Farmers Insurance parks bus outside Texas capitol

Consumer advocacy group Texas Watch posted a story online today with the headline “Alert: Farmers Insurance takes over Texas capitol.  According to the Texas Watch article, the Farmers Insurance bus (which is uses as a mobile claims center) was being used as a prop to lobby Texas legislators to look favorably upon the insurance industry in Texas. Texans pay the highest rates for homeowner’s insurance in the United States. Farmers, which is the third largest homeowner’s insurance policy writer in the country, has issued notice of a rate increase in Texas set to take effect next month.

It has been the recent experience of Smith & Hassler that Farmers Insurance has decided to take a “hard line” on personal injury claims made under its automobile insurance policies.  Put another way, Farmers made the decision about a year or so ago that it was going to save some money by paying less on automobile injury claims. This equates to a win for Farmers Insurance (paying less on claims means higher profits) but a loss for Farmers Insurance‘s own policyholders (who increasingly are finding themselves being sued over car accidents when Farmers won’t make a reasonable effort to settle a claim) and injured motorists (who are forced to undergo the time, expense and frustration of a lawsuit in order to recover their damages).  This really is a shame, Farmers Insurance actually used to be a fairly reasonable carrier to deal with, but have decided they would rather take lessons from the notorious Allstate Insurance whose injury claims practices are legend.

Farmers Insurance mobile claims center bus parked outside the Texas capitol

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