2 Insurance Firms to Curtail Sales in State

Times Staff Writer

Two affiliated Wisconsin-based insurance companies, Sentry Insurance, a mutual company, and Dairyland Insurance Co., have decided to discontinue writing personal auto and other lines of insurance in California because the number of claims and lawsuits were too high, a spokeswoman for the companies said Wednesday.

Mary Bogda, director of corporate communications for the two companies, said Dairyland was discontinuing automobile and motorcycle policies with annual premiums of $58 million and 38,000 policyholders.

She said that Sentry was dropping standard auto and homeowners policies with annual premiums of $11 million and 10,700 policyholders.

Dairyland has conducted its business through independent agents based in California, while Sentry directly sold its policies through a toll-free telephone line to its Stevens Point, Wis., headquarters, Bogda said. The business was not concentrated in any one part of the state.


Underwriting Losses

She said Dairyland would continue selling commercial insurance in California with an agent force scaled down to 25 from 75.