Press Release

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Farmers Insurance and Zurich in North America launches eight-city HelpPoint Catastrophe bus tour

Third stop: Kiener Plaza in St. Louis

Los Angeles, September 1, 2009  – Farmers Insurance Group and Zurich in North America, both part of Zurich Financial Services Group, launches its eight-city HelpPoint catastrophe bus tour next week throughout the Midwest and West regions with its first arrival in Houston on August 25.

“This first-ever Farmers-Zurich HelpPoint catastrophe bus tour is our effort to better prepare property and business owners for life changing events like natural disasters,” said F. Robert Woudstra, CEO of Farmers Group, Inc.  “As our newest catastrophe bus travels across the country on this tour, we'll raise awareness on how our customers can best respond before, during and after a disaster,” he said.

Intended to reinforce and illustrate the companies' continued focus on customer centricity and to deliver when it really matters, the tour will provide objective and helpful information, insight and expertise for enabling any and all insurance customers -- home, auto and business owners -- to better prepare themselves for the impact of natural disasters.

“Our HelpPoint Advocates will share important information for both business and home owners at each stop along the tour,” said Mike Foley, CEO of Zurich North America Commercial.  “Being ready for a natural disaster is the best way to quickly recover from one.  The tour will demonstrate the capabilities of Farmers Insurance and Zurich to help customers when catastrophes strike.”

The St. Louis stop will emphasize tornado and storm preparedness as weather can turn destructive anytime of the year.  Farmers and Zurich HelpPoint Advocates will be on site as designated individuals chosen from the thousands of Farmers and Zurich insurance-related specialists in areas such as seasonal catastrophes, risk engineering, preparedness and claims adjustments. Each of the HelpPoint Advocates is actively taking time outside of their daily functional responsibilities to share their expertise and insight in order to promote customer preparedness.

“Farmers has a fleet of catastrophe/event vehicles including three 46 foot catastrophe buses known as Mobile Claims Centers (MCC’s), and 39 smaller Customer Care Vehicles, known as (CCV’s), loaded with state-of-the-art communications equipment, supplies, food, generator, laptops and satellite phone service for victims use at a catastrophe site,” Mr. Woudstra continued.

The newest addition to the Farmers/Zurich MCC will travel across the country on the tour from August 25 until October 6.  It will be joined by a CCV at stops in Houston, Dallas, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Denver, Lansing, Michigan, Chicago and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

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