No. Farmer’s agents have a right that other captive agents do not, the ability to place their E&O coverage wherever they choose. According to Farmers, where you insure your agency is your choice, Farmers provides specific forms to cancel the E&O coverage, your insured’s claim handling won’t be affected — you may make the change at any time during the year without paying a penalty.
The Farmers sponsored plan provides advantages for agents with little or no agency operational experience or who have had claims. However, most agents do not have claims and have been agents for quite a number of years.
These agents who placed their coverage with the UFAA program improved their coverage**, obtained advantages not offered in the Farmers sponsored program, and the average agent saved over $500 annually — in some cases, much more.
** When in comparison to the Farmers sponsored program. Applicants are subject to loss history and other agency qualifications, not all agencies will qualify. This document is a summary of the coverage provided. All statements contained herein are subject to all the Terms, Conditions and Exclusions of both The UFAA Errors & Omissions program and The Farmers sponsored program
Your coverage under the Farmers Group E&O coverage excludes your failure to provide an available Farmers coverage when the insured met Farmers underwriting guidelines and would have covered the loss.
Once your E&O claim is excluded you must appeal to Farmers to apply retroactive coverage to your insured’s policy and this is solely at Farmers discretion. Per Farmers own statements, “Farmers has no written obligation to pay your loss.”
There are cases where Farmers has refused to pay these losses and the agent involved had exposure to all defense and settlement costs.
Farmers also now tracks all agent requests for policy reformation under the Farmers sponsored E&O program.
No, you may opt out of the Farmers sponsored coverage at any time during the year without penalty. The Farmers Benefits Department will confirm with a copy of your benefit statement showing your change.
Currently, you are not required to waive coverage with Farmers each year you insure outside their program but, you are solely responsible to confirm your coverage status with the Farmer’ sponsored program.
Agents currently insured in the UFAA program who terminate their contracts with Farmers during the UFAA program year will be offered this option. This is subject to claims underwriting, continuation of a similar type agency as your Farmers agency.
The policy form is the same as used in the UFAA program.
Only in your first year of coverage are you required to participate in the UFAA program Risk Management Survey, provided by Alpine Risk Management. There is a one-time fee of $100 for this service. This risk management service will provide you with a procedures manual that may be customized to your agency, and an online survey and an evaluation of your agency operations to assist you in identifying possible loss exposures.
If you pay monthly, there is a monthly billing fee, as outlined on the web site, surplus lines premium tax for your particular state will apply. If you are not a UFAA member, UFAA Access Fees as outlined in the next section, will apply. All fees are included in the initial deposit along with the first and last month’s premium and any UFAA Access Fees are collected monthly as you pay your premium.
Membership is not required to get a coverage proposal, but the UFAA program requires you to pay UFAA a program access fee of $13 per month. UFAA members pay no additional fees to participate in the UFAA E&O program.
The UFAA program offers a standard deductible is $2,500 per claim. However, those agencies that can confirm they have zero (0) open incident(s) and/or claim(s) that have not resulted in the payment of damages or defense costs prior to the policy effective date qualify for the following deductible.
- Three (3) years agency ownership experience and claims free - $2,000 per Wrongful Act and Aggregate.
- Four (4) years agency ownership experience and claims free - $1,500 per Wrongful Act and Aggregate.
- Five (5) years agency ownership experience and claims free - $1,000 per Wrongful Act and Aggregate.
The deductible is not assessed due to defense expenses and applies only to damages paid to a claimant so if no claim is paid - you owe nothing.
Waiver of Deductible
No matter what deductible you qualify for, at no additional cost, this amount may be waived in the event of a claim that results in the payment of damages (the deductible does not otherwise apply). The waiver is achieved by providing from the insured’s file related to the claim, the items listed in the Waiver of Deductible endorsement that prove as a consistent business practice you properly document your insured’s files. Please refer to this endorsement for details.
You may also qualify for a credit to your deductible that is dependent on how your claim is settled.
- Up to 75% of the deductible amount may also be waived with a maximum of $2,000 of your Deductible if your claim is settled without court mandated proceedings.
- If your claim is settled by mediation to the satisfaction of all parties including the UFAA program insurer, your deductible will be reduced by a maximum of 50% or $2,000.
These features are offered as an incentive for loss control not currently promoted in the Farmers sponsored program.
The UFAA program offers a tail endorsement covering all your agency business at a lesser cost as in comparison to the cost charged by the Farmers sponsored program for your non-Farmers policies alone for the typically purchased term of 5 years or less. The coverage you pay for in the UFAA program is not in any way dependent on your contract termination status with Farmers.
Agents transferring their agency under the Family rights provisions should submit their request in writing and upon approval; coverage will be transferred to the new agency owner at no additional cost while maintaining the prior retroactive date of coverage.
Named Insured’s in the Farmers sponsored program include: the Agency Force, District Managers and specifically endorsed entities and individuals outside of the Agency Force. Farmers Group, Inc. is the sponsoring entity and is a Vicariously Named Insured in the policy. The Named Insured of an insurance policy controls the application process, has access to loss data, may cancel the policy, receive notice and pay the premium. Farmer’s enjoys all rights that typically are Named Insured’s rights under the policy.
Specific endorsements grant Farmers exclusive coverage for the FFS unit (specifically excluding coverage to the agency force), internal Farmers insurance agencies such as Kraft Lake, and for claims against Farmers where the agent wrote a non-Farmers policy.
These factors in addition to the many Farmers subrogation claims against the agency force may act to increase the Farmers group sponsored program loss costs. All program premium costs are borne by the agency force as Farmers appears to pay no premium for its coverage exposures (per CA Department of Insurance rate filings).
The UFAA program excludes coverage for claims when you write policies with a self-insurance program or trust, whether AM Best rated or not. Unless a self-insurance program or trust has an AM Best rating of B+ or better, the Farmers sponsored program would exclude coverage from a claim related to financial insolvency.
The Farmers sponsored program now offers defense costs of up to $50,000 for claims otherwise excluded under the financial insolvency provision of its policy. Please refer to that policy for details.