Progressive Corp., the fourth-largest U.S. automobile insurer, said profit declined 2.9 percent as the company faced claims from Superstorm Sandy and growth in the policyholder count slowed.

Fourth-quarter net income fell to $249.1 million, or 41 cents a share, from $256.7 million, or 42 cents, a year earlier, the Mayfield Village, Ohio-based company said today in a statement. Operating profit, which excludes some investment results, was about 34 cents a share, matching the average estimate of 19 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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