Survival Insurance

After a year of disasters, Primerica comes to Travelers' rescue

LIKE FINANCIAL LEPERS, INSURANCE FIRMS HAVE been widely shunned by most investors. In the past fours years, the industry has had to pay $28 billion in damages, including $7 billion in 1989 after Hurricane Hugo and the San Francisco earthquake. So far this year, insured losses have totaled a record $13 billion. The toll from Hurricane Andrew alone has already exceeded $9 billion. So who would want to buy into an insurance company? Try Sanford Weill, chairman of Primerica, the New York City concern best known for its Smith Barney brokerage subsidiary. Weill agreed to invest $550 million for a 27%...

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