Fireman's Fund Insurance

  www.firemansfund.com
  www.firemansfund.com

Fireman's Fund Insurance Reviews in Novato, CA

Updated November 25, 2014
Updated November 25, 2014
198 Reviews
2.4
198 Reviews
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Fireman's Fund Insurance President and CEO Andrew Torrance
Andrew Torrance
34 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Dept supports work-life balance and supports process improvement as well as best-practice sharing (in 16 reviews)

  • Good benefits, used to have a strong sense of togetherness in our department (in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • Little work/life balance-expectation that you be available to CA timed meetings so work much more hours than paid for (in 16 reviews)

  • The entire senior management at FFIC leaving and being replaced over the last 2-3 years (in 21 reviews)

More Highlights

66 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Excellent Company

    Current Employee - Assistant Actuarial Analyst in Novato, CA
    Current Employee - Assistant Actuarial Analyst in Novato, CA

    I have been working at Fireman's Fund Insurance full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Fireman's Fund has a great group of employees. The office culture is enjoyable and the managers are great to work with. Most employees are very knowledgeable about the business, and opportunities within the company are extensive. They also offer an actuarial rotation program, which is a major plus.

    Cons

    The location of the home office in Novato, CA is not ideal, and the recent announcement of company restructuring indicates job insecurity.

  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Years of subpar results have led to current period of 'transition'

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in Novato, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in Novato, CA

    I have been working at Fireman's Fund Insurance full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The people at FFIC were great and the benefits package good with a solid focus on work-life balance. 7.5 hour days, 4 -5 weeks of vacation, 7.5% 401K matching were easy to get used to.

    Cons

    As stated in my intro, the company is essentially being merged into another Allianz (parent company) company and there is question as to whether the Fireman's Fund brand will even remain. The poor financial results did affect the ability for individuals to move ahead in the organization over the last few years and, of course, the moral of the workforce.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The management will be moving on after the 'transition' stage so no advice is needed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Very poor leadership

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Novato, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Novato, CA

    I worked at Fireman's Fund Insurance full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Nice campus, good work life balance. Most of the general employee population are hard working and want to do the right thing. Benefits are good with the exception of salaries. Heritage program is great supporting local fire departments and fallen firefighters.

    Cons

    Executive (SVP,VP and AVP) leaders need to get a clue!! Leadership is dishonest and after their own agenda. They play favorites and are phony. They think it's all about them and don't care about anyone else. Operations Support department is a disaster with the worst leadership I have every seen!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's to late for advice, they blew it. The parent company has had it and based on what I experienced, they did it to themselves allowing the BS to go on unaccounted for. They ruined a great company with great heritage.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Years of mismanagement have finally caught up

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Finance Analyst in Novato, CA
    Current Employee - Finance Analyst in Novato, CA

    I have been working at Fireman's Fund Insurance full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good location, work hours are minimal

    Cons

    Large organizational transition pending, job outlook is poor

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    No advancement opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Java/IT Solutions Engineer in Novato, CA
    Current Employee - Java/IT Solutions Engineer in Novato, CA

    I have been working at Fireman's Fund Insurance full-time

    Pros

    - Friendly co-workers for the most part.
    - Good amount of vacation days + paid holidays.
    - On campus gym for free
    - Nice lounge with pool table, ping pong table, etc.
    - Campus is pretty nice (minus the duck poop).
    - Decent cafateria
    - Laid back atmosphere (can also be considered a con, see below).
    - Reasonable bosses
    - WFH on Fridays

