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State Farm To Repay Policyholders

June 8, 1998

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) _ State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. will return $891.6 million to its policyholders in 35 states and the District of Columbia _ the second refund in seven months _ as accident claims continue to fall.

The nation’s largest auto insurer on Monday said lower claims from fire, vandalism, theft and storm damage are behind the refunds, which will be paid by check or a credit to accounts upon renewal of policies. Company spokesman Steve Witmer said the reduction in claims is offsetting the higher expense of medical care and auto repairs.

The refund amounts vary greatly from state-to-state, depending on the number of policies and the accident claim rate in each state.

The Bloomington, Ill.-based company recently completed distributing $651 million to policyholders in 29 states and the District of Columbia. It also cut policy rates by an average 1.6 percent last year in 34 states and has cut rates again in 21 states so far this year.

Insurers across the nation have been enjoying record profits as cars get safer and aging drivers become more cautious, reducing claims. The cash surplus and intense competition have led many to lower rates or refund money.

States that will not get a dividend under the returns announced Monday are: Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont and West Virginia.

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