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NU Online News Service, Feb. 8, 10:52 a.m. EST

Mercury General Premium Snapshot 2009Mercury General Corp. is leaving the Florida homeowners market by the end of 2012—a decision driven by significant underwriting losses from sinkhole claims.

“Our Florida homeowners’ line continues to present significant challenges as a result of sinkhole claims,” said Gabriel Tirador, president and chief executive officer of Mercury General, during a conference call. “It produced a $19 million underwriting loss for the quarter. The underwriting loss includes the accrual of a premium deficiency reserve of $6 million. We are withdrawing from the Florida homeowners market.”

Mr. Tirador said Mercury General has about $12.5 million of written premium in Florida.

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