I called Farm Bureau of Tennessee this afternoon and asked them if they recognize same-sex marriage. The answer was “no,” but I’m sticking with them anyway, for now.
Farm Bureau has insured my vehicles since I started driving over thirty-five years ago. In addition to the three cars they currently cover, our homeowner’s insurance policy is also managed by the company. Farm Bureau insures my husband’s SUV, and lastly, we pay for a little coverage on a small travel trailer. All of that represents a whole lot of premiums.
We have options. I called an acquaintance who works for Nationwide and he told me not only will they combine our policies and give us a marriage discount, but also if we’re members of the Human Rights Campaign they will add an additional seven-percent discount.
Farm Bureau, you have some catching up to do.
So given this information, why am I staying with this company? Here’s why: When I called and explained that I was married to my partner of fifteen years a month ago today, the woman who took my call replied, “That’s wonderful! Congratulations!” she put me on hold because she didn’t know if the company recognized same-sex marriage. I could tell she’d never been asked the question. She came back on the line and said, “I’m so sorry, but we do not offer a discount for same-sex couples because your marriage isn’t yet legal in the state of Tennessee. I really am sorry.”
I thanked her and said I was hopeful that would change over the summer, as the Supreme Court will hear a case in just a few weeks that just might make same-sex marriage legal not only in Tennessee, but maybe even in all fifty states. I also told her that her responses meant a great deal to me. I said that every time I refer to my partner, now my husband, in situations like this, there’s always a moment of risk involved. I never know how the person with whom I’m revealing the information will react. Will I get awkward silence? Will he or she become flustered? Will she or he launch into a rant about how my “lifestyle” isn’t compatible with Christian teaching?
In this case the representative at Farm Bureau sounded surprised, happy, and truly sorrowful over the course of our conversation. I told her how much I appreciated that. She thanked me for saying so, and said she had taken a moment to compose herself before returning with the answer because the answer had made her cry.
Anytime you call customer service like this you’re warned that the conversation may be recorded. I hope this one was. I hope a lot of people at Farm Bureau, people who make policy decisions, listen to it.
I’ll stay with Farm Bureau until the mid-summer when we hear the results of this Supreme Court case. If it doesn’t end favorably, I’m grateful that I already have options.