliable indication of a good insurance company, but a lower rating may be a sign of below average customer service. To date, the BBB rating & complaint record For Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance should not be a concern for its customers or prospective customers, in my opinion.

Source: BBB ratings for Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance

4. Georgia Farm Bureau Auto & Homeowners Insurance Complaints

The auto & homeowners (including manufactured / mobile homes, condos, & tenants) insurance complaint statistics for Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance listed below were calculated by the NAIC, and display the ratio of the company’s U.S. Market Share of closed complaints compared to its U.S. Market Share of premiums for a specific policy type. Complaint ratios lower than “1” have less complaints than average, and complaint ratios over “1” have more complaints than average. The lower the complaint ratio, the less complaints against the company. Ideally, you want to choose an insurance company with complaint ratios much less than 1.00 each year, over the last three years.

So you don’t have to worry about comparing complaint ratio numbers, I devised a rating system to help you identify if Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance has a good or poor complaint record.

Here’s how I establish my auto & homeowners 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 (1.01 to 1.25) and a plus sign (+) for auto insurance complaint ratios slightly better than average (.99 to .75).

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

I prefer companies with the longest recent history of “B” ratings each year (or at least in the most recent three years). Companies with “B” or “C+” ratings are okay, too, particularly if they have less market share, with less than $100,000,000 in premiums for that line of insurance (auto or home) each year. I prefer to avoid companies with a consistently higher than average number of complaints, or with inconsistent complaint records, unless there are mitigating factors, such as small market share.

Georgia Farm Bureau Auto Insurance Customer Complaints

Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance consists of two subsidiary companies, Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company and Georgia Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, both insuring private passenger vehicles garaged in the state of Georgia only.

Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.31)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $205,266,461

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.29)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $184,940,404

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

2012 US auto insurance premium = $166,296,746

Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company consistently has a lower than average number of annual auto insurance complaints each year from 2012 to 2014.

Georgia Farm Bureau Casualty 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 = $1,796,987

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

2013 US auto insurance premium = $2,658,666

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

2012 US auto insurance premium = $4,192,243

Georgia Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company had no auto insurance complaints each year from 2012 to 2014. But given its few auto insurance customers and decreasing share of the Georgia auto insurance market, this subsidiary may not be selling new auto insurance policies.

Georgia Farm Bureau Homeowners (including Manufactured /Mobile homes) Insurance Customer Complaints

Both of the Georgia Farm Bureau subsidiaries, Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company and Georgia Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, insure homes & mobile / manufactured homes in the state of Georgia only.

Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company Homeowners Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2014 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.06)

2014 US home insurance premium = $124,277,763

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.17)

2013 US home insurance premium = $131,391,562

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.31)

2012 US home insurance premium = $129,231,702

Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company has an inconsistent history of annual homeowners (including manufactured homes) insurance complaints each year from 2012 to 2014, with a slightly higher than average number of complaints in the most recent year of 2014.

Georgia Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company Homeowners Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2014 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.60) (1 complaint)

2014 US home insurance premium = $3,600,371

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

2013 US home insurance premium = $4,047,095

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.81) (1 complaint)

2012 US home insurance premium = $4,481,334

Georgia Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company had no homeowners (including manufactured homes & renters) insurance complaints in 2013, and only one complaint each year in 2012 & 2014.

Georgia Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company has very little homeowners insurance market share, and it’s about 40 times smaller than the Georgia homeowners insurance market share of Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company in 2014. When an insurance company or subsidiary has so few homeowners (including manufactured homes & renters) customers, only one or two complaints in a year can lead to a much worse average annual homeowners insurance complaint ratio, as is the case for Georgia Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company in 2012 & 2014.

When considering all home insurance customers (as measured by annual home insurance premiums collected) & home insurance complaints for both Georgia Farm Bureau insurance subsidiaries in 2012 & 2014, the number of home insurance complaints for the Georgia Farm Bureau companies were still well below the industry average in 2012, and slightly higher than average in 2014.

Considering this subsidiary’s few homeowners insurance customers and decreasing share of the Georgia homeowners insurance market, Georgia Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company may not be selling new homeowner insurance policies.

5. Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance Review Summary

Here’s my summary to give you the bottom line on the customer service & rates for Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance, to see if it performs better than average, average, or worse than average.

Georgia Farm Bureau auto insurance customer & claims service as measured by its 2012-2014 complaint record:

Better than Average

Georgia Farm Bureau Homeowners insurance customer & claims service as measured by its 2012-2014 complaint record:

Average

Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance Financial Stability:

Worse than average

Although Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance has a better than average auto & average homeowners insurance complaint history, I would advise its customers to consider insuring with other insurance companies, because of the poor AM Best financial strength ratings for Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company and Georgia Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company. You may be very happy with Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance now, but it may have trouble paying its claims or being solvent when you need it.

As cited in section #2, Georgia Farm Bureau is finally moving towards profitability after struggling for the last five years, and taking measures to increase rates and cancel policies posing higher risk. However, exceptionally severe weather in Georgia may create a problem with Georgia Farm Bureau meeting its claims obligations, and there are many insurance companies with higher AM Best Financial Strength Ratings from which you can choose, although you may have difficulty finding one to insure you if you are needing to insure a coastal property.

How does Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance compare to major auto & home insurance companies, like State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide, GEICO, Progressive, and others? Compare Georgia Farm Bureau with over forty other companies at my home page: smartshopyourcarinsurance.com.

Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance Rates

For pricing, the most reliable way to know if Georgia Farm Bureau has high or low rates, is to conduct your own pricing survey, by obtaining price quotes from all the leading insurance companies in your state, to find the best company for you. However, a recent rapid increase or decrease in market share may indicate whether a company has higher or lower insurance rates for at least some people applying for auto or homeowners insurance.

If you look at the annual auto insurance premiums for Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company in section #4 of this review, its auto insurance market share has increased quite a bit each year since 2012, which may indicate Georgia Farm Bureau has competitive auto insurance rates.

If you look at the annual home insurance premiums for Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company in section #4 of this review, its homeowners insurance market share has also increased each year since 2012, which may indicate Georgia Farm Bureau has competitive homeowners (or renters, or condo) insurance rates.

However, and this may apply more for homeowners insurance than auto insurance, but as cited in section #2 of this review, Georgia Farm Bureau has been adjusting its rates and increasing them where needed, to get to operational profitability.

It really pays to shop with all the leading auto and/or home insurance companies available to you in Georgia. 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. No single company has low rates for everyone. 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!

Did this Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance review explain what you need to know about Georgia Farm Bureau auto & home insurance? Tell me about it. Please leave a comment on my facebook page. Follow me on Twitter for important insurance consumer news and new blog entries at CarInsWatch.