USF&G; ending portion of Louisiana business


USF&G; Corp., less than two weeks after announcing it was suspending most of its business in Texas, said yesterday that it also would stop selling property and casualty insurance in Louisiana.

The Baltimore-based insurance giant said the decision was part of a continuing attempt to leave unprofitable markets and retool basic operations in the wake of a $610 million loss during last year's fourth quarter.

USF&G;'s property and casualty operations lost $325 million in Louisiana during the last 10 years, the company said. It said it would continue writing life insurance, reinsurance and fidelity and surety business in the state.

The decision to halt most of its Texas business came after USF&G; racked up $300 million in losses there during the last 10 years.

The company said that it does not expect to fully withdraw from the property and casualty business in any other state. "USF&G;'s future is tied to being a profitable organization," the company said in a statement. "We fully understand the steps that lead to that goal are not easy ones for the company, our 205 employees, or our 92 agents," who run the Louisiana business.

USF&G; said it would continue renewing policies in Louisiana for the next year but existing business would not be renewed after that.

USF&G;'s major subsidiary, United States Fidelity and Guaranty Co., reported writing $62 million worth of business in Louisiana last year.

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