Farmers Insurance Group was founded as Farmers Automobile Inter-Insurance Exchange in 1928 by Thomas Leavey and John Tyler. The first office was in Los Angeles, California where the company still has headquarters in a nearby suburb.
In 1935, the company launched a division specifically for truck insurance.
In 1942, the company launched a division specifically for home insurance.
In 1950, Mid-Century Insurance became a subsidiary of Farmers.
In 1953, the company acquired New World Life Insurance Co.
In 1988, Farmers was acquired by BATUS Inc. in a hostile takeover that took 8 months. Zurich Financial Services was created as a holding company for Farmers Insurance.
In recent years the company has acquired several larger insurers including Foremost Insurance Group in 2000, Bristol West Holdings in 2007 and 21st Century Insurance in 2009. Farmers Group, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Zurich Insurance Group Ltd.
Farmers is currently the third largest provider of consumer home and auto insurance in the US. They currently insurance over 20 million individual policies. As of 2016, the company has more than 48,000 exclusive and independent agents and approximately 13,000 employees.
Farmers began using Virtual Reality programs for training new claims adjusters in 2018.
In January 2019, 18 former Farmers agents sued the company for age discrimination.