Billing Questions

Who do I contact if I have a question about my bill?

Your Independent Agent should be your first contact for any questions about your policy.  If you are unable to reach your Agent, you may reach our Account Services Department at 908-782-4120, Option 1 and we will be happy to assist you.

What methods of payment do you accept?

We accept checks, e-checks, money orders, Visa/MasterCard/Discover credit cards and Visa/MasterCard debit cards. Payments can be made:

  • Online: Click here to pay online (Recommended)
  • Phone: Call 1-800-842-5032 and Dial 1 for the Account Services Department  weekdays between 8:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M
  • Mail: Farmers Insurance Company of Flemington, 23 Royal Road, Suite 500, Flemington, NJ 08822

When submitting your payment by mail:

  • Allow at least 7 business days for regular mail
  • Use the return envelope provided with your bill
  • Be sure to put your policy number on your check
  • Do not send cash
  • Be sure to sign your check

How will refunds be handled?

All refunds for cancellations, endorsements, and overpayments will be sent by check to the policyholder via regular mail.

Online Payment Questions

What internet browser do I need?

We actively support Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari, but most browsers should allow functionality for making payments.

Is paying on-line safe?

Making payments on-line is actually safer and more dependable than paying by mail. This system uses modern encryption technology to ensure that only those approved by you can have access to your confidential information.

Why is my e-mail address required on the payment page?

Your e-mail address is used to send you a confirmation of your payment or notify you of problems processing your payment.

How will I know my payment has been received?

After you have submitted your payment, a confirmation notice appears on the screen as well as one sent to your email address. Initially, your online invoice will display the payment status as “Pending”. Once the transaction has been completed between the financial institutions, your payment status will change to “PAID” – this usually takes no longer than 48 hours.

Is there a fee for making online payments?

No.   We cover the transaction fee charged by the bank.

Will I have access to past invoices and payment histories?

Yes. For users of our “Pay Now” option, the last 5 invoices and payments will be available; for “Enrolled” users, we maintain 24 months of invoices and payments.

Can I pay any amount?

You can pay the installment amount or the total amount due.

What happens if I make my payment on a weekend or holiday?

Your payment will be processed and posted on the next banking business day.

What occurs if I obtain a message alerting me my payment was not processed?

Successful submissions will be confirmed on the screen and via e-mail. Problems with payment submission will prompt an immediate alert on the screen and you will be informed that your payment did not process. You will be given a reason for the failed submission, i.e., incorrect account information; approval was not obtained from your financial institution, etc. Once you are alerted of the reason for the error, make the necessary correction(s) and resubmit payment. If we receive a chargeback from your financial institution, you will be assessed a $30.00 fee.

Claims Questions

How long will my claim take?

Every claim is unique, and there are many different factors that could affect how long it takes to resolve your claim.  Our goal is to resolve each claim as quickly and efficiently as possible.

What's a Deductible?

A deductible is the amount of money a policyholder must pay out-of-pocket toward damages or a loss before their insurance company will pay for a claim. You do not actually pay your deductible to your insurance company like you would a premium or bill.  If you file a claim and it is covered, the deductible is subtracted from the amount claimed.  For example, say you have a $500 deductible and you file a claim for $10,000. Your insurance company would pay you $9,500 for that claim.

Why is my mortgage company listed as a Payee on my settlement check?

The mortgage company is listed on the building payment because they have a financial interest in your property. Your insurance policy is a contract, that requires us to include your mortgage company’s name on any settlement check involving the building or other structure. Contact your mortgage company to determine what their requirements are for securing their endorsement.

The accident wasn't my fault. Will I have to pay my deductible?

Yes.  You will be responsible for any applicable deductible regardless of who is at fault for the loss.  However, if you are not at fault, we will seek reimbursement from the liable party on your behalf.   This process is called Subrogation.   If we recover any of the damages we paid, you will receive the same proportion of your deductible back.  So, if we recover 100% your full deductible will be refunded to you.

What should I do if I receive notice of a claim against me?

You should report the claim immediately and provide a copy of any documents you have received notifying you of the claim. You should not discuss the circumstances surrounding the claim with anyone other than your attorney or a representative of your insurance company.

Is my claim covered?

