Navigating a Hard Insurance Market

Hard Insurance Market

Since 2019, the insurance market has firmed, creating many challenges for the insurance industry. It’s been a difficult time for the insurance industry as a whole, and like other insurance companies, Farmers Alliance is making changes that affect both our policyholders and our agents. We’re doing our best to make sure our agents are informed about the changes we are making and why we have to make them, so that they can communicate that with their customers. Here is some general information we’re sharing with our agents to prepare them for those conversations.

What is causing the hard insurance market?

The insurance industry has been experiencing many unprecedented changes simultaneously over the past several years.

  • Weather events over the past five years have generated record losses for the insurance industry, and the premiums collected were not adequate
  • The reinsurance companies that have provided the backstop for large losses have seen the same results and are unwilling or unable to continue to provide coverage.
  • The inflation rates for repairing damaged property have grown exponentially over the past several years, adding to the cost of losses.
  • The financial markets, including interest rates and equities, have been very volatile, reducing the income needed for insurance companies to offset the increase in losses.

How long will the hard insurance market last?

The insurance market will likely continue to be in its current state for several years.

How is the hard insurance market affecting policyholders?

Insurance companies must shift more of the exposure to loss to policyholders by means of higher premiums and coverage reductions to remain solvent.

  • The frequency and severity of weather events over the past several years, combined with the growing cost of repairs due to inflation and volatility in the financial markets, have generated a record number of losses for the insurance industry.
  • These challenges are not limited to just a few insurance companies but are systemic throughout the industry.

What can FAMI agents do?

  • Sell the value of themselves, their companies, and the coverage provided. Let customers know they will continue to do the best job of providing them with a superior product from a great company.
  • Take the time to explain the value provided by the coverage they are buying.
  • Since all companies are dealing with these challenges, it may not be in the best long-term interest of insureds to chase a lower premium when facing renewal increases.
  • Encourage customers to renew their policies to help build a positive history with the insurance company, which can help them retain their coverage following a loss.

What can policyholders do?

  • Talk with your insurance agent about your coverage and your options

The employees at Farmers Alliance are committed to continuing to offer a superior product with a fair premium and unmatched customer service. We know some of the changes we’re making are difficult for our agents and insureds, but we are doing what is necessary to continue to provide them with a great business partner for many years to come.

The Importance of Higher Education

Higher Education Day 2023 is an annual event celebrated to promote higher education and its importance in shaping the future of individuals and society. It is a day to recognize and appreciate the value of education beyond high school and to encourage more people to pursue higher education.

Farmers Alliance believes that higher education is an essential part of personal and professional development for any individual. That’s why we offer different channels for employees to develop their skills and knowledge.  

LinkedIn Learning

We provide access to LinkedIn Learning to our employees, which gives them a valuable resource to develop new skills and advance their careers in specific areas they choose. We frequently do LinkedIn Learning challenges, encouraging employees to complete specific topics and share takeaways with their co-workers.

Insurance Education

It’s important to Farmers Alliance that our workforce is highly skilled in the world of property and casualty insurance, and that’s why we invest in our employee’s insurance knowledge through courses offered by The Institutes and IRMI. Whether an employee is just getting started and wants to earn their Associate in Insurance (AINS) or is choosing a lifelong career in insurance and wants to earn their Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation, we provide access to the appropriate training when an employee is ready and compensate them for completing it.

Pursuing a degree

As members of the Farmers Alliance FAMI-ly, employees have a unique opportunity to pursue a college degree without incurring significant costs. Farmers Alliance’s educational reimbursement program allows team members to have up to $5,250 in expenses reimbursed annually if their major benefits both the employee and the company.

I want to advance my skills to be even more effective within my department. Secretly, I want to be the next FAMI nerd!

Natalie Zink, Quality Assurance Analyst

Natalie Zink is a Quality Assurance Analyst in our Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO). She is taking advantage of this benefit by earning her associate degree in computer science from Barton County Community College. “I’ve been with Farmers Alliance for almost 16 years, and I feel like I’ve found my niche,” said Natalie. “I enjoy the camaraderie I have with Project Managers and Developers in the IT department, and I want to advance my skills to be even more effective within my department. Secretly, I want to be the next FAMI nerd!”

Charitable Foundation 

Our passion for higher education extends beyond our employees, as we have a Charitable Foundation set up primarily to help fund scholarships for students of employees. All employees with children graduating high school with a minimum GPA of 2.5 and entering college are eligible to receive a $1,000 scholarship for the first four years they are enrolled.

