Farmers Insurance Life Insurance Review: Know Before You Buy

Finding an honest, informed Farmers Insurance life insurance review can be difficult. Cut through the forums and message boards, and let JRC Insurance Group provide the insight you’ve been looking for. As an independent life insurance agency, we shop 40+ top-rated carriers to find our clients the best coverage at the best rates, whether through a large company like Farmers or one of the many lesser-known insurers out there providing equal coverage at a lower cost.

We are not in the business of bashing big names. Farmers Insurance is one of the most respected names in the insurance industry. However, part of our job as independent agents is to educate and assist clients. With that said, we’d be doing a disservice to the general public if we didn’t share the scoop on the “big-box” insurance companies. In this review, we’ll focus specifically on Farmers.

Quick Article Guide:

1. Your Life Insurance Options with Farmers Insurance are Limited
2. Less Options for Coverage
3. Their Rates Aren’t Competitive
4. Real-Life Rate Comparisons
5. Bundle Deals Don’t Save
6. They Don’t Cater to Those Who Need Life Insurance Most
7. Are You Paying for Their Advertising?
8. How to Get the Best Life Insurance Rates and Service

Your Life Insurance Options with Farmers Insurance are Limited

When shopping for any type of insurance, you want options. You want to be able to compare different providers and policies based on cost, features, and benefits. Farmers insurance offers a world of options for their “bread and butter” business: home and auto insurance. When it comes to life insurance, though, they are severely lacking in options.

If you’re searching for term life insurance, Farmers Insurance is not the best place to look. Their two glaring weaknesses are:

Age Limits

Most term life insurance providers offer coverage to age 80 or 85. Farmers Insurance doesn’t offer term life after age 65. Here are a few of our life insurance guides for specific age ranges to help you break out of the Farmers-only mindset:

Term Lengths

Farmers Insurance’s term lengths are also more constraining than other companies. Farmers does not offer 15- or 25-year terms, only 10-, 20-, and 30. If you have a 15- or 25-year mortgage and are buying life insurance mostly to insure the mortgage, this means that you would have to either overshoot or underinsure with Farmers. Look elsewhere and you’ll easily find terms ranging from 10 to 35 years in five-year increments.

In addition, Farmers has a lower maximum age for their term policies than most life insurance companies do. As an example, after the age of 60, the longest term policy available from Farmers is 10 years. With an A+ rated company like Transamerica, a 20 year term is available until the age of 70.

Less Options for Coverage

Most life insurance companies will offer their applicants anywhere from $100,000 to $5,000,000 of coverage. With Farmer’s however, the minimum amount of term coverage available is $150,000. If you need $50,000, $75,000, or $100,000 of coverage, working with an independent agent will help you save on the cost of your coverage, and prevent you from over-insuring.

Their Rates Aren’t Competitive

We ran a term life insurance quote for Farmers Insurance vs. a lesser-known company offering the same coverage, and found the difference to be $26 per month vs. $16 per month, in favor of the smaller provider. One quote doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a generalization, so we consistently keep Farmers in our quote engine. Nevertheless, we typically find that their rates are indeed roughly 30 percent higher than other top providers we work with. 

Real-Life Rate Comparisons

Below we’ve compared rates for $250,000 of coverage from Farmers and one of our many A+ rated life insurance companies, Transamerica. Transamerica is an “A+” rated insurance company that has been in business since 1907, Farmers is an “A” rated company that was founded in 1928.

The rates displayed are for a 10-year level term for a non-smoking applicant in excellent health.

If you have a few health issues, your savings will likely be even more significant. By working with dozens of highly-rated life insurance companies, we’re able to match our clients with the company that will provide the lowest rates available, regardless of their health.

Bundle Deals Don’t Save

Like many other big-box providers, Farmers Insurance encourages consumers to “bundle” their life insurance with home and auto insurance to save money on life insurance. The thing is, life insurance rates are standardized and regulated at the state level. Each state’s insurance commissioner is responsible for ensuring that all providers are charging the same rates, with no preferential treatment.

When a company advertises life insurance at a seemingly unbeatable price as part of a bundle deal, what they’re really doing is applying a discount on auto or home insurance, and providing you a subpar life insurance product that maintains their margins. Always remember that discounts on life insurance don’t exist. Bundling is purely an “upsell” strategy to make you increase both your commitment and cost of coverage.

They Don’t Cater to Those Who Need Life Insurance Most

For those who have neglected life insurance, aging into your 50s or 60s can be a major wakeup call. Meanwhile, the “household names” you expect to be able to turn to will charge exorbitant rates—if they will approve you at all. We get calls from clients every day saying they were told they couldn’t be helped because of some combination of their age, health, and budget. Most of the time, we find that these clients are insurable at an affordable rate after all, even if they have a major health issue. We’re not really singling out Farmers Insurance in this department; it’s a larger issue that involves just about all big-box insurers.

Are You Paying for Their Advertising?

A 2015 article in Insurance Business exposed the correlation between ad spend and insurance rates among the most heavily advertised insurers.

“It drives rates up since every penny of the ads is built into the rates,” said J. Robert Hunter, Direct of Insurance for the Consumer Federation of America (CFA). “Also, lobbying expenses and other such anti-consumer expenses are in the rates in all states except California.”

The article dissects further:

“According to 2013 SNL Financial report, GEICO spends about $6 of every $100 it collects in premiums on advertising, totaling $1.2 billion annually. Allstate increased its budget last year by 5.7% to reach $900 million, and State Farm pushed its spending up 5.1% to $800 million.”

Farmers Insurance is listed as having the eighth largest ad spend in the insurance industry at $165.8 million. You’ve seen the commercials with the “We are Farmers” jingle at the end, but did you realize you are paying for them when you buy an insurance policy from Farmers? Worse yet, a 2016 NerdWallet comparison of the top 20 largest life insurance companies doesn’t even include Farmers, uncovering a massive imbalance between Farmers’ illusion of size vs. their actual size. They are indeed a very big company, but not as big as they make themselves seem.

How to Get the Best Life Insurance Rates and Service

If you’re looking for home or auto insurance, by all means, Farmers is a great place to start. But, life insurance is a different story.

Farmers life insurance agents are “captive agents,” meaning they can only sell insurance policies from Farmers. Captive agents also receive intense pressure to sell a certain number of policies. In some of the more competitive call centers, agents have to sell 20 or more policies per week (which many of them struggle mightily to accomplish) in order to keep from losing privileges and leads. This makes it difficult to provide a high level of consultancy or allow them the necessary time needed to follow through with each client’s application.

JRC Insurance Group, on the other hand, can shop 40+ top-rated carriers to find you the right coverage for your needs. We only sell life insurance, and will not try to “upsell you” on bells and whistles you don’t need. We appreciate companies like Farmers, and in some cases do work with them, but if you’re looking for affordable term life insurance, call us directly at 855-247-9555 so we can lay out a wider range of options for you to choose from.

You can also request a free online quote below to instantly compare rates from dozens of top-rated life insurance companies in less than a minute. We will take the time to understand your needs, walk you through the application process, and help you find an affordable policy that will protect your family. As an owner-operated company, our number one priority is customer service. We rely on referrals from our happy clients, not expensive commercials.

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Cliff Pendell

VP of Marketing at JRC Insurance Group
Cliff is a Managing Partner and Co-Founder at JRC. He has helped thousands of families of businesses with their life insurance needs since 2012 and specializes with applicants who are less than perfect health. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and the great outdoors.
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