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The "Farmers Insurance News-Alert" website is dedicated to providing the consumer and general public with detailed information concerning the Farmers Insurance Group. This includes fraud reports, consumer complaints, lawsuit's and other legal actions taken against this company. All information contained herein is for educational purposes only. Original sources, when known are sited.

 

TOBACCO TAKEOVER

By John Kirkwood, Executive director, Chicago Lung Association.

Tuesday, June 21, 1988

The Illinois Department of Insurance recently held a hearing on the hostile takeover bid of Farmers Insurance Group by the Batus tobacco conglomerate. This represents an all-too-familiar trend among tobacco companies to gain control over other companies that are concerned with the health and welfare of their customers.

I find this kind of acquisition unconscionable. Since 1964, Farmers has prided itself on being the pioneer in the industry by instituting lower auto, life and homeowner insurance rates for nonsmokers nationwide. How can Batus be permitted to take over an insurance company with more than 3 million policies specifically written with incentives for nonsmokers?

This clearly represents a conflict of interest and Farmer`s nonsmoking programs may be threatened as a result. After all, how can an insurance company abide by nonsmoking standards and be owned by the world`s largest tobacco company?

The lung association has fought long and hard to persuade other insurance companies to follow Farmers in promoting lung health through nonsmoking. I urge the Department of Insurance to disallow the takeover in order that Farmers can continue to work in the public interest.

 

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