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Zurich and FarmersŪ Insurance Donate 10,000 Books and Award-Winning Educational Film Series To New Orleans-Area Public Schools

New Orleans, La., March 27, 2008 – Zurich Financial Services CEO James J. Schiro and Farmers Group, Inc. CEO Paul N. Hopkins today announced the donation of 10,000 books and 150 sets of an award-winning educational film series to Orleans and Jefferson Parish schools. The announcement was made at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, currently underway at TPC Louisiana near New Orleans.

Joining Mr. Schiro and Mr. Hopkins were Sylvia Cyrus-Albritton, executive director of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Carolyn Van Norman, assistant superintendent for the Jefferson Parish Public School System, Debbie Schum, chief academic officer for the Recovery School District and Randy Rice, Farmers' director of education.

"We recognize how significantly the educational community in this region has suffered since 2005,” noted Schiro. “Last year – in conjunction with First Lady Laura Bush's Foundation – Zurich created the Birdies for Books Fund and helped raise nearly $400,000 to purchase books for school libraries to replace those destroyed in the hurricanes.

“This year, we are broadening the Birdies for Books tradition," Schiro added. "I am pleased to announce that Zurich, in conjunction with Farmers Insurance, is donating 10,000 books to area grade-school children. In conjunction with Farmers, we are also donating two sets of Farmers' award-winning educational film series to each of the 75 area high schools, along with DVD players and monitors supplied by Philips Electronics.”

Mr. Schiro continued, “These school books, DVDs and DVD players are part of Zurich's and Farmers' efforts to give something back to this great community. We are pleased to continue our efforts to put hope and inspiration back on the bookshelves of area schools and into the hands of its students.”

"I know of no other corporation that offers the unique contributions that Farmers does with its education programs,” noted Cyrus-Albritton. “My organization and many other education associations applaud this contribution to the schools in need in the New Orleans area."

"Our award-winning education programs are developed by teachers, for teachers to use in their classrooms,” stated Hopkins. “Our parent company, Zurich Financial Services, is aware of the extraordinary programs we have available, and approached us about donating two copies of each set of DVDs to every public high school in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.

“Farmers is proud to stand side-by-side with Zurich Financial Services to further aid the New Orleans education community," Hopkins concluded. "We are confident that they will help our future leaders become more-informed citizens, and productive and compassionate Americans."

Zurich Financial Services Group (Zurich) is an insurance-based financial services provider with a global network of subsidiaries and offices in North America and Europe as well as in Asia Pacific, Latin America and other markets. Founded in 1872, the Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. It employs approximately 60,000 people serving customers in more than 170 countries. In North America, Zurich (www.zurichna.com) is a leading commercial property-casualty insurance provider serving the global corporate, large corporate, middle market, small business, specialties and programs sectors.

Farmers Group, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Zurich Financial Services. FarmersŪ is the nation’s third-largest personal lines property-casualty insurance group. Property and casualty products are underwritten and issued by the Farmers Exchanges and their subsidiaries, which Farmers Group, Inc. manages but does not own. Headquartered in Los Angeles and doing business in 41 states, the Farmers insurers provide homeowners, auto, business, life insurance and financial services to more than 10 million households. For more information about Farmers, visit our Web site at www.farmers.com.

Media contacts:

Steve McKay
847-738-0620

Jerry Davies
213-400-4459

Mark Toohey
805-907-2216

 

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