NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Two-thirds of insurers still pay dividends. The exceptions tend to be in health care, such as WellPoint (WLP), or among firms still struggling, such as PMI Group (PMI). These five stocks offer strong growth potential and the biggest yields.

5. Unitrin ( UTR) is a Chicago-based multiline insurer.

Dividend yield: 3.57%

Fundamentals: Cash and equivalents up 4.8% in the third quarter. Investments rose 1.8%. Liabilities fell 2.4%. Policy income rose 2.8%. Profit climbed to $62 million on cost cuts.

Market indicators: Price-to-earnings ratio is 5.6. Price-to-book value is 74%. There's little short interest. Price has risen 1.7% this month and 53% during the past year. The beta is 1.21, indicating some volatility. The price is 16% less than the average price target of analysts.

News: Fourth-quarter earnings are scheduled for Feb. 1.

4. Fidelity National Financial ( FNF) is a Jacksonville-based title insurer.

Dividend yield: 4.51%

Fundamentals: Cash and equivalents fell 33% in the third quarter. Investments rose 6%. Overall assets fell 3% to $8.1 billion and liabilities fell 7%. Policy income was down 6% for the quarter, but up 61% from a year earlier. The company generated its second straight quarter of profit, with $75 million in net income.

Market indicators: Book value per share is at a 12-month high with a price-to-book value of 94.5%. P/E ratio is 10.4. Short interest is limited, with a ratio of 1.2. Stock price has dropped 1.1% this month and 19% during the past year. Beta of 0.8 indicates little correlation to market movements. The price is 28% less than the average price target of analysts.

News: Employees from two units have been accused of engaging in fraudulent mortgage schemes in lawsuits. Company considers litigation a normal occurrence. The company plans to close its Missouri office by the end of January and cut 15 jobs. Quarterly results are scheduled for Feb. 3.

3. Mercury General ( MCY) is a Los Angeles-based auto and home insurance company.

Dividend yield: 6.21%

Fundamentals: Cash and equivalents in the third quarter were up 5%. Investments rose 4.5% and total assets were up 3%. Liabilities also rose fractionally. Policy income was down 6% from the previous quarter. The company generated a $157.7 million profit as it reduced underwriting and policy expenses.

Market indicators: P/E ratio of 3.3. Price-to-book value of 118%. Volume is 49% below average for this stock. Short interest ratio is high at 10. Stock price is down 3.2% this month and 12% during the past year. Beta of 0.8 indicates limited correlation to market. The price is 2.7% more than the average price target of analysts.

News: Analysts expect weak fourth-quarter results from property and casualty, according to SNL Financial, but underwriting profitability increased. Quarterly results are scheduled for Feb. 8.

2. OneBeacon Insurance Group ( OB) is a Bermuda-based property and casualty insurer.

Dividend yield: 6.24%

Fundamentals: Cash and equivalents rose 65% in the third quarter. Investments were up 6.5% and total assets were up 1%. Liabilities were down marginally. Policy income of $493 million was up 5% from a year earlier. Its $118 million gain on securities compared with a $356 million loss a year earlier. The company generated net income of $108.6 million.

Market Indicators: P/E of 3. Price-to-book value of 93.2%. Trading volume is 57% below average. Short interest is 5.5. Stock price has fallen 2.3% this month, but is up 43% during the past year. Its stock price is close to analysts' average price target.

News: Fourth quarter earnings scheduled for Feb. 3.

1. Zenith National Insurance ( ZNT) is a Woodland Hills, Calif.-based insurer that specializes in workers' compensation.

Dividend Yield: 6.8%

Fundamentals: Cash and equivalents rose 16% during the third quarter. Investments rose 3%. Liabilities fell 2%. Policy income continues 12 month fall, down 24% on the comparable period. Drop in recurring revenue has slowed significantly to 6%.

Market indicators: P/E ratio is 14.4. Price-to-book value is 102%. Activity is 46% below normal for this stock, which has significant short interest of 13.5. Its stock price has dropped 1.1% this month and 11% during the past year. It's trading for 8.1% less than the average target price.

News: The former chief executive of the California State Compensation Insurance Fund was just appointed chief operating officer of Zenith's main subsidiary. A California workers' compensation judge has resigned to join the legal team. Fourth-quarter earnings are scheduled for Jan. 28.

-- Reported by Gavin Magor of Jupiter, Fla.

Gavin Magor is the senior analyst responsible for assigning financial-strength ratings to insurance companies. He conducts industry analysis and supports consumer products. Magor has more than 22 years of international experience in operations and credit-risk management, commercial lending and analysis. His experience includes international assignments in Sweden, Mexico, Brazil and the U.S. He holds a master's degree in business administration from The Open University in the U.K.

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