State Farm Insurance
After 34 years of having State Farm carry his homeowner's insurance, Gary Atkinson mentioned to his agent that he was out back shooting on his private range. For this State Faarm cancelled his homeowner's policy. Gary bent over backwards trying to reach an amicable agreement with State Farm to prevent the loss of his coverage including offering to insure the separately deeded piece of land that the range was located on with another company. State Farm refused to discuss any compromise and refused to show Mr. Atkinson written guidelines indicating that his private range was a higher risk.
As a State Farm customer myself I wrote to them to inquire further into this matter. This is the reply I got back:
From: HOME PUBLICAFFAIRS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Please include the following line in any e-mail
correspondence regarding this issue:
Dear Mr. Mase,
Thank you for your e-mail about this issue. Protecting the privacy of our policyholder prevents us from discussing specific customer situations, but we can give you general information about this topic.
State Farm insures millions of gun owners, likely the most of any insurer in the United States -- many of whom are our own agents and employees. Our Homeowners policy gives our customers property and liability coverage for certain losses related to guns. Many customers specifically insure their guns under a policy called a Personal Articles Policy. Beyond that, our Personal Liability Umbrella policies give customers additional liability coverage for certain claims related to guns and their use by the policyholders
Our homeowners underwriting guidelines allow for normal recreational shooting and hunting activities for policyholders. Deciding whether to provide or continue insurance coverage involves looking at every situation (risk) on its own merits. When the risk goes beyond our expectations of normal recreational shooting, it may become necessary to stop insuring that risk. Again, a reasonable level of shooting activity would be within the parameters of our underwriting guidelines for providing homeowners insurance.
State Farm works very hard to earn and keep the business of its customers; it is a very serious matter when we feel we must end a relationship with a policyholder. Our insurance underwriting decisions are based on the individual facts at hand and the level of risk involved.
We hope this information demonstrates that State Farm is not opposed to the ownership and use of firearms.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond.
After reading their PR spin, I wrote back to them for further clarification, specifically asking them if any of the story is true. They have not replied. On June 13, 2001 I cancelled my automobile coverage with State Farm. To find out more about Gary Atkinson's side of the story click here. To send State Farm your own comments, click here