BLOOMINGTON — State Farm will close an undisclosed number of offices that serve as direct support to the company’s more than 18,000 agents in the U.S. and Canada.
“There will be some reduction in staffing levels,” spokesman Phil Supple said Wednesday. He said the company has not determined how many positions will be eliminated or how many of its agency field offices will close.
The offices handle administrative duties for State Farm agents, as well as provide research for new and existing claims and policies, said Supple.
The Bloomington-based insurer is making the move to become more efficient and streamline operations. The move “possibly could save money,” said Supple.
But “no one has put a pencil to the paper,” he added.
Supple declined to provide the total number of agency field offices in the U.S. and Canada, or the total number of employees at those locations. He said staffing varies by city and region.
But he said the changes are part of an ongoing effort by State Farm to adapt to today’s competitive business environment. Earlier this year, the company announced it would close offices in Collinsville and suburban Tinley Park, affecting 130 workers.
Those positions were moved to other locations. Similar changes have happened in other parts of the country.
“We’re continually improving level of service,” said Supple. “You keep customers that way.”
Some employees whose jobs are impacted by the latest announcement might also be relocated, said Supple.
“We are encouraging those employees to stay flexible; for some it may mean an opportunity to relocate or train for a new position,” he said. “These aren’t big operations. They are small offices, (yet) important ones.”
He said there are a small number of employees at an agency field office in Bloomington; it is unclear how they might be impacted.
Supple declined to comment on whether the changes could include pay cuts for employees who are relocated or whether any employees will be offered voluntary buyouts.
He also said the company has not determined how the duties now being done at the affected offices will be handled.
“Agents will still have access to the resources,” said Supple. “Some of it will be virtual.”
For example, agent training now provided at field offices could be moved to claims offices and other regional facilities, said Supple.
The changes were announced Wednesday to the company’s 68,000 employees, including 15,000 in Bloomington.