Insurer laying off 247 employees


State Farm, founded in 1922, serves more than 75 million insurance policies and is based in Bloomington, Indiana. Courtesy State Farm

A national insurance provider is closing a facility in the region and laying off 247 employees.

Bloomington, Illinois-based State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company last week notified the state of Michigan it will permanently close its operations center at 5564 Portage Rd. in Portage later this summer.

The affected employees — who are all non-union and do not have bumping rights — will be laid off on Aug. 31, according to Beth Stuckey, employee relations manager, State Farm, who submitted the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification letter to the state on June 26.

The affected employees in Portage serve in various positions: analysis, claims, training, management, marketing, communications, operations and service technician.

The Portage site closure was originally announced in 2017 as part of the company’s “planned exit” from 11 U.S. centers over the course of several years, beginning in 2018.

State Farm said the work from all 11 facilities is moving to the company’s headquarters, its offices in Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix and a number of existing locations across the U.S.

In total, about 4,200 of the company’s nearly 70,000 employees were expected to be affected.

Mary Schmidt, EVP and chief administrative officer at State Farm, said in 2017 the decision was based on the need to create efficiencies, leverage technology and consolidate employees in fewer, larger locations.

“In order to adapt to the changing needs of our customers and continue to provide the remarkable service that our customers expect, we must continue to manage our business efficiently,” Schmidt said. “The company will continue to have a strong local presence in these communities through our agents and local claims employees.”

State Farm

Founded in 1922, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies, which provide auto and home insurance in the U.S.

Through its subsidiaries, the company also provides fire, life, health and commercial policies, as well as coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles.

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