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News Release

New Jersey Department of
Banking and Insurance


Commissioner Tom Considine

For Immediate Release:
February 1, 2012

For Further Information:
Ed Rogan or Marshall McKnight (609) 292-5064



Lieutenant Governor Guadagno and Commissioner Considine
Welcome Farmers Insurance Group to the Garden State


CHERRY HILL Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) Commissioner Tom Considine welcomed Farmers Insurance Group to New Jersey this week. Guadagno and Considine visited Farmers' AgencyPoint®, a 28,000 square foot facility in Cherry Hill, where the property and casualty insurer is hiring and training agents. Citing the Christie Administration’s pro-business policies as a primary motivating factor, Farmers executives told Guadagno that the insurer has decided to expand into New Jersey. Between the two AgencyPoint® facilities located in New Jersey, where Farmers now employs approximately 50, the company plans to recruit and train about 150-200 agents annually for the next four or five years.

“The commitment of Farmers Insurance Group is further proof that our Administration’s proactive approach to economic development is working,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “Farmers now joins many other companies that have taken note of New Jersey’s improved business climate.”

 
From left to right: Dan J. Schrock, Vice President of AgencyPoint®, Farmers Insurance Group, Inc., Banking and Insurance Commissioner Tom Considine and Dennis E. Lusk, Director of AgencyPoint® South Jersey, Farmers Insurance Group, listen as Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, center, welcomes Farmers Insurance Group to New Jersey.

Just two years into the Christie Administration, New Jersey has added about 60,000 new private sector jobs and attracted scores of companies. In 2011, New Jersey saw the best private sector job growth year since 2000.

“The Christie Administration is the most pro-business administration in at least a generation,” said Considine. “The property and casualty industry has a friend and strong ally in Trenton. The list of the Christie Administration’s accomplishments so far is impressive and lengthy and to that you can add the attraction of Farmers Insurance Group to New Jersey.”

The Department approved Farmers to begin writing private passenger auto insurance last October. The company also writes homeowners policies here. Farmers is the nation’s ninth largest property and casualty writer, the third largest homeowners writer, and the fifth largest private passenger automobile writer. The carrier employs more than 14,000 exclusive agents throughout the United States.

“Some people asked, why New Jersey? And we simply said from day one…what we saw was a partnership. And they saw that in us,” said Dan Schrock, Head of AgencyPoint® for Farmers Insurance Group, Inc. “We liked what we saw in New Jersey. We like that the state was interested in our success. We realized very early in the process, if we had questions, they got us the answers.”

Schrock said that its decision to enter New Jersey was also based in part on the Department’s personal injury protection (PIP) regulatory reform proposal, DOBI’s quick turnaround on rate filings, and the overall elimination of burdensome regulations by the Christie Administration brought about by the ongoing bipartisan Red Tape Review Commission, which is chaired by Lt. Governor Guadagno.

“The 10% across-the-board income tax cut we’ve proposed will further enhance our competitiveness and provides a stark contrast to neighboring states that have or plan to raise taxes,” added Lt. Governor Guadagno. “The momentum is clearly with us as New Jersey moves forward into 2012.”

In addition to AgencyPoint® South Jersey, Farmers operates a distribution office in Parsippany in North Jersey. It will write business with exclusive Farmers agents who will train at the South and North Jersey facilities for their first year and then will locate their businesses around the state. Farmers’ expansion will also include a claims handling operation in Mt. Laurel. The company said it plans to hire 12 new adjusters per year.

“We are very excited to have Farmers as part of the New Jersey Comeback,” said Commissioner Considine. “Farmers is a great company and a great brand.”

Farmers Insurance was founded in 1928 and began as a company that catered to agriculture and ranching risks. Early in its history, the company appealed to entrepreneurs by marketing its Farmers Agency network as the “greatest small business opportunity in America.”

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