Answers to some of your common questions about insurance claims.
Our award-winning Farmers Claim Services team is staffed with caring professionals, available 24/7 to answer your questions and help you through the claims process.
It depends on how complex the claim is, how serious the damages or injuries are, and how willing other involved parties are to cooperate. Farmers claims representatives always work toward prompt resolution of every claim. If a claim requires follow-up work, we'll be there with you every step of the way - no matter how long it takes. And, if your claim has been concluded and additional damage or injuries are identified, we'll reopen the claim and determine if your policy provides coverage for the additional expense.
A good place to start is by reviewing your policy. You also may want to ask your Farmers agent or the Farmers claims representative assigned to your claim to help you understand what coverage you've purchased and how it applies to your particular claim.
It depends in part on the terms of your policy, how many claims you've filed in the past and insurance regulations in your state. Your Farmers agent can discuss the answers to these questions with you.
To help keep rates affordable for all Farmers customers, we must occasionally cancel a policy if a policyholder becomes a high risk - for example, by filing multiple claims within a brief time period, causing an accident while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or taking unnecessary risks (careless use of flammable liquids, reckless driving, etc.). Your Farmers agent can discuss the answers to these questions with you.
You may have a hard time recovering from the at-fault party; they may believe that they're not at fault – or they may not have auto insurance. So, by filing a claim with Farmers, we may be able to help you recover your costs – including your deductible – from the insurance company providing coverage to the at-fault party.
It's the portion of a covered loss that, according to your policy, you've agreed to pay before Farmers starts paying for costs of the loss. For example, if you have a covered loss of $2,000 and your policy carries a $500 deductible, you'll pay the first $500 and we'll pay the remaining $1,500. In exchange for agreeing to pay a deductible, you pay lower policy premiums each year.
No matter who's at fault, you may still have to pay a deductible for certain coverages. We'll try to recover that cost from the responsible party or the insurer of the responsible party, and we'll return your deductible to you if we succeed.
You may want to, just in case you discover additional injuries or damages later on that take the value of the claim over the deductible amount. Talk it over with your Farmers agent.
We recommend filing a police report immediately any time you experience an auto accident, property theft, or vandalism to your property.
Let us know. Your Farmers claims representative may ask our Special Investigations Unit to investigate your claim if potential fraud may be involved. Most states have laws against fraudulent claims; your Farmers claims representative will be sure to report relevant information to the proper authorities.
If you receive a legal summons and/or complaint, alert your Farmers claims representative immediately, and forward a copy of the summons and/or complaint, along with any other letters and documents you receive to the Farmers claims representative who is working with you on your claim.
It is insurance offered in some states that pays for each driver's own injuries, no matter who is found to be at fault in an accident. Ask your Farmers claims representative if you live in a no-fault state and, if so, how it might affect your claim.
It typically provides coverage for your bodily injury caused by an uninsured (a person who does not have insurance) or underinsured motorist (a person who does not have enough insurance to compensate you for your damages). In some states, this coverage extends to your vehicle damage, as well. Ask your Farmers claims representative how this coverage may apply under your policy.
We look at the type and extent of damage, vehicle age, state law and other factors to determine whether to repair or declare a vehicle a total loss.
We pay actual cash value for covered losses, up to the limits of your policy and excluding your deductible. You may be responsible for any loan balance above that amount.
Auto repair facilities in Farmers Guaranteed Repair Program provide Farmers policyholders with best-in-class repairs and exceptional customer service – repairing your vehicle quickly and professionally. Repairs completed at a GRP shop are guaranteed against defects in quality and workmanship for as long as you own the vehicle.
No. That's one of the key benefits of the GRP program – you aren't required to obtain multiple estimates. The GRP shop will write an estimate and provide copies to you and to Farmers.
No. Although the repair facility will want to go over the estimate with you and explain the repair and claims process, that can be done by phone.