Your policy provides you with broad protection against many types of unexpected losses.  The best way to determine if your claim is covered is to read and understand your policy.   If you believe your loss is covered, you should file a claim.  Our Claims Team will investigate the facts surrounding the loss and your specific coverage to determine if your claim is covered.

My business did not sustain any damage, but the power was out so we had to close. Do I have coverage for lost business income under my BOP policy?

Generally, there is no coverage for loss of business income under the BOP policy unless there is a direct physical loss to the property or to a neighboring property that prevents your business from opening.  The direct physical loss must be caused by a covered peril as described in the policy, such as fire or wind damage.    A power outage is not a direct physical loss to the property so coverage would not be triggered.

If your business utilizes refrigerated stock such as food or other perishables there is supplemental coverage under the BOP that may respond to a loss due to spoilage.

Our optional Business Income – Off Premises Loss of Utility Service Coverage endorsement provides limited coverage for income loss due to power outage.  If you purchased this endorsement, you will see FBU 0231 06/14 listed on your Declarations Page.   You may click here to view the endorsement.

My claim was denied. What recourse do I have if I don't agree with your decision?

We understand that having your claim denied is not the outcome you were expecting or you wouldn’t have filed the claim in the first place.   We do our best to treat all our Policyholders fairly and we try to provide a clear and detailed explanation any time we must deny a claim.   That said, nobody is perfect.

If we made a mistake and adjusted your claim unfairly, we’d like a chance to make it right, which is why Farmers maintains an internal appeals panel consisting of three individuals who do not work for the claims department.   This panel has the authority to overrule the claims decision if they find it to be unfair or improper. If you do not agree with our evaluation of your claim, you may have the Panel review it by submitting a written request to:

Farmers Insurance Company of Flemington, Internal Appeals Panel
23 Royal Road, Suite 100, Flemington, NJ 08822
Fax: 908-782-6899
ClaimsAppeal@farmersofflemington.com

When preparing your appeal, please explain why you don’t agree with our evaluation of your claim and be sure to tell the Panel why any specific policy language cited in our denial letter does not apply.  Also, please include any documentation that you would like the Panel to consider in support of your appeal.  The Panel will review the entire claim and notify you of its decision within 15 business days of our receipt of your request.

If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Appeal Panel, you have another layer of protection.  You may contact the Office of the Insurance Ombudsman at:

The Office of the Insurance Ombudsman
NJ Department of Banking and Insurance
20 West State Street
PO Box 472
Trenton NJ 08625-0472
1-800-446-7467
FAX: 609-292-2431
E-mail: ombudsman@dobi.nj.gov
Web: https://www.nj.gov/dobi/ombuds.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will find more information on requesting assistance from the NJ Insurance Department on their website here: https://www.state.nj.us/dobi/consumer.htm#insurance

Is my Homeowners policy the same as a maintenance contract or home warranty?

No.  Homeowners insurance is designed to protect against a wide variety of unexpected losses such as fire, windstorm, or a burglary.  It does not cover maintenance items, or wear and tear.   The best way to understand what your policy covers is to read it carefully.

What if I have an emergency situation and need repairs immediately?

For emergency repairs, like when a water line breaks in your home, you should undertake all reasonable and necessary measures to protect your property from further damage. Save all receipts and invoices for this work and take multiple photographs throughout the process.

If you sustained a serious loss such as a fire, a serious plumbing leak or severe structural damage and you need help with relocation or restoration services, you can reach our after-hours claims emergency center at (866) 631-9153.

If you need to hire a restoration service and don’t know who to call, click here for a list of providers our Policyholders have used on prior claims.   You are not limited to this list and you may choose any licensed provider you wish.

Do I need to file a police report?

If you are involved in an accident or are the victim of a crime, you will need to file a police report at the time of the incident. This is particularly helpful for claims involving injury, when multiple parties are involved, or when fault is unclear.   It may be helpful to photograph the scene of a loss so your Claims Adjuster can better assess what happened.

Where do I find information about NJ Personal Injury Protection Claims?

For information regarding your PIP claim, please contact your Independent Agent or your Claim Representative.

