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October 17, 2005

Farmers Insurance Group of Companies Announces Hybrid Vehicle Discount in California; Farmers is First in Offering Hybrid Insurance Discount in the U.S.

hybrid.jpgThe Farmers Insurance Group of Companies announced it is the first in the U.S. to offer an insurance discount to customers who own a hybrid or alternative-fuel vehicle. The discount amount will be 5% for auto customers in California.

"Customers are opting more for vehicles with environmentally friendly hybrid or alternative-fuel engines, and that trend is expected to continue because of high gas prices and a growing number of hybrid models," said Kevin Kelso, President of Personal Lines at Farmers. "We are happy to offer drivers who are concerned about the environment a discount," added Kelso.

Hybrid vehicles draw power from two energy sources, typically a gas or diesel engine combined with an electric motor. According to R. L. Polk & Co, a firm that collects and interprets automotive information, California tops the list for the number of registered hybrid vehicles in the U.S. In 2004, over 25,000 hybrid vehicles were registered in the state of California -- a 102% increase over 2003. The use of alternative-fuel vehicles -- vehicles that utilize biodiesel, electricity, ethanol, hydrogen, natural gas, and propane -- has also increased in California from 66,366 vehicles in 2001 to 77,761 vehicles in 2003.

"In order to make our air clean in California , it's going to take everyone working together. That means, not just individuals but government and business as well," said Councilmember Eric Garcetti. "We are proud that a Los Angeles-based business is taking the lead in encouraging Californians to drive environmentally sensitive cars."

"The era of the cleaner-burning vehicle is upon us as we're seeing more and more hybrids on our streets and highways," said Councilmember Tom LaBonge. "This program initiated by Farmers Insurance is sure to accelerate the popularity of these hybrids, and I thank them for this great initiative."

The discount, effective October 1, 2005, is for all customers who own a hybrid or alternative-fuel vehicle. All new business customers will receive the discount as of the new business date, and existing customers will receive the discount upon renewal.

Posted by Tom Troceen