    Cons

    - Compensation is on the border line of being non-competitive
    - Meetings. Meetings. Meetings. Typical day you will probably have a meeting in the morning, followed by a meeting discussing the meeting you just had, followed by another meeting to plan the next meeting. You will wonder how anything ever gets done.
    - A majority of the meetings will also be about processes, procedures, and approvals. You will experience de ja vu on a daily basis.
    - A majority of the people working here have been here for 20+ years, some 40+ years. They are nice people but they seem to be too comfortable with their job; they have forgotten how much work/effort people with similar jobs at different companies have. They have lost the drive to be competitive.
    - Senior management doesn't really seem to know what's going on.
    - Old technology, like early 20th century technology.
    - Work is extremely dull.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not much advice I can give, I'm not an expert in management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Great hands on experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in Novato, CA
    Former Employee - Intern in Novato, CA

    I worked at Fireman's Fund Insurance full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Everyone is very helpful and open to answering any questions
    Great office environment

    To really take advantage of this internship, make sure to take the initiative to find work

    Cons

    At times, it can be slow. Just make sure you try and meet as many people as possible and fill your time

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8.  

    No Stars

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Contract Specialist in Novato, CA
    Former Employee - Contract Specialist in Novato, CA

    I worked at Fireman's Fund Insurance as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Contractor salary is very nice

    Cons

    They treat contractors like second class citizens. Too many chiefs not enough Indians. Everybody is a director or AVP and not real job knowledge. People skill unheard of at this company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a clue

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Sad ending to what was once a great company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Business Analyst in Novato, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Business Analyst in Novato, CA

    I worked at Fireman's Fund Insurance full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    I worked for FFIC for 20 years beginning in 1989. The company was profitable and good to their employees, encouraging continuing education and upward movement within the company. Town Hall meetings were exciting, announcing which line of business had the best combined ratio - healthy competition! Then Allianz took over. It was gradual at first, but then they started sucking out the best of FFIC. Marine was one of the first to go, the beginning of the end.

    Cons

    I recently went back as a contractor, and wondered why they hired me. Management had completely changed, and not for the better. Where there was once a healthy balance of management to staff, the company is now excessively top heavy. I left my contract assignment soon after I started, sad that the FFIC I knew is no longer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have a real plan for the last chapter of FFIC's storied history. Take care of the employees who have stayed through these stressful times. Shed some of the unnecessary management during the transition to nothingness, and focus on closing shop.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Don't assume anything

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Business Analyst in Novato, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Business Analyst in Novato, CA

    I have been working at Fireman's Fund Insurance full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Dept supports work-life balance and supports process improvement as well as best-practice sharing.
    Beautiful campus with variety of fitness opportunities, including on-site chair massage (at low-cost).
    Much technology improvement opportunity or years for those who work on projects to change the company.

    Cons

    Most in-progress projects have been shelved or scaled-down and are pending sorting out what our parent company wants to do with the commercial and personal lines.
    Lack of leadership.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please communicate frequently to advise why not leave now rather than see whether I am kept or offered severance.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    I just got LAID OFF and… I'm ECSTATIC! (Written August, 2014)

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Novato, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Novato, CA

    I worked at Fireman's Fund Insurance full-time

    Pros

    People can be so negative sometimes, right? Me, I try to look on the positive.

    For instance, I think there are plenty of good reasons why you should consider working at Fireman's Fund. First off, did you know that you can earn $100,000+ in the marketing department, just for being an order-taker? Sure beats McDonald's! AND, you don't really need to know that much about marketing to work in the marketing department--nor should you. That's because you'll be surrounded by plenty o' others who know, or think they know, so much more than you-- particularly the folks in other departments, like Sales, Underwriting and Claims. The truth is, you'll do exceptionally well here if don't mind being a supplicant and having all your decisions undermined and second-guessed at every turn. And really, how hard is that? I say “not very.”

    Secondly, FFIC has a stellar severance package. That's good to know because in a year or six months even, a new leader will undoubtedly come on board, decide that you are the reason the company is failing, and simply eliminate your job. So that severance package will most certainly come in handy for you in the very near future. But if you don't get that pink slip, try to stick around until early 2015-- because that's when the company is rumored to go belly up or get sold off. Hopefully, Allianz will cut you a big fat check when that goes down. So sit tight.

