About State Farm
State Farm was founded in 1922 by George Jacob “G.J.” Mecherle, a retired farmer and insurance salesman. The code of conduct for the company has always been “to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams.” From the start, the company was branded as being “Like a good neighbor” and for “being there” for all State Farm customers. Fittingly, the State Farm agent in the television commercials is Patrick Minnis, a real State Farm insurance agent from Tempe, AZ. In 1971, Barry Manilow wrote the famous State Farm jingle that cemented the company’s brand as a helpful neighbor and Weezer covered the famous jingle in 2011.
As a pillar of the community, State Farms has helped pass several seat belt laws over the years and the company continues to champion seat belts and safe driving for teens. In partnership with several U.S highway authorities, State Farm operates a service called the State Farm Safety Patrol, which provides free roadside assistance for fuel refills, radiator refills, engine oil refills and more. The State Farm Safety Patrol personnel are also CPR and AED certified in case drivers are found to be unresponsive. In giving back to local communities, State Farm also has a disaster preparedness and recovery programs and services in place to help people. State Farm actively supports communities by sponsoring programs about homeownership, neighborhood safety and highway safety.
Originally, State Farm was a single-line auto insurance provider, but today they offer about 100 insurance products and services in 5 lines of insurance. As a mutual insurance firm, it ranked #36 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest U.S. corporations. It is the largest property and casualty insurance provider in the country and the largest auto insurance provider as well. State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S. and is the leading insurer of watercraft. Since 1999, State Farm has been expanding its financial services, which include banking and mutual funds.
As of 2017, State Farm has 70,000 employees and 48,000 agents. They have the largest agency pool of any company, with agents serving 83 million policies and accounts throughout the U.S. As the largest insurer in the U.S. State Farm, released an ad featuring basketball stars James Harden and Chris Paul from the Houston Rockets and actor Oscar Nunez of “The Office” to make fun of the idea of robots taking over insurance. An overt attack on technology, it was also a soft kick at Lemonade, a (comparatively tiny) rival in the insurance world, which uses technology instead of manpower to pay out claims. Not only did Lemonade fire back, accusing the giant insurance carrier of feeling threatened by insurtech but they also sponsored the State Farm ads claiming that “today we’re making history. We’re running and paying for our competitor’s attacks ads – we’ve decided to pick up the tab and run it on our own dime.” These ads went viral and backfired against State Farm.