A copy of Farmers Insurance Company of Flemington’s Decision Point Review Plan can be found here:  Farmers of Flemington DPR Plan

Our PIP Application can be downloaded here:  PIP Application

An Affidavit of No Insurance is mandatory for anyone other than our Named Insured who wishes to file a PIP claim under our Policy.  It can be downloaded here:  Affidavit of No Insurance

For Medical Providers:
The NJDOBI maintains a library of relevant information and mandatory forms at: PIP Information for Health Care Providers

I believe I have been the victim of identity theft. Can Farmers help me?

If you have a Home, Condo or Renters policy with Farmers of Flemington, you are automatically provided with access to free Identity Theft Resolution services from CyberScout, America’s premier provider of identity services.  If you believe your identity has been compromised, give us a call at (800) 842-5032 and our claims team will connect you to a fraud specialist who will work with you to get your identity restored.

Click here to learn more about our ID Theft resolution services from CyberScout.

My identity has been compromised. What about the costs I incur to get it restored?

Our identity resolution service is free to all Home, Condo and Renter Policyholders.  However, other costs may be incurred such as legal fees, costs for monitoring services, certified mail costs, lost earnings, loan or grant application fees, notary costs, and so forth.  These are not covered under a standard policy.

If you purchased our optional Identity Theft Expense Coverage endorsement then coverage is available for many of these costs up to the limit stated in your policy.  Be sure to report the matter to us immediately and before incurring any restoration charges since pre-approval of certain expenses is required by the policy.

Underwriting Questions

Will Farmers conduct an inspection of my property as part of the Underwriting process?

Yes, as part of our normal underwriting process, we inspect every new property we insure.  This is done so we can verify the information we have received about the property and to ensure there are no obvious hazards or conditions at the premises that would require a change in premium or make the property ineligible for coverage with us.

If our inspection reveals any hazards that need to be corrected in order for us to continue insuring the property, we will notify you through your Independent Agent.  We will explain the nature of the hazard and what needs to be done to correct it.   Don’t worry, you will have a reasonable amount of time to correct the hazard, though the length of time will vary depending on the severity of the problem.

In some cases, we may identify an issue that makes the property ineligible for coverage with us.  If that happens, we will provide you and your Independent Agent with a notice of cancellation as described in your policy and NJ Insurance Department regulations.  If cancellation becomes necessary, we recommend you arrange for replacement coverage with your Agent right away.

The sole purpose of our inspection and any recommendations for correcting hazards is to satisfy our requirements for insurability.  Our Underwriting inspection is not a safety or code inspection and it may not identify all hazards present.   Under no circumstances, do we certify or represent in any way that the premises or operations are safe and free from hazard, or that you meet the requirements of any state law, code or ordinance.

Will Farmers insure my premises if I have a trampoline?

No.  Properties with trampolines are not eligible for coverage.  Trampolines are inherently dangerous and their use often results in serious injuries, particularly to children, for which the homeowner may be held liable.   Trampolines send over 100,000 people to the hospital every year.  Typical injuries range anywhere from sprains and bruises to broken bones, concussions, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis and even death.  The significant risk involved with the use of trampolines coupled with the hyper-litigious environment in New Jersey makes them a risk we are unwilling to underwrite.

For more information on the dangers of trampolines, here are a few references:

Article: Hidden Dangers of Trampolines

Article: Surprising Dangers of Trampolines for Kids

Pediatrics Journal – Study on Trampoline Safety in Childhood and Adolescence

Article: Doctors Warn About Trampolines

Article: Backyard Dangers – Trampolines

Article: Trampolines Not Worth the Risk

American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons: Trampoline Injuries

Farmers sent me a Water Damage Loss Control Agreement for my secondary/seasonal property and I have a few questions

Q:  I have never shut my water off before and have never had a problem.  Why is the company now asking me to take steps to prevent my pipes from freezing?

A:   In recent years we have tracked an increasing frequency and severity of pipe freeze losses, particularly in our Secondary and Seasonal properties.   Since those properties are often unoccupied for long periods of time during the winter months, pipes that burst will continue pumping water into the premises causing catastrophic damage.  In 2014, the winter damages we incurred were equivalent to the losses we sustained in hurricane Irene.   Combined freeze losses between 2014 and 2018 had a greater impact on our Policyholders Surplus than Hurricane Sandy!  The worst part of it is, all these losses could have been avoided if the property owners had taken some very simple steps to prevent them, such as turning off the water to the property before leaving.