    Then, after you leave the company, you are going to experience something unexpected. An utterly indescribable sensation that will shoot through your heart, pierce your brain, ripple and ricochet up and down your spine. You will feel tingly, euphoric, giddy and light, all at the same time. Awash in the glow of an endless sunrise, you will recognize, and welcome back into your life-- this feeling of pure, unadulterated happiness.

    In summary, I highly recommend that you come to work in the marketing department of Fireman's Fund. You'll be glad you did, and even happier when you're gone.

    Cons

    Gosh darn, I wish Glassdoor wouldn't ask me to fill in this section! It’s just not in my nature to criticize others. Bad karma, I tell you. Plus, I worry that writing something here could shake up my chakras or, worse, kill off this wicked bliss-buzz I've had since… well, ever since I lost my job at Fireman’s Fund!

    No, I just can't do it.

    And really, I don't need to write anything here because it's all been said before. Hey, that gives me an idea! I'll just fill up this empty space with excerpts from previous Fireman's Fund reviews. They're all still current and fresh, and worthy of a second look. Enjoy!

    Here's what other Fireman's Fund employees have had to say:

    "Politics are so thick you can smell it. Upper-management doesn't care, period. HR is no help when issues arise."

    "Bullying management style seemed to be encouraged and rewarded."

    "[You] Will forget your real skills and develop useless skills and become unfit or paralyzed for the outside world."

    "When things got bad, it felt like I was a contestant on Survivor. Lots of secret alliances and BS politics"

    "It is a finger pointing culture, and even on your best days you might feel like you went through a meat grinder with little thanks.

    "HR is a joke- protects senior management at all costs."

    "Still a beauty contest when it comes to salary/promotions and a forced bell curve."

    "Was once a good company based on core values. It's now driven by bullying behaviors, and no concern for the working employee."

    "…But, hey, all those folks who have worked here for 5 minutes know WAY more than the rest of the staff"

    " I wouldn't recommend this place to my worst enemy if I had one."

    "Fireman's Fund is burning itself down from the inside out."

    "As a company FFIC runs hard to stand still."

    Oh, and here are some of my favorite headlines from previous reviews:

    “Company that is on a slow march to extinction. ”
    “A Bully Culture and Not a Good Place to Work ”
    “The longer you stay, the worse it gets ”
    “Disaster NEVER WORK HERE. RUN!!! DO NOT WALK "
    "On the road to nowhere”

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This is what one employee recently gave as advice to senior management: "None, management has not responded to employee survey recommendations to improve moral for past 8 years. No chance to change things now."

    Wow, what a serious bummer. Not my style, whatsoever… that kind of negative energy can come back and bite you, for sure.

    Me? I have only one piece of advice to share here, and that's for those you seeking a job in marketing. But first, you gotta lean in closer, 'cause I need to whisper. (This is a secret): Look here, potential applicant, don’t you worry if you don't have the necessary experience-- just apply right away. There's a better than good chance you'll get hired. Why? Because Fireman's Fund is having an awful hard time recruiting new employees at the moment—what with all the bad ratings here on Glassdoor. (I know this, because they told me so!)

    Then once you're in, just do whatever you're told, and you'll be fine. Oh, and don't forget to grandstand, brag, and show off at every opportunity you can, otherwise you can say "bye bye" to your annual performance review, your bonus, and any chance of getting promoted (up to two full levels at one time--with or without the necessary experience!).

    Speaking of promotions, one surefire way to shine--aside from the requisite self-aggrandizing-- is to besmirch the good names and reputations of your peers. Here's how: Find an executive who has the ear of the CMO. Someone on your team with ambitions of his own for power and prestige. Someone who will welcome the tattling and complaints you lodge against your colleagues-- and quickly escalate them upward where they can do some real damage. Before you know it, you'll be a rock star, bragging to all about your double promotion, and describing your new office digs to anyone who will listen. What could be easier than that!? I say "not much."

    Best of luck to you!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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