If you've taken your vehicle to a Farmers Guaranteed Repair Program shop, they'll take care of the damages, if they are part of the original loss. If you've taken it to another shop, ask the Farmers claims professional who wrote your original repair estimate, to contact the shop and determine whether the additional damage is covered by your policy.
If you've purchased loss of use or rental reimbursement coverage, the cost of a rental vehicle will be covered according to the provisions in your policy. Those coverages vary by state, but the covered loss must exceed your collision or comprehensive deductible.
It's your decision, but the cost of additional insurance is not covered by your loss of use or rental reimbursement coverage.
Unfortunately, your coverage cannot be extended beyond the amount you purchased in your policy.
It will depend on the amount of damage, availability of parts, whether hidden damage is uncovered during the repair process, and repair shop scheduling. The repair shop will give you an anticipated completion date.
You should let the repair facility know how often you'd like to be updated, so they can meet your expectations.
Federal regulations protect you in this situation: if a repair facility restores your vehicle with an alternative part and that part fails, the parts vendor, repair facility and Farmers will back up the part as long as you own the vehicle.
Your auto policy requires that you pay a deductible for certain types of claims; if we succeed in recovering those costs from the at-fault party, you will be reimbursed.
It's hard to provide a precise time line, but we will attempt to get your deductible and any other expenses you incurred back from the at-fault party. Timing depends on how cooperative the other party is, whether they seek legal counsel, and other factors.
We'll assign your claim to a Farmers claims professional who is familiar with claim handling laws and procedures in that state, and we'll arrange for vehicle inspection in the state where the accident occurred or in your home state – whichever is most convenient.
It depends on what was stolen – if its vehicle equipment for which you've purchased coverage, the loss is covered. But if it's something you've placed in your vehicle – your computer or a set of golf clubs – theft of that property from your vehicle is not covered by your auto policy but may be covered by your homeowners' or renter's policy.
Arbitration is an alternative way to resolve disputes outside the courts. An insurance company that has made a payment on a claim may initiate arbitration against another insurance company in an attempt to recover what it has paid on the claim from the other insurance company. Arbitration is commonly used to resolve disputes about who was legally liable to pay damages for a loss, the amount of damage sustained, or coverage issues. The arbitrator is a third party who reviews the evidence in the case and reaches a decision. The initiating and responding insurance companies are bound to the decision made by the arbitrator.
Yes. Insurance companies commonly use arbitration to resolve disputes when they cannot reach agreements with other insurance companies. The arbitration process may help resolve disputes quickly, avoid litigation, and control cost.
The insurance companies involved in the dispute provide their supporting documentation to an independent arbitrator. The arbitrator will review the documentation provided and then render a final and binding decision regarding the matter in dispute.
No. You are not required to attend an arbitration as the dispute is between the initiating and responding insurance companies.
An arbitrator often has several years of claims experience. The arbitrator is a neutral party and is not affiliated with any of the companies involved in the dispute. The arbitrator has nothing to gain from the outcome of the arbitration.
No, because the dispute does not directly involve you. If the insurance companies who are parties to the arbitration have mutually agreed to resolve their disputes through arbitration, then the arbitration will proceed.
No. There is no preferential treatment given by the arbitrator to those who repair their vehicle versus those who do not.
Customers are notified of arbitration decisions as a courtesy. It can take a few months or longer to receive the decision outcome. The time it takes for arbitration to conclude can vary depending on the number of parties involved and the complexity of the case. You can contact your claim representative at any time for a status.
There is no appeal of the arbitrator's decision. Insurance companies are obligated to honor the decision of the arbitrator.
Out of pocket expenses cannot be included in arbitration. You can pursue out of pocket expenses from the responsible party's insurance carrier. If their insurance carrier denies your request, then you have the right to file an action against the responsible party for the out of pocket expenses.
Not necessarily. Questions or concerns regarding your insurance policy or driving record can be directed to your Farmers' agent.