In order for us to keep premiums down and continue to insure secondary and seasonal properties, we need our Policyholders’ cooperation to mitigate these easily preventable, but very costly losses.

 

Q:  I’m confused.   What exactly does unoccupied mean?

A:    In this context, if you will not be returning to the property on a daily basis it is considered unoccupied.

Example:  The Policyholder visits the secondary property on weekends throughout the winter months, but does not stay there during the week.  The property is considered unoccupied during the week.  The proper action for the Policyholder is to shut the water off and ensure the heat is set to at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit when leaving at the end of each visit.

Example:  The Policyholder leaves for Florida in October and returns in May.  The property is unoccupied the entire time.

 

Q.  I hire a caretaker to check in on the property.  Isn’t that good enough?

A:  If you hire a property management firm to care for your property while you are away, we may be able to make an exception.   There would need to be a written contract and the caretaker must have proper liability insurance in place.  Any exception would depend on what the caretaker’s responsibilities and accountabilities are under the contract.  Please advise your Agent of your situation and they will discuss it with our Underwriter.

I want to prepare my Seasonal or Secondary property for winter to prevent the pipes from freezing using Option 1 on my loss control agreement. How do I go about it?

This depends somewhat on your particular plumbing system so if you have any questions, you should consult a licensed plumber.  If you have a water-based heating system such as radiant baseboard heat or steam heat, you will need to retain a licensed HVAC professional to properly winterize your property.

For anyone with a non-water based heating system such as forced air, the process is quite simple:

First,  set your water heater to “vacation” mode then locate your main shutoff valve.  It will typically look something like this:

Next, shut off the valve completely.  If the valve is stuck, do not force it.  Contact a plumber for assistance.

Once you have shut off the main valve, the pressure will be off to the plumbing system.  Now it is time to drain the pipes.

Starting on the highest floor of the house and working your way down, open all faucets including tubs and showers.  Flush all toilets and hold the handle down to drain as much water as possible. Don’t forget to open your outside hose spigots as well (hoses should be removed for the winter).  These are often the lowest faucets and will allow for the maximum amount of water to be drained from the system.  Once all the water is drained, close all the faucets.  Turn off any ice makers, humidifiers or other appliances that may call for water while the system is shut down.

That’s it — you’re done!

Remember to leave your thermostat set to at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit while the property is unoccupied.   Use a higher setting if the property is poorly insulated.

 

NOTE:  This process is not intended to be a complete winterization of the property.  There will still be some water left in the pipes and the water heater tank as well as toilet bowls and appliances like dishwashers.  If the heat fails or the temperature is set too low, it is still possible to have a freeze loss even after taking these steps, but since the water supply is turned off, water won’t continue to pump into the house causing major damage.

Some additional steps may be taken to further protect from plumbing losses.  These include blowing out the pipes with compressed air to remove all water, draining the water heater, and adding anti-freeze to drains and traps.   We are not asking our Policyholders to perform these extra steps, but here is a video explaining the process for anyone interested in doing a little bit extra to protect their investment:  This Old House – Winterize Pipes

 

This is intended to provide a general overview to illustrate how simple it is to protect the average home from frozen pipes in the off-season.  The information provided is illustrative only and does not consititute expert advice, nor is it intended to apply to every possible circumstance, many of which will be unique.  Please consult a licensed plumber to ensure you follow the process that is appropriate for your property.  Thanks and we hope this helps you keep your premises safe and loss-free this winter!

I know I received my policy, but I can't locate it. Can you send me another copy?

If you are looking for a Personal Lines policy (Home, Renter, Condo, Combination Dwelling), you can access your policy via our online portal located here.

Commercial Lines policies have not yet been added to our new system.   If you need a complete or certified copy of a Commercial Lines policy, please contact your Independent Agent to facilitate the process.   If you just wish to review a particular policy form that is listed on your Declarations page, we have a convenient Policy Forms Library located here.

 

 

Disclaimer:  These questions and answers are not intended to be exhaustive and do not constitute financial, legal or professional advice.   The information, however, is intended to be helpful and informative.  We hope it will assist you to ask the right questions or help determine whether you have a need for professional advice.