September 30, 2002                                                         Contact:Lucas Hamilton

Morrison Confirms Farmers Insurance Co. Has No Plans to Leave Montana

      State Auditor John Morrison announced today that Farmers Insurance Co. will continue to write homeowners insurance in Montana, despite the company's pullout from Texas.
      "I am happy to report that Farmers has no plans to cease writing homeowners insurance in Montana," said Morrison, the state's insurance commissioner.
      Morrison's announcement follows a meeting with representatives of Farmers, which recently announced that it would not renew some 700,000 policies in Texas because of a dispute with that state's insurance regulator over rates.
      Following Farmers' announcement about Texas homeowners insurance coverage, Morrison met with Farmers executives to ensure that coverage would remain available to Montana consumers.
      Earlier this year, Farmer announced it was halting all new homeowners business in Texas because of $1.3 billion in losses in homeowner coverage over the last two years. The company's decision to stop writing homeowners coverage does not affect other insurance available in Texas, including automobile, flood and commercial insurance.
       The Montana Insurance Department has actions pending against Farmers over its use of credit scoring and handling of claims.
      "Farmers has assured me that only Texas customers are affected by its recent announcement to halt homeowners business," Morrison said. Farmers is the third largest writer of homeowners policies in Montana