It will depend on a number of factors: what coverage you purchased in your Farmers policy, what caused the loss or damage, and what property was lost or damaged, to name a few. If you're wondering if a particular loss or damage would be covered, contact your agent or Farmers Claim Services at 1-800-435-7764.
Yes. Your Farmers claims representative will work with your choice of vendor or contractor.
By choosing your own contractor, you manage their work and ensure that the repairs meet your standards. If Farmers sends a vendor to your property to do specific work (for example, emergency services after a house flood or fire), we assure you that their work is done to appropriate standards.
Yes. Reporting losses to the appropriate authorities is required by your policy.
If you purchased dwelling coverage as part of your policy, the damage would be covered. To confirm this coverage, talk to your Farmers agent or your Farmers claims representative.
Farmers policies do not cover flood damage. If you also purchased flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program, the damages may be covered. Please speak with your Farmers agent to obtain more details.
Hurricanes, tornados and forest fires are typically covered by your Homeowners policy. To respond to these types of losses, we typically send the Farmers Catastrophe Corps – also known as the CAT Corps – to any large-scale natural disaster, to quickly assess damage and help our customers through the claims process. See the FAQs section on catastrophic claims for more information.
Your safety is priority number one! If you purchased additional living expenses coverage as part of your policy, and a covered loss makes your home uninhabitable, your policy will cover a reasonable increase in living costs to maintain your normal standard of living. Some restrictions and limitations apply, so please consult your Farmers claims representative.
No. File your claim as soon as possible after your loss. Then, if you come across additional information that would help your Farmers claims representative with the claim, provide it to him or her at that point. We can even reopen a claim after it's closed if you obtain information that might result in an additional payment to you.
To prove that you owned property you are claiming as stolen, you may provide purchase receipts, owner's manuals or product packaging, appraisals, or photographs of the items in your home.
You and your neighbor should both file a claim with your own insurers. We will investigate your claim and determine who might be responsible.
If you've suffered a major loss, you may be contacted by a public adjuster. These are independent claims adjusters who will charge you a fee for their services based on the total value of your claim. That fee is not a covered expense; you cannot seek reimbursement for that cost from Farmers. We're confident that your Farmers claims representative will investigate, evaluate and settle your claim fairly and efficiently, so that you do not need to hire a public adjuster, but the final decision is yours to make.
We'll respond with great urgency, because we recognize that when a major catastrophe strikes, an entire community is affected. The claims process is essentially the same, but the Farmers Catastrophe Corps – or the CAT Corps, as we call it – takes charge. That means on-site service, which might include everything from hot meals and access to phone and Internet lines; help finding temporary or long-term housing; news updates and "found" pet broadcasts; in-person claims investigation and estimating; an initial payment to cover emergency expenses; and rapid handling of your claim…to help you and your community get on the road to recovery – fast.
If yours is a smaller-scale situation, members of the CAT Corps will provide a comparable level of focused, intense service to help you and your neighbors recover – even if one of our mobile command centers isn't dispatched to the scene.
First and foremost, make sure everyone in your family is safe, and get medical care if anyone has been injured. Then, call Farmers Claim Services at 1-800-435-7764, or visit the Farmers CAT Corps mobile command center if it has set up operations in your area.
Protect your property by sealing broken windows, putting tarps over cracks or openings in exterior walls or roof, and doing whatever else you can to prevent additional damage. Keep receipts for any materials you buy; those costs may be reimbursable.
If you can, start preparing a room-by-room inventory of damages and lost property. If you have the information, or remember it, include manufacturers' names, model numbers, and purchase dates.
If we've set up a CAT Corps unit in your area, let the staff know that you need the services of a Farmers claims representative. Or call Farmers Claim Services at 1-800-435-7764, to open your claim and arrange your initial on-site appointment.
