Ex-State Farm Insurance agent tries to keep insurer from leaving city

Ex-State Farm Insurance agent tries to keep insurer from leaving city

Ex-State Farm Insurance agent tries to keep insurer from leaving city Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak, a former State Farm agent, has expressed disappointment over the insurer’s plan to close its Tulsa office in 2019.

The company announced the move earlier in the month as more than 500 jobs are expected to be moved from the community.

“I am extremely disappointed in both the decision and the communication between State Farm and my office,” Doak said in a Tulsa Beacon report.

“I was notified about the closing just 10 minutes before it was announced, giving me, Gov. Mary Fallin and Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum no time to discuss options and try to keep those jobs in Tulsa. Just two weeks ago a State Farm executive assured me the Tulsa facility was included in the company’s future plans. As the state’s largest insurer, I would expect advance notice of such a significant decision.

“I have invited State Farm’s CEO Michael Tipsord to sit down with me, Gov. Fallin and Mayor Bynum to discuss possible alternatives. In the past, we’ve always had a positive relationship with State Farm so I hope we can have a productive discussion on this issue that impacts so many Oklahomans.

“I understand the need to gain efficiency and streamline processes. Those are goals we have achieved here in our office and at other state agencies as well. I look forward to a constructive meeting with Mr. Tipsord,” he concluded.

In a separate report from Tulsa World, Mary Schmidt, State Farm executive vice president and chief administrative officer, said: “We understand the decision to exit these facilities directly affects our employees and their communities. While the exits will begin in 2018 and continue over several years, we are announcing this decision now in order to give employees time to make personal and professional decisions.”

“The company will continue to have a strong local presence in these communities through our agents and local claims employees,” Schmidt added.

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  • 5/19/2017 11:52:25 AM
    This is an unfortunate event but one that is a reoccurring theme. There is too much pressure for profitability without recourse for human compassion.

    Seems like the Commissioner and Governor should be more proactive. The trickle down economical effect this will have on the community is enormous.

    Like a good neighbor - go ahead and lay off 500 friends, family members.
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  • Rob 5/19/2017 12:12:08 PM
    A $7 billion loss generates profitability pressure. If your household budget suddenly went from being well in the black to deep in the red, you cut back on entertainment, adjust the kids' allowances and fire the lawn service and pool guy. There is no room in the budget for compassion- sorry, lawn guy and pool guy. Either cut expenses drastically or lose all of it.

    Would you propose the state make up the difference out of taxpayer funds? Or would a rate adjustment high enough to put State Farm back on the edge of profitability be better?

    Any negotiations with the Insurance Commissioner, Governor and Mayor would be purely for show. State Farm knew where the cuts needed to be made and the decision was cast in stone well before the announcement was issued.

    The state government will make noises to show their dissatisfaction in not being included in the decision while continuing to do what it does best- spending taxpayer money with no regard for balancing their ledgers. Unlike State Farm, the state can always just spend money they don't have then pass new taxes to make up the difference.
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  • 5/19/2017 12:46:46 PM
    I feel for these people that may lose their jobs but I am also a fan of cutting too much fat. State Farm is not the government , they actually have to make a profit. I observe many Insuarance carrier organizations and I can tell you that the fat is enormous..
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