IT HAS BEEN MORE THAN four years since the Northridge earthquake rocked Southern California. But Allstate Insurance, which paid out more than $1.7 billion in claims from the disaster, is bracing for another tremor. In late April, federal agents raided four Allstate offices, including headquarters in Northbrook, Ill., and carted away documents. The Feds and the California Department of Insurance are investigating whether Allstate doctored engineering reports to reduce payouts on property claims from the quake. Allstate general counsel Robert Pike denies the allegations.

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