If you’re shopping for specialty insurance like mobile home or motorcycle coverage, you may come across Foremost Insurance. This company provides policies for RVs, boats, manufactured homes, motorcycles, and other recreational vehicles.
But you may notice Foremost’s website and materials mention an affiliation with Farmers Insurance. So are Foremost and Farmers the same company? Or just related somehow?
The connection between Foremost and Farmers Insurance is common source of confusion. In this article, we’ll explain the relationship between these two insurance providers.
Is Foremost Part of Farmers Insurance?
Foremost Insurance is a wholly owned subsidiary of Farmers Insurance Group. Foremost operates as part of the larger Farmers insurance family of companies.
Foremost Insurance Company was founded in 1952 to provide specialty policies not widely available through standard insurers at the time.
In 2000, Foremost was acquired by Farmers Group Inc., one of the largest U.S. insurers. This made Foremost part of the Farmers Insurance Group.
Foremost continues to operate as a specialty insurer under the Farmers brand today. Foremost maintains its own identity and expertise in recreational vehicles while benefiting from Farmers’ financial strength and resources.
So in short—yes, Foremost is part of Farmers Insurance through common ownership while still remaining operationally distinct.
What Companies Make Up Farmers Insurance?
Farmers Insurance Group is comprised of three core companies that provide the majority of Farmers-branded insurance policies:
Farmers Insurance Exchange – This is an insurance exchange, which means policies are provided by member policyholders who share risks and surpluses. Farmers Exchanges handles auto, home, and business insurance.
Fire Insurance Exchange – This is a second insurance exchange focused on commercial policies like business owner’s insurance.
Farmers Group Inc. – This company manages the insurance exchanges and provides administrative services. Farmers Group Inc. owns subsidiaries like Foremost that expand available specialty insurance options.
Some other affiliates and subsidiaries are also part of the large Farmers Insurance collective, including:
- Farmers Reinsurance Company
- Farmers Services Corp.
- Farmers Financial Solutions
- Bristol West Insurance Company
- Future Farmers of America Insurance Company
But most policyholders interact with one of the core three insurance exchanges or subsidiaries like Foremost Insurance under the Farmers brand.
What Types of Insurance Does Foremost Offer?
While Farmers Insurance provides extensive auto, home, life, business, and financial service offerings, Foremost specializes in niche property insurance including:
Manufactured home insurance – Foremost pioneered mobile home insurance back in 1952 and insures over 1 million manufactured homes today.
Motorcycle insurance – Foremost has offered motorcycle coverage since 2000 and is endorsed by AARP for a special motorcycle program.
Classic car insurance – Foremost’s specialty auto insurance handles collector cars through an affiliation with J.C. Taylor.
ATV insurance – Foremost offers insurance for all-terrain vehicles, recreational off-road vehicles, and golf carts.
Boat insurance – Yacht and boat policies are available from Foremost for the watercraft enthusiasts.
Travel trailer insurance – Foremost provides insurance for towable RVs including travel trailers, 5th wheels, and campers.
In addition to niche vehicles, Foremost also offers specialty homeowners insurance for landlord/rental properties, vacant dwellings, condos, and seasonal homes not covered by a standard homeowner’s policy.
Foremost essentially fills in the gaps of recreational vehicle, manufactured home, and specialty property coverage that a major insurer like Farmers may not provide.
Is Foremost Only for Specialty Insurance?
In addition to Foremost’s specialty insurance focus, the company has expanded into some standard personal lines as well thanks to Farmers’ corporate relationships:
Automobile insurance – In 2007, Farmers acquired Bristol West insurance company. Through this, Foremost can now offer Bristol West-branded auto insurance.
Homeowners insurance – In 2019, Foremost launched a new standard home insurance product called Foremost Choice Property & Casualty for owner-occupied dwellings.
So in recent years, Foremost has started to complement its specialty niche policies with more traditional auto and home insurance—but recreational vehicle, manufactured home, landlord, and vacant dwelling coverage remains the company’s specialty.
How are Farmers and Foremost Insurance Policies Sold?
Both Farmers and Foremost sell insurance primarily through a network of exclusive, captive insurance agents. This means the agents only sell policies from Farmers Insurance Group companies.
Farmers develops these captive agents under the well-known Farmers Insurance University agent training program. Agents selling Foremost Insurance policies receive specialized Foremost training to provide knowledgeable customer service for the niche policies.
Nationwide, Farmers Insurance Group (including Foremost) is represented by around 50,000 licensed insurance agents. These agents have access to the full range of both Farmers and Foremost insurance offerings to meet customer needs.
Some agents may specialize more heavily in Foremost’s specialty insurance due to local market demand while others focus more on traditional Farmers auto and home coverage—but the captive agency force sells policies across both brands.
How are Farmers and Foremost Policies Rated and Priced?
Farmers Insurance Exchange and Fire Insurance Exchange operate using a mutual structure. They essentially are owned by policyholders rather than investors.
These exchanges are the ones that develop the shared rating algorithms and pricing models used primarily for Farmers branded standard auto and home insurance.
Foremost Insurance Company policies are priced based on actuarial principles and rate filings specific to their specialty insurance niche and historical loss data. But there is collaboration across the Farmers umbrella.
The different companies under Farmers leverage shared data, analytics, and pricing best practices. But they maintain autonomy over product development and pricing suitable to their niche or region.
Is Farmers the Insurer or the Insurance Agency?
Given the various affiliated companies and insurance exchanges, a common point of confusion is whether “Farmers” refers to the insurance carriers themselves or the network of insurance agents.
Farmers Insurance Exchange and its partner exchanges comprise the insurance company entity that issue policies and handle claims.
Farmers Group Inc. provides administrative services and management of the insurer.
The Farmers Insurance branded agencies sell the insurance products as local representatives of the insurance exchanges.
So next time your local agent’s sign says “Farmers Insurance”, that is referring to the agency and agents. The policy itself will be issued by the insurer entity, which includes options from Farmers, Foremost, Bristol West, or another subsidiary.
Is Farmers Insurance Group Publicly Traded?
Farmers Insurance Exchange and its partner insurance exchanges operate using a “reciprocal” structure. This is essentially a form of mutual insurance, meaning the policyholders own the insurer cooperatively.
Neither Farmers Insurance Exchange nor Foremost Insurance Company are publicly traded corporations. There is no stock or shareholders.
Farmers Group Inc., the administrative entity, is owned by Zurich Insurance Group – one of the world’s largest insurance conglomerates. But the insurance entities themselves remain privately owned by policyholders under the reciprocal structure.
The Bottom Line: Foremost and Farmers Relationship
While it takes some untangling, Foremost Insurance operates as a specialty subsidiary within the larger umbrella of Farmers Insurance Group.
Foremost issues distinct policies for manufactured homes, motorcycles, boats, and other niche insurance markets. Their expertise is recreational vehicle and specialty property coverage.
The Foremost affiliation with Farmers happened relatively recently in 2000. But Foremost maintains its own identity, leadership team, and specialty insurance focus while benefiting from Farmers’ financial strength and large agent network.
So Foremost insurance is indeed part of Farmers Insurance – they are under common ownership. But Foremost remains operationally separate as the specialty insurance brand within the family of companies.
This structure gives Foremost the best of both worlds – standalone specialty insurance expertise combined with the resources of one of the country’s largest personal insurance providers.
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