Farmers Group Inc. and its Swiss corporate parent have agreed to pay $455 million to 13 million current and former policyholders to settle a lawsuit filed in 2003 that accused them of charging excessive fees to customers. The settlement, if approved by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, would resolve all claims dating back to 1999. Payments to folks who purchased Farmers home, automobile, personal liability and commercial property coverage are expected to average only $35, but individual settlements could vary considerably, according to Farmers Group. Benjamin Fogel, the lead Plaintiff in a nationwide class action, purchased policies from three exchanges that in turn paid management fees to Farmers Group. He alleged that Farmers charged its policyholders too much.
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