State Farm Insurance

Company: State Farm Insurance

Founder: George J. Mecherle

Industry: Insurance and Finance

History:

Despite what the company’s name suggests, State Farm Insurance did not start as an enterprise insuring farm crops and other agricultural products. Founded by George J. Mecherle in 1922, State Farm initially operated as an automobile insurance company for farmers.

Mecherle was a salesman for an insurance company. He pitched the idea of offering more affordable rates for farmers, since they drove less and had low probability of getting involved in any vehicular accident. The insurance company that the founder worked for rejected his suggestion, prompting Mecherle to start his own insurance company.

State Farm’s policy of offering low-priced insurance plans persuaded a lot of auto owners who were non-farmers to purchase plans from Mecherle’s company. They would later include home/property and life insurance among their products. The company would also venture to other businesses, including investment banking. Listed below are the companies presently owned and managed by State Farm Insurance:

  • State Farm Fire and Casualty Company
  • State Farm Life Insurance Company
  • State Farm Life and Accident Assurance Company (New York/ Cincinnati/ Wisconsin)
  • State Farm County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas (Texas, Auto)
  • State Farm Indemnity Company / State Farm Guaranty Insurance Company (New Jersey, Auto)
  • State Farm General Insurance Company (California, Home)
  • State Farm Florida Insurance Company (Florida, Home)
  • State Farm Lloyds (Texas, Home/Commercial)
  • State Farm Bank, F.S.B.
  • State Farm Investment Management Corp.
  • State Farm VP Management Corp.

State Farm became a leading name in automobile insurance. By 1942, the insurance company reigned as United States’ top auto insurer. They have held the top spot ever since.

Leadership:

  • Edward B. Rust Jr.- Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
  • Gerald M. Czarnecki- Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Deltennium Group, Inc.
  • Christopher C. DeMuth – President, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Michael C. Davidson – Vice Chairman and Chief Agency and Marketing Officer, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
  • W.H. “Joe” Knight Jr.- Dean and Professor of Law, School of Law, University of Washington – Seattle
  • Judith A. Muhlberg – Consultant – Strategic Communications, Gagen MacDonald LLC
  • Susan M. Phillips – Dean – School of Business, Professor of Finance, George Washington University
  • Jerry I. Porras – Lane Professor Emeritus, Organizational Behavior and Change, Stanford University
  • James E. Rutrough – Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
  • Paul T. Stecko – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Packaging Corporation of America
  • Pamela B. Strobel – Retired Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Exelon Corporation
  • Vincent J. Trosino – President, Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chairman, State Farm Mutual Automobile Company (1998-2006)
  • John D. Zeglis – Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AT&T Wireless
  • Trivia: State Farm Insurance is the first auto insurer to promote a feature film – CARS, an animated motion picture from Disney/Pixar.

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