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Auto insurers have faced pressure from mounting claims as more drivers take to the road amid an improving economy. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

(Bloomberg) — Allstate Corp., the largest publicly traded U.S. auto and home insurer, said second-quarter profit plunged 45 percent on a surge in claims from automobile coverage.

Net income declined to $355 million, or 79 cents a share, from $645 million, or $1.39, a year earlier, the Northbrook, Illinois-based company said Monday in a statement. Operating income, which excludes some investment results, was 63 cents a share, missing the 96-cent average estimate of 22 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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