We know you're eager to start putting your home back together, but it's best to wait until we've conducted our first on-site inspection. The only thing you should do is protect your property from further damage, by covering broken windows, or gaps in the roof or exterior walls. That way, we can identify all the damages that may be covered by your policy, ensuring that you receive everything you're entitled to.
It depends, of course, on the magnitude of the catastrophe and the number of Farmers customers who have been affected. But you have our promise that we will bring as many people to your community as we can, and move as quickly as is possible to investigate, estimate and process your claim. We know how important it is for you to start the recovery process, and we'll be there to help.
Feel free to contact your Farmers claims representative when you need a status update, and let that person know how often, or at which points in the process, you'd like to be updated. We'll be in touch at other times, too – whenever there's something we need to discuss.
We suggest that you seek out contractors who have a proven track record in your area. To help ensure that you choose a reliable contractor:
Because estimating involves judgment, there can be differences of opinion about what work needs to be done and how much that work should cost. If you are concerned about the estimate we've provided, contact your Farmers claims representative to discuss the issue. We may be able to resolve any differences by phone; if not, we'll meet with you to review your concerns and determine how to proceed.
If you purchased replacement cost coverage in your policy, we will cover the actual cost of repairing or replacing damaged, destroyed or stolen personal property with property of like kind and quality. We'll make an initial payment based on the current value of that property; once you have repaired or replaced the covered item, we'll pay an additional amount, up to the actual cost to repair or replace. Your Farmers agent or claims representative can give you specific information about your claim.
Just contact your Farmers claims representative or call Farmers Claim Services again, at 1-800-435-7764.
Contact your Farmers claims representative and report the additional damage; we'll re-inspect and determine whether the damage is covered by your policy.
If you purchased personal property coverage in your policy and your loss involves personal property, we'll need a detailed list and description of all damaged, lost or stolen personal property. Your claims representative will help you catalog all items, and will then evaluate that information to determine what is covered and to establish its value.
Your deductible will be subtracted from the amount of your loss before we deliver your settlement payment. You will likely pay the amount of your deductible directly to your contractor once repairs are completed.
If we can, we will complete the estimate during our first meeting with you, and process a check at that time. If additional inspection, investigation and evaluation are needed, we will prepare an estimate; and deliver that estimate and settlement check to you. We pledge to move as quickly as possible to deliver your settlement check, so you can start putting your property back where it belongs.
When you have a mortgage on your home, settlement checks typically are made payable to both you and your mortgagee, as required by the mortgagee. You'll need to contact your mortgage company to find out how to obtain their endorsement on the check.
Please use the following e-mail link to notify us of a claim involving a life insurance policy: email@example.com. You may also call the FNWL Claims Department at 1-800-435-7764 to report a claim or to speak to a life claims representative.
Please have the following information available, or include as much of the following information in your e-mail as possible:
*This information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not a contract or a policy of any kind. All coverages are subject to the terms, conditions, special limits, and exclusions of your policy and all applicable endorsements. Please contact your assigned claims representative for further information regarding your claim.
Personal injury protection – or P I P – usually covers an insured person, covered family members and other covered individuals for reasonable and necessary expenses for bodily injury caused by a covered accident. It covers such expenses as medical and hospital care, income continuation, child care, loss of services, and funerals. It's not offered in every state, so ask your Farmers® claims representative if P I P coverage is included in your policy.
If you've purchased medical coverage in your auto policy, it typically provides payment for reasonable and necessary medical treatment for you, covered family members, and passengers who are injured in an accident in your insured vehicle. It may cover expenses for ambulance service, emergency room or hospital care, physicians, X-rays and other diagnostic services, surgery and funerals. Your Farmers claims representative can explain this coverage in more detail.
This coverage protects you up to your policy limits from liability claims that may arise when you're involved in an auto accident, in which another person is injured. Your Farmers claims representative can explain this coverage in more detail.
It depends on the laws in your state, and on the coverage you purchased. Discuss this question with your Farmers claims representative.