In third quarter, Allstate grew homeowners’ policies

Allstate accomplished something in the third quarter it hasn’t done since 2006: grow the number of homeowners’ policies on its books.

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Northbrook, Illinois-based home and auto insurer reduced its exposure to such catastrophe-prone areas as Florida and Louisiana. Allstate historically also has shown a willingness to cede market share to maintain its profit margins.

In the quarter ended Sept. 30, Allstate grew its homeowners’ policies count, to 6.082 million from 6.077 million. Its peak was 7.8 million.

Citigroup adjusts income, citing legal costs of probes

Citigroup has slashed its third-quarter earnings by $600 million, saying that recent investigations by regulators have altered the results it reported earlier this month.

The New York-based bank Thursday adjusted its quarterly net income to $2.8 billion from a previously reported $3.4 billion, citing legal expenses.

The bank’s operating expenses rose from $12.36 billion to about $13 billion.

FTC wants Gerber to pull claim of reducing allergies

Baby-food maker Gerber is being accused by the government of claiming falsely that its Good Start Gentle formula can prevent or reduce allergies in children.

In a complaint filed Thursday in federal court, the Federal Trade Commission alleged that the company misled consumers by suggesting that its formula was the first to meet government approval for reducing the risk of allergies.

The FTC said it wants Gerber to pull its claim from labels and advertisements and left open the possibility of asking the court to require Gerber to issue refunds for the $20-plus packages sold since 2011.

Gerber Products Co., also doing business as Nestlé Infant Nutrition, said it didn’t violate the law.

Regulators order Takata to release data on air bags

U.S. safety regulators are now playing hardball with Takata Corp. as they investigate a possibly deadly defect in some of the Japanese company’s air bags.

Regulators are ordering Takata to provide reams of information about air bags that can explode with too much force, blowing apart canisters and sending metal shards into drivers and passengers.

An order sent Thursday to Takata demands information on production mistakes and lawsuit settlements, as well as any information on deaths or injuries that the company has received.

Ten automakers have recalled nearly 8 million vehicles equipped with potentially faulty Takata air bag inflators. Safety advocates say the problem has caused four fatalities.

The recall is limited to cars in high-humidity Southern states.


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