Press Release

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University of Farmers takes top training honors

Read Training magazine's article

Los Angeles, CA (February 8, 2011) -- Farmers salutes its University of Farmers for taking first place in Training magazine’s 11th annual Training Top 125 awards program. The University of Farmers received the award during a black-tie gala recognizing top national businesses held in San Diego on Monday, February 7, 2011.

“Our competitors are top in the industry and top in the business world,” said Annette Thompson, Senior Vice President of Farmers Insurance and the University of Farmers Chief Learning Officer. “To win against industry giants makes this success absolutely spectacular.”

As the leading business publication for learning and development professionals, Training ranks hundreds of leading companies from around the world for their excellence in employer-sponsored training and development programs.

“The University of Farmers provided a compelling, detail-rich account of how it tied its training programs to corporate strategic goals and the demonstrable changes in learner behavior, performance, and efficiency that came about as a result of that training,” said Lorri Freifeld, editor-in-chief of Training. “Likewise, despite tough economic times, Farmers continued to invest in employee development, increase the scope of its training programs, and focus on innovation—key factors in its successful integration of employees following a critical acquisition and its sweeping upgrade of core organizational IT infrastructure.”

In addition to capturing the top award, the University of Farmers also received a Best Practice Award in recognition of its Reserve/Career Builder program for new insurance agents, and won the Best Overall Qualitative Award.

“Farmers newest advertising campaign focuses on the University of Farmers and the industry-leading training given to Farmers Insurance agents and employees,” said Bob Woudstra, Chief Executive Officer of Farmers Insurance Group. “For the real University of Farmers to receive this honor, gives us all a great sense of pride.”

This is the third time the University of Farmers has entered the rigorous program.

“We entered into this process to benchmark ourselves as a training organization, and to make sure we were delivering the best we could for our customers,” said Mike Cuffe, Vice President of Claims Training & Development for the University of Farmers. “It can take years to make the list at all, and for us this has been a thrilling fast track to the top and we are honored to be recognized in this way.”

The University of Farmers is a 120,000 square-foot agent, claims, leadership and management training facility located in Agoura Hills, California. The University of Farmers is national in scope and has 20 state-of-the-art classrooms. The claims training facility has a two-story full-sized mock house that provides participants with hands-on training, video feedback skill-practice rooms, a mock auto bay that can house up to 20 damaged automobiles and advanced audio visual technology to support new methods of learning. The University of Farmers also offers thousands of on-line classes for Farmers employees and agents who live out of state, supplementing the work done at the University of Farmers.

About Farmers Insurance Group of Companies
Farmers is a trade name and may refer to Farmers Group, Inc. or the Farmers Exchanges, as the case may be.  Farmers Group, Inc., a management and holding company, along with its subsidiaries, is wholly owned by the Zurich Financial Services Group. The Farmers Exchanges are three reciprocal insurers (Farmers Insurance Exchange, Fire Insurance Exchange and Truck Insurance Exchange), including their subsidiaries and affiliates, owned by their policyholders, and managed by Farmers Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information about Farmers, visit its Web site at www.farmers.com or at www.Facebook.com/FarmersInsurance.

Media contact:

Michelle Levy
512.791.7445
Michelle.levy@farmersinsurance.com

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