I wonder how State Farm’s agents and employees really feel about the officers and managers in Bloomington, Illinois. My bet is not much different than the remaining State Farm policyholders–although State Farm agents and employees are probably not going to say much about it until they get a better job.
While I have my differences regarding what they are taught, State Farm employees and agents are probably the most thoroughly trained in the insurance industry. State Farm has operational guidelines regarding every aspect of company activity. Even agent involvement in the political process is outlined in detail for agents to help the company press its agenda.
Accordingly, the front page story in BestWeek, State Farm Florida Customers Survey Property Market, did not surprise me. Jim Graganella, the CEO of a State Farm competitor, said the remaining State Farm policyholders represent the “cream” of State Farm’s book of business. He also highly praised State Farm’s Florida underwriters and agents, referring to them as “topnotch.” This has been my impression of the agents in Florida for a long time. One of them is my insurance agent.
Locke Burt, an insurance executive and a colleague of mine on the Citizens Mission Review Task Force, was quoted as saying about long time State Farm customers, “A lot of customers are shopping. They are mad.”
I wonder what we are going to learn from State Farm’s agents, adjusters and other employees as they start shopping and find work with other insurance carriers looking for “top notch” help. My experience is that there will be more transparency about State Farm’s motives and operations once its former employees are free to speak their mind.