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Farmers Insurance to lay off 200 by end of year

The cuts will come from Farmers' recently acquired 21st Century Insurance division, where 343 have already lost their jobs since August.

December 07, 2009|By Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Farmers Insurance Group plans to lay off nearly 200 people at its recently acquired 21st Century Insurance division over the next three weeks.

Since August the company has laid off 343 people at the Woodland Hills headquarters of 21st Century, which Farmers bought in July.

Farmers spokesman Mark Toohey said the layoffs were part of a plan to streamline operations at the two companies. An additional 95 jobs will be eliminated next year, he said.

Farmers completed its purchase of 21st Century from troubled insurance giant American International Group Inc. on July 1.

With the merger, Farmers -- a traditional insurance company that sells home, automobile, life and other insurance products through a network of agents -- added 21st Century's system for selling auto insurance directly to motorists via telephone and the Internet.

Most of the jobs that have been eliminated were in the call centers, Toohey said.

There has yet to be a decision on whether 21st Century's operations will remain at the former headquarters building or move to a new office next year, he said.

Los Angeles-based Farmers is a subsidy of Zurich Financial Services of Switzerland and employs about 5,200 employees in the Los Angeles area and about 9,000 statewide.

nathan.olivarezgiles@

latimes.com

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