Posts Tagged ‘State Farm’

RateWatch: State Farm Asks for Higher Rates in Florida

June 29th, 2012 by | Comments Off | Filed in homeowners insurance, rate watch

State Farm Insurance, the third-largest property insurer in the state of Florida, has asked for an average statewide increase of 14.9% on insured homes there, as part of a plan to maintain a good fiscal status while restructuring the discounts and deductibles it currently offers.

According to State Farm’s representatives, the rate request includes average increases of 14.2 percent for homeowners, 27.3 percent for condo owners, and a whopping 48.8 percent for renters.

They say these increases are needed because their reserves for paying claims fell to $368 million last year, when it also had a four percent underwriting loss.

If approved, this will be the seventh homeowners insurance rate-hike the insurer has made in Florida in the past two years, the last major increase being 19% in April, 2011.

Tags: , , ,

Texas Nixes State Farm’s Catastrophe Request

September 27th, 2011 by | Comments Off | Filed in fire insurance

State Farm Insurance’s catastrophe determination petition, made in response to wildfires that have been charring much of the state all month, has been denied by the Texas Department of Insurance.

According to the insurance department, the denial was based on information provided in the September 12 request made by State Farm, in which the insurance company asked for a catastrophe determination because of a large number of destructive wildfires which had occurred in several counties, including Anderson, Bastrop, Bexar, Caldwell, Camp, Cass, Colorado, Fayette, Gregg, Grimes, Harrison, Henderson, Hill, Houston, Hunt, Leon, Limestone, Marion, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Palo Pinto, Red River, Rusk, Smith, Tarrant, Travis, Upshur, Van Zandt, Walker, Waller, and Williamson between September 4th and September 12th of this year.

According to the department, the declaration of a major natural disaster or weather-related catastrophe for extended claims processing time is not warranted at this time, and that all claims stemming from the fires must be processed in accordance with the deadlines defined by the Texas Insurance Code.

Tags: , ,

State Farm Requesting Changes on Texas Homeowners Coverage

September 16th, 2011 by | Comments Off | Filed in homeowners insurance, insurance news, rate watch

Stae Farm Insurance filed a notice requesting a rate hike averaging 10 percent across the state in Texas homeowners insurance rates, but company officials were quick to announce that with new and larger discounts, homeowners are likely to see effective increases of only 1.4 percent.

Earlier this week, the Dallas Morning News also reported another proposal from State Farm, shifting the deductible on homeowners coverage to 1 percent of the home’s insured value rather than the current schedule of flat-rate deductibles that can be as low as $500.

Representatives of State Farm explained that the new deductibles reflect the increased cost to repair homes after claim-worthy damage.

The requested start-date for these changes is October 15th for new customers and December 1st for those who are already State Farm customers.

A recently established Texas law mandates that the state insurance commissioner completes a review of such requests within thirty days.

Tags: , , ,

State Farm, Allstate Offering Benefits to Same-Sex Partners

May 25th, 2011 by | Comments Off | Filed in alternative health plans, insurance news

Last week, State Farm insurance announced a significant change in their corporate policy. The company will be extending health care coverage and other benefits to the same-sex partners of its agents, agency staff members, employees, and retirees, so long as they’re in legally recognized relationships.

Such benefits are already offered to employees and their partners in ten jurisdictions where the company operates, but State Farm spokesperson Phil Supple said that the programs will go nationwide as of June 1st, 2011. Supple added that if existing ratios are accurate, the cost of doing so won’t be at all significant.

What brought on this decision? It stems from a change in the laws in State Farm’s home state of Illinois which requires benefits be extended to partners who have civil unions. Even though only two of the insurer’s plans would be subject to the new law, Suppler said, it was decided to extend benefits to all plans and employees (etc.) nationwide in order to be “fair and consistent.” Across the United States, the company has about 68,000 employees and 18,000 agents.

Employees and their partners must be in legally recognized relationships under the laws of the states where they reside, including civil unions, same-sex marriages, and domestic partnerships, in order for the partners to receive benefits, which include medical, dental, vision, life, long-term care, and accidental death and dismemberment coverage.