It’s clear that higher education is a big deal at Farmers Alliance. That’s why we are pleased to celebrate Higher Education Day 2023.

myFAMI Makes Managing Your FAMI Account Convenient

Farmers Alliance policyholder portal, myFAMI

The myFAMI portal makes it easy to manage your account, view your policy documents, pay your bill, or check on the status of a claim anytime it works for you. With the release of our myFAMI mobile app last year it became even more convenient. Now, you have the power of the myFAMI portal on the go with your mobile device.

Billing and Payments

Are you tired of getting so much mail? Not only can you opt for paperless policy documents, but now you can sign-up for paperless billing as well—Opt-in on the portal or in the mobile app. You can also pay your bill, set up Auto-pay, and manage your payment method.

There when you need it

Did you forget to put your insurance cards in your vehicle? Did you get into an accident or get pulled over for speeding? That is no problem with the myFAMI mobile app. Access your insurance cards whenever you need them with your phone. You can rest assured you’ll have the necessary documentation when you get into a bind.

If you’re a current myFAMI user and aren’t utilizing the mobile app, download it today for your Apple® or Android™ device. If you aren’t currently a myFAMI user, go here and click “Create Account” to get started!

Apple® is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. and Android™ is a trademark of Google LLC.

2022 Annual Report

The 2022 Annual Report is now available. This past year presented many challenges in the form of catastrophic weather losses, investment market turns, rising costs from inflation, supply chain shortages, reinsurance uncertainty, and transitions for our staff — just to mention a few. Although our financial results for 2022 reflect the many challenges
we faced, we know that success is defined by more than the balance sheet and income statement. So, as we reflect on a challenging year, we acknowledge the difficulties, but also celebrate the many successes!

Click the image below to read the report.

Brett Hudson, Leadership McPherson Graduating Class of 2022

Brett Hudson Leadership McPherson

Brett Hudson, Senior Product & Compliance Manager at Farmers Alliance, recently graduated from the McPherson Chamber of Commerce Leadership McPherson class. Brett was one of 11 individuals from McPherson County that participated.

Leadership McPherson partners with the Kansas Leadership Center to administer an in-depth, educational program that focuses on developing individual leadership skills, giving participants the skills to move organizations and businesses forward. The participants met several times over a 90-day period and received training from multiple community members as well as instructors from the Kansas Leadership Center. Brett said that “much of the curriculum focused on understanding ourselves and how we can leverage different strategies for interacting with others in more productive ways.  We spent time talking to several community organizations who are working to help youth in the area and discussed options for projects we could do as a class to help them.”

As part of the class, participants were required to plan a project to benefit the youth of McPherson County.  “Most of the community groups we spoke to said that there is a lack of awareness in the community of what services they provide,” said Brett. As a result of their research, the group decided that a Community Connection Fair within the local schools would be an excellent solution to the problem. The fair would allow these community groups to come together in one place to talk with teachers and students about the resources that they can provide. “We are excited about the potential to connect these organizations with teachers and students in our community. There is such a great need for this, and we hope it’s a way we can make the lives of youth in our community better,” said Brett. The fair would be open to both charitable and for-profit organizations that provide youth services in McPherson County. They expect to complete the project by the Spring of 2023.

Farmers Alliance is excited for Brett and what the leadership class has been able to accomplish so far. We are pleased to have great leaders on our team who want to make a difference in their communities.

Farmers Alliance Companies Announce Leadership Changes

MCPHERSON, KANSAS — Brian D. Lopata, President and Chief Executive Officer at Farmers Alliance has announced three promotions within the Executive Leadership Team, following the recent meeting of the company’s Board of Directors. According to Lopata, “I am happy to recognize these individuals for their exceptional work on behalf of Farmers Alliance, and look forward to their continued contributions in these new positions.” He added, “As we look to the future for Farmers Alliance, these changes will keep us aligned strategically and operationally, positioning us well for future success.”

Andy Edwardson has been named Executive Vice President – Chief Data & Technology Officer. Edwardson joined Farmers Alliance in 1997 in Information Technology (IT), and previously held the position of Senior Vice President – Chief Information Officer. Since the launch of the Farmers Alliance 2025 Strategic Plan, he has taken on an expanded role in the areas of technology, data science, actuarial science and project management. In recognition of these growing responsibilities, Edwardson is promoted to Executive Vice President – Chief Data & Technology Officer. He has direct responsibility for overseeing the strategic direction and execution of Information Technology, Data Analytics, Actuary, and Enterprise Project Management/Innovation.

Aaron Valentine, CPCU, CPA, is named Executive Vice President – Chief Financial & Risk Officer. Valentine joined Farmers Alliance in 2019, as Senior Vice President – Chief Insurance Officer, bringing more than 25 years of management experience with a regional mutual insurer. Following the recent retirement of Paul Taliaferro as Chief Financial Officer, Valentine is promoted to Executive Vice President – Chief Financial & Risk Officer. With this change, Valentine has direct responsibility for overseeing the strategic direction and execution of Accounting & Finance, Internal Audit, Enterprise Risk Management, Claims and Billing.

