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State Farm Auto Insurance

State Farm Insurance is the largest auto insurer in the United States and has been so for sixty-seven years. The company was founded in 1922 for farmers, my farmers, and was owned by its policyholders. The principle behind the company's formation was conceived by its founder George Mecherle, who thought that since farmers drove less, and were less of a risk to insurance companies, they should pay less for insurance. His belief caught on well with the other farmers and led to the company's success. The company has since diversified its offering widely into other insurance types like life insurance, and home owners insurance. The company now employs 67,000 employees and 17,000 agents serving 77 million policies. Forty million vehicles were insured with State Farm as of 2005.

State Farm's advertising campaign is somewhat less aggressive than its competitors' but has its own tagline - "Like a good neighbour, State Farm is there." Their commercials tend to focus on information and use of realistic circumstances that people can relate to in making their point. The desired effect appears to be reach viewers on a personal level and getting them to view the company as more of a friend, than a multi-billion dollar company (one of the largest in the U.S.).

Like competitor, Allstate, State Farm has had its share of controversy over customer complaints. Reports surface of customers being "bullied' into acceptance of payments in amounts far less than their actual coverage. Further allegations are that the company threatens claimants with dragging claims through the courts for ages and emphasizes the costs, to the client, associated with doing so to the claimant until most back down and take what they can get in desperation.

Similarly, like Allstate, State Farm denies such claims. What they can't deny, however, is that, during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, they faced serious litigation involving millions of dollars or alleged wrongly unpaid claims. While they were far from alone in this, their case was the most publicized due to an incident in which the judge was offered a bribe in exchange for a favourable decision.

Despite such stories, the company has a long history of financial success and claims of unsatisfactory service to policyholders have not been properly substantiated. The company continues to attract new customers with no notable complaints recently. For this reason, rather than ruling out the company due to negative rumours, interested customers should simply ensure that they clearly understand the policy they are being offered, and compare it with other companies to determine this best for each individual case.

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