Farmers New World Life Insurance will be leaving Mercer Island for Bellevue by the end of this year. The company, owned by Farmers Insurance, has been operating out of Mercer Island for six decades. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

Farmers New World Life Insurance will be leaving Mercer Island for Bellevue by the end of this year. The company, owned by Farmers Insurance, has been operating out of Mercer Island for six decades. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

Farmers New World Insurance leaving Mercer Island

One of Island’s largest employers relocating to Bellevue.

Farmers New World Life Insurance will be leaving Mercer Island this year after more than six decades operating out of the city.

Information from the company was scarce, but Farmers spokesperson Carly Kraft said they were moving to a location in Bellevue. They anticipate the full move to be completed by the end of 2018.

“We’ve been proud to call Mercer Island home for decades,” Kraft said.

The move will effect around 400 employees. Kraft declined to give a specific reason for the move, saying business needs had evolved and that the new office would benefit employees.

Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laurie Givan didn’t expect the announcement to hurt the city’s economy if a new tenant was found soon. Commercial real estate is in high demand on Mercer Island, Givan said.

New World Life Insurance was started in Spokane in 1910 and moved to Seattle in 1930. The company was bought by Farmers Underwriters Association in 1953 when it was given its current name.

In 1958 the company moved to Mercer Island and opened its current location in 1982.

The property was sold to investors in 2005, but Farmers signed a 15-year lease to remain in the building, which should have ran through 2020. It is unclear why this was changed.

King County GIS records indicate CLF Mercer Island LLC owns the plot, which Farmers sits on with an appraised value of $39 million as of 2018. In 2005 the total taxable value registered on the company’s website was $16 million.

Farmers cut 60 jobs in 2010, but still had around 600 employees at the Mercer Island facility at the time. The company is one of the largest employers on Mercer Island.

Farmers New World owning company, Farmers Insurance Company, is one of the largest insurance groups in the U.S.

More in News

Mark LeMaster and Stu Harris look at past class photos during the East Seattle Elementary School alumni event on June 8. Photo courtesy of Owen Blauman
East Seattle Elementary School reunites alumni

Over 150 East Seattle alumni gathered to honor their alma mater on June 9.

Tasting room proposal could redefine alcohol production in King County

Pilot program would benefit wineries, breweries and distilleries. Several farmers are concerned.

Courtesy photo 
                                Daniel Hankes, a junior at Mercer Island High School, is leading a drive to collect eyeglasses to be processed and distributed by the Northwest Lions Club Eyeglasses Recycling Center for his Eagle Scout Service Project.
MIHS Eagle Scout leads drive to collect eyeglasses for people in need

Daniel Hankes is leading a drive to collect eyeglasses to be processed and distributed by the Northwest Lions Club Eyeglasses Recycling Center.

Mercer Island included a detailed map of where Verizon intends to install small cells throughout the city. Mercer Island / courtesy graphic
Mercer Island to see another wave of small cells

Verizon will take its turn in filling in the communication gaps on Mercer Island with small cells.

In a 2015 report from the Washington State Department of Ecology, King County’s Cedar Hills Regional Landfill received 53,739 tons of of plastic bags and wrap from housing and commercial sources alone. File photo/Sound Publishing
No good solution to the plastics problem

Plastic is piling up everywhere from King County to ocean floors, and humans keep making more.

Jesse Bon appointed interim city manager

Bon will serve in the role as the city looks for a replacement following Julie Underwood’s departure.

Courtesy photo
King County homelessness count shows 17 percent decrease overall

Decreases are not even among different demographics.

King County’s $5 million derelict boat problem

When a boat sinks, it costs a lot to bring it up, with millions being spent since 2003 on removals.

Most Read