Farmers Insurance is opening an agent recruiting and training center in Owings Mills as it breaks into the Maryland market.

The Los Angeles-based company, which sells auto, home, life and other insurance products, has about 20 employees on staff at its new location on Red Brook Boulevard. It expects to double the number within 12 to 18 months with trainers, customer service representatives and clerical staff.

Farmers wants to get at least 250 agents — independent contractors rather than employees — trained and working across the state in the next five years, said Gregor Scott, a regional vice president with the company. Farmers, now operating in 32 states, is pushing to expand to the rest of the country.

David S. Brown Enterprises, which manages the Red Brook Corporate Center, said Monday that the insurer signed a lease for 22,700 square feet beginning last Thursday. The length of the lease was not disclosed.

jhopkins@baltsun.com

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