Company Overview: The Farmers Insurance Group was founded in 1928 as the Farmers Insurance Exchange, an automobile insurance collective, much like the tractor exchanges and co-ops that prevalent throughout the Midwest, from Flint Michigan to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Lawrence, Kansas, and even Oklahoma. As customer demand increased, additional services were added, including the Fire Insurance Exchange and the Truck Insurance Exchange, which offered homeowners and commercial truck insurance, respectively.
Today, Farmers Insurance Group is based in Los Angeles, California and does business in 41 of the United States. It employs roughly 18,000 people, and, through agents, independent contractors, and independent insurance agents who offer Farmers products, provides coverage for more than 15 million clients.
In addition to those companies operating under the Farmers name, the group also includes Michigan-based Foremost Insurance Company, which it acquired in March, 2000. Foremost is the industry leader when it comes to insuring specialty properties like travel trailers, motor homes, and mobile homes.
Overall, Farmers is the third largest insurer of personal auto insurance and homeowners insurance in the United States.
Website Overview: The Farmers website is an old-school design with a left-hand sidebar and a single center column, much like a traditional blog template. The header is a rotating banner highlighting the stability of the company, and special programs and products (right now, one of them is offering storm assistance for people in the south.)
A simple menu across the top of the header links to product specific pages: auto, homeowners, life, business, boats, motorcycles, specialty products and financial services are all offered here, and each page focuses on just that type of insurance.
The sidebar includes a login area for existing clients and an easy-to-find “get a quote” button as well as links to file claims, use different online tools (including checklists for childproofing your home and similar items), and begin basic financial planning or disaster preparation.
While the site is slightly too large for a widescreen monitor, it is designed to fit within the frame of a conventional computer screen, with nothing being lost “below the fold.”