State Farm Insurance Company
The All-American Dream is a topic that Americans love and admire. This is because it animates the theme that in life, all good things do not come easy, and that a journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step. One such story started with a young man of 22, George J. Mecherle (pronounced Maherl), who was a humble, hardworking landowner and farmer near Bloomington, Illinois. At the turn of the century in 1901, he married Edith Mae Perry and together, they eventually built one of the most productive farmsteads in the region.
However, 20 years of toil took its toll on Mrs. Mecherle's health, which had gradually deteriorated and prompted the couple to move away from the rural farmlands into Bloomington. Restless, Mr. Mecherle started to sell insurance. The same work ethic that made him a successful farmer also made him a good insurance salesman. However, Mr. Mecherle believed that the insurance rates and business practices of large insurance companies did not fairly benefit farmers and help them to survive.
Mr. Mecherle approached his bosses and proposed what he believed was a more mutually beneficial system for both the insurance company and the farmers. Since farmers lived in rural areas, he believed that they drove less and were, therefore, less likely to get into a car accident than people living in more congested cities. Therefore, he believed that a farmer's insurance premiums should be less than a city driver's. Mr. Mecherle was thinking out of the box because his bosses didn't take him seriously. They received his ideas by saying, "If you think you've figured out a better way than we've been doing things for years, maybe you should start your own insurance company."
Again, Mr. Mecherle applied his farmer's determination and hard work by founding State Farm in 1922, which was a mutual automobile insurance company owned by its policyholders. Within the next six years, the company expanded, as employees were hired from Berkeley, CA, to form their first branch office. This decentralization was designed to support the field agents so they could better provide insurance services closer to the policyholders, thus improving their product through more personal customer service.
From such humble beginnings, State Farm has grown to 25 operations centers in 13 zones across the United States and Canada. This translates to over 79,000 employees with 16,700 field agents to service 71.6 million policies in the both countries!
Despite growing into one of the largest auto insurance companies in the world in a little over 80 years, State Farm has held firm to Mr. Mecherle's vision. Today, State Farm Auto Insurance has reached that 1,000 mile marker, as it continues to provide auto insurance coverage at fair insurance rates that are also covered by fair claims settlements.
One of State Farms competitors is Amica Insurance
1 State Farm Plaza
Bloomington, IL 61710-0001