Randy Lutgen, CPCU, joins Executive Leadership Team, is named Senior Vice President – Chief Underwriting Officer. Lutgen joined Farmers Alliance in 2017, bringing many years of underwriting management experience. He previously was Vice President – Underwriting & Customer Service. As Senior Vice President – Chief Underwriting Officer, Lutgen has direct responsibility for overseeing the strategic direction and execution of Underwriting, Product & Compliance, and Customer Service & Satisfaction.

These promotions are effective immediately. The Farmers Alliance Executive Leadership Team also includes Ryan Hicks, Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, and Jack Rader, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing & Reinsurance Officer.

Filing an auto glass claim with FAMI is easier than ever


Farmers Alliance recently partnered with Safelite® AutoGlass to handle glass claims. This partnership combines the reliability you’ve come to expect from Farmers Alliance with the exceptional customer service of Safelite AutoGlass. File a glass claim 24/7/365 by phone at 800-362-1075 or online using a new, self-service, glass claims reporting portal.

Self-Service Claims and Repair Scheduling

File glass claims online, anytime/anywhere with the Safelite self-service portal. Just visit and follow the link to report a glass claim with Safelite AutoGlass. From there, you will enter your personal information, policy information, and the damage to your vehicle. Next, you can schedule repairs directly with Safelite at one of their local shops or have a technician come to you.

We know that you want choices when selecting a repair shop, and that’s why your shop preference will always be honored with Safelite. When filing your claim online, choose “I have another shop in mind”, and someone will follow up with you to schedule repairs with your shop of choice.

While this service is designed to make your life easier, it’s not intended to replace the support of your FAMI agent. Contact your FAMI agent if you need help filing a glass claim or have questions about filing one yourself. We are excited to offer this new service and hope you find it convenient and easy to use.

Safety Tips for Black Friday Shoppers


While the Black Friday deals have already begun, the Friday after Thanksgiving remains a popular day to find the best steals on gifts for your loved ones. Whether you are shopping in-person or online, it’s important to take precautions to protect yourself and your belongings. Here are some great tips to help you stay safe:

In the store

  • There is safety in numbers. Bring friends with you when you shop. It’s safer and more fun!
  • Bring and use only ONE credit card. It’s much easier to cancel one card if it is lost or stolen than a wallet full.
  • If possible, keep your keys, cash, and credit card in three different places. Avoid using a purse if possible. If you must carry a purse, never leave it unattended, and always wear it.
  • When shopping with kids, make sure you designate a place to meet in case you get separated.
  • If a deal you’ve had your eye on is running low in stock, beware of over-zealous bargain hunters. There is no deal worth getting into a fight over and it’s likely you can find it online for the same price.

In the car

  • Put all your shopping bags in the trunk or somewhere out of sight to avoid a vehicle break-in. A thief is more likely to break into your vehicle if they can see something they want.
  • Keep your doors always locked when you leave your vehicle.
  • Parking lots can be hectic, with other drivers and pedestrians. Go slow and keep your eyes peeled so you don’t hit anyone.  
  • Park directly under lights when it’s dark outside and avoid parking near large vehicles that might block your view.
  • When you arrive home, be sure to bring your packages inside. Do not leave them in your car.


  • Avoid shopping over public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Shop with reputable retailers only.
  • Double-check website URLs for phishing URLs. Scammers like to create pages that look like secure sites that steal your information.
  • Learn to spot Black Friday deals that look too good to be true. It’s likely they are a scam.
  • Credit cards typically offer increased consumer protections, and they don’t tie up your funds if something were to happen.

Keep these tips in mind while grabbing the best deals that Black Friday has to offer. Stay safe and go get the deals you’ve been waiting all year for! Happy shopping!

Employee Spotlight – Josh Paine

Pikes Peak Summit

Wellness is a big deal at Farmers Alliance, and we frequently encourage our employees to stay active and make healthy choices for both the mind and body. One way we encourage healthy choices is by rewarding wellness points for completing certain activities throughout the year and by exercising, which then can be redeemed for wellness-related items. Josh Paine has been with Farmers Alliance for over five years and is a Data Liaison in the IT department. He is an avid, long-distance runner, completing over 20 half marathons and five marathons in the last five years, so it’s easy for him to rack up points. At the end of last year, he decided to cash in his wellness points for two pairs of trail-running shoes so that he could start training for America’s most challenging marathon at Pikes Peak in Colorado. He had completed the Prairie Fire Marathon in Wichita, Kansas in the Fall of 2021, which qualified him for the race, so he decided to go for it and sign up for the Pikes Peak Marathon in Manitou Springs, Colorado.

