Farmers Insurance, unit of Zurich Financial Services Group, has appointed Jeff Dailey as new president and chief operating officer (COO) effective from1 January 2011.

According to the Farmers, Dailey will also become its CEO when current CEO Robert Woudstra will retire at the end of next year. Dailey will continue to work closely and report to Woudstra leading up to Woudstra’s planned retirement at the end of 2011.

Dailey, Farmers’ current resident of Personal Lines, will succeed Woudstra as president on 1 January and, over the next year.

Dailey joined Farmers Insurance in 2007 with the acquisition of Bristol West Holdings, where he served as Bristol West CEO.

Zurich Financial Services Group CEO Martin Senn and chairman of the board of Farmers Group and regional chairman of the Americas for Zurich Financial Services Group said in a statement taking on the president and COO role now will provide Jeff Dailey with invaluable experience before he succeeds Bob Woudstra as Farmers CEO upon Bob’s retirement.