Another major insurer, Allstate Corp, also offers benefits to same-sex partners (as well as some non-traditional opposite-sex partners who are in document-able exclusive, committed relationships), with such caveats as a demonstrated co-responsibility for each other’s welfare and financial obligations, a shared primary residence, legal adulthood, and no relationships or marriages outside the partnership.

Benefits for Allstate employees include medical, dental, vision, and long-term care coverage, as well as flexible spending accounts.

Tags: , , ,

State Farm Closing Offices to Save Money

May 9th, 2011 by | Comments Off | Filed in insurance news, insurance specialists

According to the Pantagraph newspaper out of Bloomington, IL, State Farm Insurance has announced plans to close two dozen of its field offices in the midwest (Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan) in order to save $8 million over the next five years. Currently, these facilities are home to about 1,300 employees.

Some of these employees, the insurer has said, will become mobile employees who work from home, while others will be offered transfers to other field offices in the same states (there are two in each of the three states named). Either way, says the Bloomington-based insurance company, it is hoped that all affected employees will be retained.

While the to-be-closed offices in Indiana and Michigan have not yet been identified, the sites closing in Illinois include facilities in Arlington Heights, Champaign, Collinsville, Elmhurst, Marion, Moline, Peoria, Rockford, Springfield, and Tinley Park.

Tags: , ,

Rate Watch: State Farm Requests 27.7% Rate Hike in Florida

February 2nd, 2011 by | Comments Off | Filed in homeowners insurance, rate watch

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation will be holding a public hearing on February 15th. Why? To discuss the latest rate filing from State Farm, which company is requesting an average increase of 27.7 percent statewide in homeowners insurance rates. The reason, they say, is to offset the rising costs of sinkhole claims. The request is coming just as the Florida legislature is attempting to negotiate how to address the cost of sinkholes, as it prepares for its new legislative season beginning on March 8th.

Chris Neal, a spokesperson for State Farm said that the increase in the insurance company’s non-catastrophe losses, which have increased by 94 percent over the last three years, is one of the key factors that led to the rate request. He said that the vast majority of that increase is because of sinkhole losses. In 2007, for example, the carrier paid out $47 million in sinkhole claims while they paid out more than $119 million in similar claims in just the first three quarters of 2010.

Neal said, “The way things are going we may have to consider sinkholes a catastrophic loss.”

This rate filing is merely the most recent move in a dance that the State of Florida has been doing with State Farm for several years, after a deal was reached to keep the insurer in the state. Two years ago, State Farm threatened to leave Florida entirely, after its request for a 47% increase was rejected. At that time, rather than letting 800,000 policyholders get “dumped,” the state regulators agreed to a deal allowing the insurer to drop 125,000 customers, reduce or eliminate certain discounts, and increase rates by 14.8 percent.

That agreement, said Neal, helped State Farm stabilize its finances. “It gave us some rate relief and allowed us a way to manage our expenses that was critical at the time,” he said.

Tags: , , ,

State Farm Excels at Consumer Satisfaction

February 27th, 2010 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in auto insurance, homeowners insurance, insurance news

It should be no surprise that our current unstable economy has affected everything from the amount of merchandise on store shelves to the number of people taking vacations, but what may be surprising is that the adverse effects are extended to the quality of service we receive from providers in many different industries. Such quality decreases are generally connected to job layoffs and spending cutbacks, as well as the low morale both of those things tend to instill. The end result: a vicious cycle in which consumers move their business elsewhere, or stop purchasing given services entirely.

One industry where the economy is having such an effect is property and casualty (P&C) insurance. The good news is that there are some companies still treating their customers well. According to a recent report from The American Customer Satisfaction Index, or ACSI, the customer service quality leader in this industry is State Farm.

The ACSI was developed by the University of Michigan, and uses a 100-point rating scale. In the most recent rating of finance and insurance companies, State Farm earned a customer satisfaction score of 82, with GEICO and Progressive following closely at 81 and 80 points, respectively. Notes in the latest index release state that larger property and casualty insurance companies have scored better than smaller ones with regard to consumer perception.

Overall, the finance and insurance sector showed slight improvement in customer satisfaction from the third to fourth quarter of 2009, with the property and casualty insurance sector averaging a customer satisfaction score of 80 in comparison to the average 77.1 in the finance sector as a whole.

Tags: , ,