“Pikes Peak is a very memorable place for my wife, Carri, and me,” said Josh. “We honeymooned in Manitou Springs, and hiked Barr Trail to the summit of Pikes Peak.” The marathon route takes the same trail up the mountain and Josh thought this would be a great way to remember their trip and make some new memories as he pushed himself physically to the limit.

The day before the big race they took the cog railway to the top of Pikes Peak so they could watch the half-marathon runners ascend the mountain. The route for the half-marathon starts in Manitou Springs where riders can board the train and ends at the peak. “As I watched the half-marathon runners, I was motivated and inspired”, said Josh. “There were over 2,000 ascent runners and it was incredible to see so many people coming up the mountain. Especially once we hit 11,000 feet, just above the tree line and you could see for miles.” 

Josh’s journey to the summit and back

The next day he started on his journey. This marathon was much different from others he had done in the past because it required him to power-hike which he had not had to do on the traditional marathons he had run before. It was a “slow-go” up the mountain, and as he approached the tree line the brain fog started to settle in. He just kept going, and he finally reached the top where he immediately turned around to head back down. The initial descent was mass chaos as the 750 other runners behind him were still trying to pass as they finished their ascent up the narrow trail. He was surprised at how much more difficult the descent was than the climb. The downhill grade put more pressure on his muscles and joints, and he had to control his speed. “I fell twice on the way down because my muscles were tired from the climb. I thought the climb would be more difficult, but the way down hurt much worse,” said Josh.

Josh finished the race in about six and a half hours which was about three hours longer than his typical flat land run time.  “It was such a relief when I finally crossed the finish line. I was shocked by how much longer it took me to run this race compared to previous ones,” he said. “The climb itself took me as long as a typical marathon.” While this was the most challenging marathon Josh had ever done, he is already planning to do it again. Now he has a better understanding of what he needs to do to train, and he thinks he’ll be able to do even better next time.

Pursuing Opportunities for Higher Education

Kaela Moore, Advanced Underwriter

As members of the Farmers Alliance FAMI-ly, employees have a unique opportunity to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree without incurring significant costs. Farmers Alliance’s educational reimbursement program allows team members to have up to $5,250 in expenses reimbursed annually if their major is mutually beneficial for both the employee and the company.

Kaela Moore is an Advanced Underwriter with Farmers Alliance and has been with the company for nearly 10 years. She has experienced much growth professionally in her tenure but has also experienced significant setbacks personally that have altered her initial plans for pursuing an advanced degree. Recently, however, plans changed, and she is nearly finished earning her MBA. Keep reading and learn more about her experience and how she has benefited from FAMI’s educational reimbursement program.

What are you studying and why?

I’ve wanted to pursue a master’s degree since I graduated with my undergraduate degree. When I began my career with FAMI after graduating, I was particularly intrigued by the opportunity to make this dream come true and have the company help me pay for it. Unfortunately, life had different plans for me, and I was in a life-changing car accident that pushed my dreams out further than I had originally planned. After a period of healing and readjustment, I was ready to pursue my dream and when the pandemic hit in 2020, I had even more time at home to make that dream happen, so I enrolled at Emporia State University with the hopes of earning my MBA.

Are you taking classes in-person or online?

My classes are completely online and do not have scheduled lectures. The program is flexible and allows me to listen to lectures and complete assignments when I can make time for them throughout the week.

How long have you been with Farmers Alliance?

I’ve been with Farmers Alliance since May of 2013. I started my career as an intern while I was finishing up college and was hired full-time after I graduated in January of 2014 after graduating from McPherson College.

What do you like most about working here?

My favorite thing about working for FAMI is the atmosphere. It’s a professional environment with lots of opportunities for advancement, but it’s small enough that you still feel like you are part of a family. The corporate leadership knows me by name, understands the importance of my role in the company, and takes time to know me on a more personal level.

What do you hope to do with your degree once completed?

While I’m pursuing an MBA, I’ve specifically chosen to take electives in analytics and data. I’d like to earn my CPCU designation after graduating and be more involved with strategic planning at Farmers Alliance. After almost 10 years in the insurance industry, I feel like I have a good understanding of what we do and how we do it, but I’d like to understand more about how we plan for the future.

What would you tell a FAMI team member who is considering furthering their education?

Getting my master’s degree has expanded my knowledge and grown my critical thinking skills significantly, and it was much easier than I had anticipated. I have been able to complete my assignments and lectures in about 10-15 hours per week, leaving me time to do my full-time job and do fun things in the evenings and on weekends. My total out-of-pocket expense will be just a little over $1,000 after FAMI’s contributions. If you have the time and desire to do it, go for it!

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