NU Online News Service, Nov. 04, 3:36 p.m. EDT

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Zurich Financial Services Group said it earned $751 millionduring the third quarter as results were affected by a legalsettlement involving its Farmers Group subsidiary.

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Zurich took a charge of $295 million related to a proposedsettlement in Fogel vs. Farmers Group Inc., a nationwide class action suit pending in Los Angeles SuperiorCourt that alleges the insurance group overcharged for fees paid bythe Farmers Exchanges.

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Zurich's net income of $2.4 billion for the first nine months isdown 18 percent compared with last year at this time, the companysaid.

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Profit in Zurich's general insurance segment is down 22 percentas of Sept. 30 due to weather-related losses and the earthquake inChile, as well as declines in investment returns.

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Rate increases and underwriting action during the year thus farhelped the company's loss ratio in this segment, but the weatherevents and lower earned premiums resulted in a combined ratio of97.8 compared to 96.9 at this time last year.

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The Farmers segment turned in a $1.3 billion profit for thefirst nine months compared to about $1.13 in 2009 at Sept. 30.

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