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BUSINESS
February 27, 2001 | From Reuters
Mutual fund manager Scudder Kemper Investments took a $6-million hit last month to bail out a money market fund that invested in California's troubled utilities. And more investment companies are expected to follow suit. That's because so many have held securities in Southern California Edison, a unit of Edison International and PG&E Corp.'s Pacific Gas & Electric, both of which defaulted on payments in January and have been perilously close to bankruptcy.
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BUSINESS
February 20, 2002 | LIZ PULLIAM WESTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Steep losses in homeowners insurance led a major rating company to downgrade Farmers Insurance Group on Tuesday and signaled more rate hikes ahead for policyholders nationwide. Standard & Poor's cut Farmers' credit and financial strength ratings by two notches, to A from AA-, after two years of rising claims costs eroded the Los Angeles-based insurer's capital reserves, said S&P analyst Grace Osborne. The action was the second time this year that a major insurer faced a downgrade. Last month, A.
BUSINESS
October 8, 2010 | By Tiffany Hsu and Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
Farmers Group Inc., a Los Angeles-based insurance management firm, and its Swiss corporate parent Thursday agreed to pay $455 million to 13 million current and former policyholders to settle a 2003 lawsuit that accused them of charging excessive fees to customers. The settlement, if approved by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, would resolve all claims dating back to 1999. Payments to people who purchased Farmers home, automobile, personal liability and commercial property coverage are expected to average $35, but individual settlements could vary considerably, Farmers Group said.
BUSINESS
April 17, 2009 | Marc Lifsher and Martin Zimmerman
Two of Southern California's biggest insurance companies are joining forces to create the state's largest auto insurer, at the same time throwing a financial lifeline to troubled insurance giant American International Group Inc. AIG agreed to sell its 21st Century Insurance subsidiary for $1.9 billion to Farmers Insurance Group of Los Angeles, itself a unit of Zurich Financial Services of Switzerland.
BUSINESS
March 29, 2011 | Michael Hiltzik
Here's how to make a $455-million consumer class-action settlement disappear. First, require the aggrieved customers to sign and mail in a claim form comprising 10 pages of legal Esperanto before receiving any money. Make sure the customers know they're signing "under penalty of perjury. " Second, let the company keep any money that isn't paid out. At least, that's how the huge settlement reached in a case involving Farmers Insurance Group works out, in the opinion of Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog.
BUSINESS
August 28, 2009 | Marc Lifsher
California's largest auto insurer, Farmers Insurance Group, said Thursday that it planned to slash jobs at the offices of its newly acquired 21st Century Insurance unit in Woodland Hills. Los Angeles-based Farmers told employees that it would cut 554 jobs by the end of this year and that the total would reach 750 by the end of 2010. The Woodland Hills complex, which had been 21st Century's headquarters until last November, currently has 979 employees, Farmers 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, auto, life and other insurance products with a network of agents -- added 21st Century's system for selling auto insurance directly to motorists via telephone and the Internet.
BUSINESS
May 14, 2004 | Marc Lifsher, Times Staff Writer
California employers are likely to see lower insurance premiums now that the state has overhauled its costly workers' compensation system -- but they'll have to be patient. A veteran business lobbyist warned Thursday that the cost savings that analysts were projecting from the overhaul signed into law April 19 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger probably would not be reflected in workers' comp premiums anytime soon.
BUSINESS
October 31, 2003 | E. Scott Reckard, Times Staff Writer
Insurers and the analysts who follow them said Thursday that the industry appears well able to absorb the costs of the wildfires sweeping Southern California, even though the insured loss may well exceed the record $1.7 billion in claims when the scenic hills above Oakland and Berkeley went up in flames Oct. 20, 1991. "Catastrophes are priced into insurance premiums," said Bill Sirola, a spokesman for State Farm General Insurance Co.
BUSINESS
October 31, 2000 | From Bloomberg News
Microsoft Corp. may pay more than $1 billion for a 3.5% stake in News Corp.'s Sky Global Networks, the world's No. 1 satellite TV company, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The world's biggest software maker and Rupert Murdoch's media group are in talks that "are progressing smoothly," the paper said. Spokesmen Rick Miller at Microsoft and Andrew Butcher at News Corp. wouldn't comment.
BUSINESS
March 20, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Zurich American Insurance Co. has agreed to pay nearly $172 million in a deal with nine states to settle allegations of bid rigging and price fixing in the commercial insurance market, state officials said Sunday. Policyholders in all 50 states would receive $151.7 million in refunds, said Mark Tobey, a lawyer with the Texas attorney general's office.
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