State Farm is hard to figure out. They say one thing and often do another. When you finally get to the decision makers, there is usually some logic to why they do things despite disagreement from consumers or regulators. State Farm’s announcement that it was leaving the Florida property market really has me wondering–"what’s up?" From what I read and hear, I am not the only one.
The number of building policies affected is estimated to be between 800,000 and 950,000. Only Citizens Property Insurance Corporation insures more structures in Florida. Approximately 1.2 million total policies will be phased out by State Farm over two years. Under Florida law, State Farm has to file a plan to remove itself from Florida. Kevin McCarty, of the Office of Insurance Regulation, will then step into the picture to evaluate and investigate State Farm’s actions.
McCarty has taken a very calm ‘wait and see’ attitude. Very smart. He knows that State Farm does not just announce leaving a market without a strategic plan in place to help its overall position throughout the country and in Florida.
State Farm is an extremely effective propagandist. State Farm’s internal manuals make clear that it uses employees and agents to influence politicians and media representatives. It places snippets of information, some truthful facts and quotes with the media, trying to influence what it wants to be read and heard. It uses lobbyists and politicians favorable towards it to influence other leaders.
State Farm’s business plan involves government action. It seeks regulations and laws favorable to it and which often support common interests with other insurers (Allstate and Nationwide) in the property and casualty business.
The people at State Farm in Bloomington — not Florida — that made this decision think about the ramifications of these important decisions in a very global context. They want State Farm to remain the dominant player in the personal lines insurance market, and use propagandists and lobbyists to make it so. When subtle propaganda does not work, it can also be a bully. It uses shock and threatening actions against those not in agreement.
McCarty should thoroughly investigate State Farm’s true agenda and strategic desires through his ability to analyze the removal plan. A detailed investigation by his office may reveal the truth of State Farm’s long term goals and uncover how it orchestrated this last action in the press and in Tallahassee. If State Farm truly has honest information in its internal memos and plans for its latest actions which suggest that it is in peril, it should have no problem allowing Florida to scan its computers verifying those facts.
Until then, we will hear sob stories about the Sate Farm agents and employees who are being hurt. We will hear stories about the poor policyholders (I am one of them) that will be forced to look for insurance. We will hear cries that Florida regulators forced this decision because they are unfair. We will hear every excuse in the world through a stream of public relations media ploys that are simply propaganda intended to convince us to accept the power of State Farm.
It has a lot of power because it has an army of people it financially supports to carry out this mission.
Corporations only exist because humans allow them to. These fictitious entities, by law, are generally under state charters requiring them to promote social welfare as well as profit. Because they never die, these fictitious entities can accumulate vast wealth which can then be used to influence how government and society should be run.
Power is vested in State Farm because laws exist which allow fictitious, non-voting entities to contribute to politicians and lobby human leaders. State Farm is openly challenging our leaders at this very moment through its announcement. It will use all its power and propaganda to get what it wants regardless of whether it is in the best interests of policyholders, agents, employees and people in general.
God bless Kevin McCarty and other strong leaders caring for us. State Farm does not worry about God because, unlike the rest of us, it is never going to heaven or hell.