Farmers Pulls out of California and Lays off 2,400 Employees

Photo Credit: Farmers

Farmers Insurance, a top ten P&C company, announced Monday that they not only be laying off 11% of its workforce, equaling 2,400 employees, but they will also not be accepting new homeowners policies in California. Decisions like these are made in an effort to protect and maintain suitable solvency, but they also stand as a noteworthy indicator of the overall health of certain states ecologically, economically, and socially.

This announcement comes following news last month that the insurance carrier would be limiting its exposure in Florida as well. Going as far as ending auto, home, and other policies in the sunshine state, with the decision set to impact an estimated 100,000 policyholders. AAA has also agreed to renew only a “small number” of its Florida customers.

In May a business update from State Farm said they “made this decision due to historic increases in construction costs outpacing inflation, rapidly growing catastrophe exposure, and a challenging reinsurance market.”

All State, following suit, has stopped selling new home, condominium, or commercial insurance in California. Meaning less California homeowners will be in “good hands” for the foreseeable future.

On Aug. 28 Farmers Group Inc. CEO Raul Vargas cited “existing conditions” in the insurance industry and “macroeconomic challenges” as motivating factors behind the layoffs. “We must carefully manage risk and prudently align our costs with our strategic plans for sustainable profitability.”

Based on the austere direction that these titans of the industry are taking on their books and within their personnel, it seems that in the name of risk management, fiduciary responsibility, and good sense, California and Florida are bad bets for the time being.